Citrix XenDesktop 4 SP1 is the first enterprise-ready VDI solution says Burton Group

A little more than one year ago, Burton Group, an independent subsidiary of Gartner, reached unprecedented popularity with the launch of its Server Virtualization Evaluation Criteria.
The evaluation criteria was used to compare Citrix, Microsoft and VMware virtual infrastructures on over 60 features and Burton Group became the first analysis firm to declare that XenServer 5.5 plus Essentials 5.5 Platinum Edition was as enterprise-ready as VMware Infrastructure 3.5.

In May, Burton Group also released a Server Hosted Virtual Desktop Evaluation Criteria. The company avoided to call it Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) despite it’s a de-facto terminology because it was originally launched by VMware.

The new report compares Citrix XenDesktop 4.0 and VMware View 4.01 against over 100 features, but none of them achieved the score to be considered enterprise-ready.

Fast forward to last week: Citrix submitted XenDesktop 4.0 Platinum Edition with Service Pack 1 and Burton Group declared it the first enterprise-ready VDI solution available on the market.


This is a major achievement for Citrix which is getting yet another recognition of its efforts in the virtualization space, three years after the acquisition of Xensource.

It’s another negative note for VMware instead, which isn’t shining on the desktop virtualization space right now: its Client Virtualization Platform (CVP) has been delayed several times and it’s unclear if it will ever hit the market; its Desktop Business Unit lost the Vice President and General Manager, Jocelyn Goldfein; and the company’s top executives suddenly are very skeptic about the future of VDI, to the point that they can’t forecast the adoption rate by the end of 2011.
On top of that, both Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs predicted that VMware will be behind Citrix in the VDI market within 2013/2014.

VMware still has a secret weapon: View 4.5, which should be launched at VMworld 2010 or later in September.
The product has been delayed multiple times too and it won’t feature the user profile management technology acquired from RTO Software in March. Despite that, some beta testers who tried it report that it’s a remarkable update.

We’ll see if View 4.5 will achieve the Burton Group enterprise-ready certification and if it will be enough to improve the current perception about the company as a VDI leader.