Citrix to release XenServer with distributed virtual switching technology

When Citrix announced the launch of the Open Virtual Switch project in May 2009 it raised a lot of attention.

The early bits of Open vSwitch appeared online in August 2009, along with a technology roadmap that clears the intention to compete against the VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch architecture and the Cisco Nexus 1000V software switch.

It took almost an entire year to reach version 1.0. Meanwhile Open vSwitch became a key component of the Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) networking infrastructure, another project supported by Citrix.

Customers are waiting to see a commercial implementation of the Open vSwitch and how Citrix will integrate it in XenServer and XenDesktop.
Maybe the time has come: Citrix briefly announced that a new beta cycle for its hypervisor is about to begin and that the new build will feature a distributed virtual switching technology.

Citrix opted to keep this beta private but it’s not shy to share a few details about the new feature:

  • Greater visibility into the networking layer of the XS virtualization platform via standard tools and processes, including RSPAN and NetFlow.
  • Distributed, fine grained networking configuration and control policies, including ACLs and QoS, that apply across VM migrations.

The beta is planned to take place from July 12 to August 6, so it’s likely that Citrix plans to release a new version of XenServer (5.7? 6.0?) in time for the VMware VMworld 2010 conference (August 30 – September 2).