Ashlee Vance of the register has unfortunately mis-told the story about XenServer and Symantec Storage Foundation.  So just to ensure all the facts are out there, this is the story:

XenSource signed an important partnership with Symantec about 9 months ago, that would allow us to integrate Symantec Storage Foundation as an included volume manager in XenSource’s XenEnterprise product.    The deal was based on the realities of the XenSource situation at the time – namely we were an independent company with our own routes to market.  The Symantec Storage Foundation would be included for customers at no additional charge, when they purchased XenEnterprise.  Also included in XenEnterprise is a standard Linux based volume manager, LVM, as well as storage repositories for VHD based virtual hard disks on NFS, and iSCSI “LUN per VDI” storage.

When Citrix acquired XenSource, our route to market changed – or rather was amplified – by the Citrix channel partners.  The Symantec agreement, which we still view as critical to our ability to address the massive installed base of storage without requiring customers to change their processes, training or technologies for storage management, is now being re-drafted to expand its scope and to ensure that there is complete alignment between Symantec and Citrix in the market.  A key part of this is ensuring that the channel is trained to distribute, install and support our product and all of its component technologies, including those of our partners where relevant.  Although our integration work against Symantec Storage Foundation is complete, we have not yet completed the work necessary to ramp the channel training, support and certification with the additional Symantec storage management capabilities, so it has been omitted from the XenServer 4.1 release. 

Ashlee inferred that this is all about Citrix trying to make money from the deal.  The contrary is true.  We’re keenly interested in helping our partners make money from what we do with XenServer, because it divides the overall value pie more equitably across the ecosystem and thereby strongly incentivizes the channel and our partners to deliver more Citrix product. 

The omission of Storage Foundation from XenServer 4.1 should not be read as any change in the strength or strategic nature of our partnership with Symantec.  On the contrary, Symantec is possibly our most strategic ISV partner, because Citrix is not, and never will be a storage management vendor and Symantec offers one of the industry’s most powerful capability sets for managing the diverse storage infrastructure used by our customers today.  Our product is built to take advantage of the powerful storage management products provided by our partners, and in the area of volume management, Symantec is the market leader and a key go-to-market partner.  Suffice it to say that as soon as we have nailed down the specifics of how to go to market with Symantec now that we are part of Citrix, we believe our solution will be much more compelling than the closed, proprietary storage architecture of VMware’s, and we are going as fast as we can to get it finalized.