In a recent HP webinar and accompanying ServerWatch posting, Michael Diamant of MoreDirect discussed using Xen to virtualize Exchange, but reported that he had issues with it that were leading him to A Certain Alternative.

Exchange can be a very persnickety workload to virtualize – it was legendary up until recently as one to avoid.

But now that Diamant is stepping up to the challenge, we’d like to point out that there’s an alternative to his “alternative,” and a better one for his purposes – Citrix XenServer (preferably with Citrix Essentials added for advanced virtualization management).

He reports that he chose Xen because the earliest workloads his company chose to virtualize were Linux-based. But among the added value of Citrix XenServer is its optimization for resource-intensive Windows workloads like Exchange. From our high-performance networking and disk I/O support in XenServer Tools to our tuning and testing, we’ve made on of our main goals for XenServer to deliver great Windows performance, even on challenging resource-intensive workloads.

How well does XenServer do? Well, don’t believe me… believe the numbers, as shown by my colleague Bernie Hannon: performance is excellent, even under significant user load. And the added capabilities of Citrix Essentials for XenServer increase ability and manageability. If you want to see the results in more detail, you can download the technical white paper for more info.

So Xen-driven virtualization is definitely the right choice for Exchange and other resource-intensive Windows workloads. But it has to be the right Xen for the job, and that’s Citrix XenServer.