If you’re reading this, you already know the news: XenServer, our enterprise virtual infrastructure platform is now free (including resource pooling and live relo), and we have announced Citrix Essentials for XenServer, and Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V as our virtualization management portfolio that offers a rich set of automated functions that drive the compatible virtualization layers beneath – the free Hyper-V hypervisor from Microsoft, and the free XenServer Enterprise virtual infrastructure platform from Citrix.  Finally, and most importanly, we announced a powerful go-to-market roadmap with Microsoft.

Response to our announcements has been extremely positive, from our partner Microsoft to our channel partners and resellers, and many many customers and users.  There are the expected nay-sayers too, but someone had to drink the only thing that you get free from our competitor – VMware koolaid.

That said, I wanted to explain why we’ve made this change and why it is so important for Citrix and the XenServer crew:

  1. Times are tough, and they are probably going to get tougher.   Now is a good time to dramatically ease the cost of adoption of virtualization, and a good time for Citrix to make a very significant contribution to the well-being of its customers. 
  2. There are about a million servers running XenApp / Terminal Services.  With the incredible work that the XenServer team has put in optimizing for this workload, we can state with great confidence that just about every one of those workloads is a good candidate for consolidation.  We want to help our customers save money and gain agility.  Including XenServer as a supported component of the XenApp product, and therefore as an entitlement for our 220,000+ XenApp customers is the best way to accelerate this trend.
  3. The Xen footprint in the enterprise to date has been predominantly delivered as a component in Enterprise Linux.  But the Linux management tools for Xen are pretty weak or non-existent.  We want anyone using Xen in Linux in the enterprise to start using XenServer instead.  You’ll get better performance, greater reliability and fantastic management, with full Linux and WIndows support, absolutely free
  4. We know that when we get into deals head to head with VMware, we tend to win.  XenServer’s reputation for performance, ease of use and functionality at an incredible price, has led us to victory recently in major enterprise accounts such as Tesco PLC, where XenServer runs complex mission critical software systems.   To grow the XenServer business faster, we want to get more value to customers, sooner, and get them to demand fulfillment of the upgrade functions in Citrix Essentials, in a more scaleable fashion.  Hence, having the complete resource pooling, shared storage and dynamic infrastructure control in the free platform allows us to make the product that much more compelling out of the box, and encourages customers to want to purchase both support and additional features
  5. There is a wealth of cloud/MSP vendors that today use Xen in Linux to virtualize their infrastructures and enable them to become VM-agile.  There is no reason why every such cloud should not use XenServer, and in so doing also offer hosted Windows VMs, with all the features of dynamic hot-plugging etc.
  6. Simplifying the XenServer product line with XenServer and Essentials allows us to develop a powerful market partnership with Microsoft for server virtualization – framing a key aspect of our ongoing partnership in virtualization

That’s about it really.  Changing the dynamics, adjusting to the reality of the market.  Aiming to win more share with a direct appeal to our end cutomer, and strong value propositions for our channel partners to deliver. 

See you in Cannes