Citrix recently reported Q2 2011 earnings, which was accompanied by the customary Q&A session for analysts. It’s somewhat puzzling to see the Citrix CFO admit that they are not focused on server virtualization. In fact, he even jumped at the chance to praise Hyper-V. Here is the excerpt:
Bradley Whitt – Gleacher & Company, Inc.
I was curious if you’ve seen, notice any reaction from your customers and prospects to the VMware pricing changes on VSphere? And curious whether you’re seeing more Xen downloads, that type of thing?
We have. We’ve seen an uptick in downloads as well as direct inquiries coming in based upon what they did with their licensing. And we’re not headlong into the server virtualization space. And obviously, we’re doing well with that platform across desktop and networking and now in the cloud platform. But it’s not a focused go-to-market for us. So I’d say probably Microsoft with Hyper-V and System Center has probably seen a much bigger uptick as a result. But we have seen greater interest in XenServer.
Admittedly, Citrix is in a tough spot — they have to choose the path of least resistance, which in their case means de-emphasizing and cutting products and solutions that compete with their biggest partner. Given this revealing perspective and the open source community shifting to KVM, it’s hard to see a future for XenServer.
Transcript from Seeking Alpha.
I wouldn’t say it’s puzzling. If anything, it’s long overdue. Server virtualization hasn’t been a top priority for Citrix for several years now, but nobody from the company would come out and say it. XenServer has its niches (desktop virtualization users, cloud providers), and it only makes sense for Citrix’s XenServer messaging to reflect this approach.
You said it.
It is a strategic product. It is not the main focus of Citrix Products, but its not going away. There are Citrix Solution build on XenServer, Cloud Provider love it and XenServer is perfect for XenDesktop Solutions.
I am thankful that Citrix isn’t focused on Server Virtualization, otherwise they would be too narrow minded. XenServer is meant for an open cloud, and that is the future. Vendor lock-in for the entire cloud platform is just ludicrous and holding you back in the PC era mentality.
KVM has some potential, but I’m not sure how “open” you can really call it with redhat at the helm and functionally its just now starting to arrive at the commonly accepted minimum feature set which makes it a very immature product.
Citrix may not be “focused” on the server market but as long as they want xen desktop to function xen server is going to keep pace and their release cycle of 5.5, 5.6 and 6.0 has shown this.
Also if you are looking at running a free of os startup cost small business environmet xen server gives a hell of a lot for your no dollars. Nothing else comes close in a mature product. RHEV might start competing finally, if you don’t mind its management hot off the floor from a rewrite with no field testing.
As it currently stands if you have deep pockets vmware is still top dog. If you are a ms only shop then you have to suffer through hyper-v. If you are low cost then xen server is feature rich for nothing down. RHEV doesn’t seem to have a real nitch yet except maybe for redhat boosters. That could change but I wouldn’t expect it to happen before RHEV 4.0. We’ll have to see if redhat actually is commited to it.
One pet peev before I go… if you are running producition VMs without host redundancy and a raid 6 just shoot yourself now so I don’t have to deal with you when the host or array crashes. Yes I said when not if and yes I said raid 6.