It seems that somehow when we briefed Paula Rooney at ZDNet on the new Citrix positioning and forthcoming product release of XenServer, we managed to confuse her.  Matt Asay appears to have read Paula’s blog as verbatim truth and injected further conspiracy theories of his own. So, what should one do when an influential blogger is out by 180 degrees?  Difficult, since Paula has been a great ally to the Xen project and XenSource, and has always stood by us.  So, Paula please accept my apologies for managing to confuse you, and permit me to point you in the right direction.  Reading your post it is clear you still have confidence in the Xen community and the Xen model, which is great to see.  

In summary:  Xen underpins all of our core product initiatives at Citrix. Here’s a brief restatement of the core commitments of Citrix to Xen and its role in our product portfolio.

1. The Xen project is in great shape, superbly funded by Citrix and the community, and is operated independently from Citrix, by the Xen project Advisory Board.   Citrix has more than doubled XenSource’s open source team size already, and is continuing to develop new initiatives for Xen. At the most recent Xen developer summit in December, we had over 200 attendees, and there was fantastic participation from across the industry.  Our own open source team operates independently from the product groups and has a blank check for headcount and resource.

2. Citrix XenServer is a core foundational product to Citrix.  Specifically, XenApp (formerly Presentation Server) and XenDesktop (formerly Desktop Server, addressing the VDI use case) will both include XenServer in all future releases. Why? Because XenServer is being optimized to run the XenApp and XenDesktop workloads, and provides a fantastic set of manageability, availability, scalability, and flexibility options to the XenApp/XenDesktop administrator, with incredible performance (very significantly better than VMware’s). Citrix customers don’t like using VMware for virtualizing Presentation Server, because of the very serious performance penalty, but they need to virtualize it  for various reasons: test & dev flexibility, consistency of image management, DR, ease of provisioning etc.  XenServer offers them all they need, at much better price/performance than VMware.  XenServer 4.1 specifically contains optimizations for Presentation Server as a workload.

3. XenServer itself continues to go from strength to strength.  The new release 4.1 boasts over 50 new features and performance optimizations, and a profound and strategic tight coupling between the virtual infrastructure platform and smart virtualization aware storage, such as the NetApp devices.  Expect a range of exciting announcements as we move down this path.

Xen is profoundly important to Citrix, and is changing everything about the way that Citrix conceives of itself, develops and delivers its products, and competes in the market.  Citrix is fully supportive of open source and the community has embraced Xen and the Xen community wholeheartedly, and now offers the most compelling application delivery portfolio in the industry.  Virtualization for us is a capability set that is associated with the delivery of applications.  It is not a mind set as it is with VMware, who view VI3 as a hammer, for which everything in the data center is a nail.  We have a powerful product offering, a rich ecosystem and a deep partnership with Microsoft that makes us the natural choice for existing Citrix customers and any Windows user.  We have an end-to-end product portfolio, and a strong historical commitment to and relationship with our channel.  These differentiators will make us stand out in comparison to VMware, with its one size fits all, proprietary architecture.