Citrix Unveils End-to-End Virtualization Strategy

Extends Reach and Business Relevance of Virtualization. Adds Key Enabling Technology to Citrix App Delivery Strategy

Citrix entered the datacenter and desktop virtualization markets with the recent acquisition of XenSource, a leader in enterprise-grade virtual infrastructure solutions. Citrix now offers the industry’s broadest end-to-end virtualization portfolio extending across servers, applications and desktops.

The acquisition moves Citrix into adjacent and fast growing datacenter and desktop virtualization markets. The combination of Citrix and XenSource brings together strong technical, customer, partner, channel and go-to-market synergies that will make virtualization solutions easier to use and dynamically combined more relevant to business. The acquisition will also extend Citrix’s leadership in the broader Application Delivery Infrastructure market by adding key enabling technologies that make the end-to-end computing environment far more flexible, dynamic and responsive to business change.

Virtualization has become one of the most talked-about technologies in recent years because it breaks the “hard-coded” link between hardware and software, allowing individual computing components to be dynamically combined and reassembled for maximum efficiency and agility. Citrix has long been the leading provider of virtualization technologies at the user tier of computing with products that deliver mission-critical applications to end users with the best performance, security and cost savings. This acquisition allows Citrix to extend its use of virtualization into the logic and data tier of applications, improving overall customer value and enhancing its position as the market leader in end-to-end application delivery infrastructure.

Virtualization in the Datacenter

In the datacenter, this means extending virtualization to the servers that run the business logic of applications and the storage systems that manage application data. Citrix will distribute and promote the XenSource product line through its channel partners to bring next-generation virtualization solutions to more than 200,000 customers worldwide. Partners and customers alike have indicated there is significant market demand for non-proprietary solutions optimized for ease-of-use.

Storage Virtualization

On the storage side, Citrix will continue the XenSource strategy of leveraging key industry partners to ensure that the open-architecture XenSource product line works well with the storage management tools customers are already using, rather than trying to recreate new management solutions for their virtualized resources.

Desktop Virtualization

At the desktop, the combination of Citrix and XenSource technologies will make the vision of virtual desktop delivery a mainstream market reality. Industry experts estimate that up to 30 million office workers will move to virtual desktops over the next five years, creating a new $1 billion market for desktop virtualization. While most of the underlying technology to realize this vision exists today, the available solutions are still far too complex and expensive for most customers to assemble, integrate and manage. Combining the desktop virtualization capabilities of XenEnterprise v4 to its newly released Citrix Desktop Server product line will allow Citrix to provide customers with a comprehensive set of solutions for delivering Windows desktops as a hosted service without compromising end user experience. Citrix will further enhance this strategy by incorporating other relevant application delivery infrastructure technologies such as Citrix EdgeSight™ end user experience monitoring, NetScaler Gateway™ for secure application access, Citrix WANScaler™ for accelerated delivery to branch office users, Citrix® GoToAssist™ for remote desktop support and the OS-streaming and provisioning capabilities from its recent Ardence acquisition.

Leveraging the Power of Xen

XenSource is the leading provider of enterprise-class virtual infrastructure solutions based on the open source Xen™ virtualization engine. Originally developed by leading scientists at the Computer Laboratory of Cambridge University, the Xen engine is based on a next-generation technology known as “paravirtualization”, widely acknowledged as the fastest and most secure in the industry. Today, the Xen engine is developed collaboratively by a broad open source community comprised of leading engineers at more than 20 of the largest and most innovative vendors in the industry, including Intel, AMD, IBM, HP and Dell. 

Citrix’s acquisition of XenSource comes on the heels of a substantial new release of XenEnterprise, the company’s flagship commercial product line. The new XenEnterprise v4 marks a significant milestone in XenSource’s transition from a next-generation technology leader, to a leading provider of comprehensive enterprise-class virtual infrastructure solutions. With powerful new management, scalability and availability features, XenEnterprise v4 raises the bar with an “easy-to-use, feature rich offering that is quickly catching up to its main rival” according to a recent head-to-head bake-off review in CRN.

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