There’s an ongoing kerfuffle in the press about VMware’s treatment of partners and competitors at VMworld. It all started last year when VMware restricted Citrix and Microsoft to a 10×10 showfloor booth each, because they claimed our products compete with theirs. Even as a sponsor of the event, and a VMware partner, Citrix was treated as a third class citizen. But it gave us a good opportunity to have some fun at their expense. But it was also surprising to see Red Hat with a huge booth, red Fedoras everywhere, proclaiming the benefits of KVM. Competitive? You’d think so. But then the penny dropped: Red Hat is so far behind in virtualization that it just isn’t competitive with VMware. So they got a big booth.

Now, with that realization in mind, let’s re-examine the Citrix position for 2010: Citrix is a VMware partner. Indeed, we announced XenDesktop 4, feature pack 2 today, to coincide with the show. XenDesktop will be on demonstration in our luxurious 10×20 booth at VMworld 2010. But doesn’t VMware View compete with XenDesktop?. Clearly the answer is no:

  • The Burton Group has uniquely declared XenDesktop 4, feature pack 1 to be the only enterprise class desktop virtualization product on the market. In rigorous assessment of over 100 requirements, including the ability to scale and secure virtual desktops, XenDesktop 4 reigns supreme.
  • XenDesktop 4 FP2 contains solutions for the broadest set of end-user use cases:
    • Session based desktop virtualization – using Citrix XenApp – for which VMware has literally no answer.
    • It now also supports Microsoft App-V app streaming to rich clients or hosted desktops, and integration with Microsoft System Center.
    • It supports, via Citrix FlexCast, three additional rich client virtual desktop use cases: OS Streaming, App Streaming with the Citrix XenVault encrypted data plugin, and Citrix XenClient – the industry’s only type-1 client hypervisor that delivers all of the benefits of security and isolation of a hosted virtual desktop – but running in a secure VM on an Intel vPro laptop, whilst empowering users by offering them a customizable personal VM for their own use.
  • Then there’s Citrix HDX – the industry’s only remoting solution to deliver a true high definition desktop experience over the WAN, including comprehensive USB virtualization, video and media support, powerful policy based controls, and incredibly efficient network utilization that is robust to delay and jitter. VMware’s answer – PC over IP – uses UDP and by its own admission can only be used on a corporate LAN, where it consumes as much as 10x more bandwidth.
  • Citrix Receiver is the industry’s only universal client for secure access to enterprise applications and desktops that runs on just about every mobile device, thick and thin client to deliver a compelling, secure, measurable single point of delivery to all users, combined with the self-service Dazzle that empowers users to .
  • Citrix and McAfee have exclusively partnered to deliver unique security solutions for desktop virtualization, including optimizations within XenDesktop that are independent of any hypervisor, and optimizations to the Xen hypervisor that enable the hypervisor to enhance security and attest to the state of guest VMs.

So, does VMware View compete with XenDesktop? No, it simply doesn’t. Moreover XenDesktop runs superbly on VMware ESX, so if you have already invested in VMware virtual infrastructure, Citrix can use it deliver you the best in desktop virtualization. While there are certainly cheaper, more secure and better optimized alternatives to ESX, we won’t be demonstrating them.

So, by VMware’s own criteria Citrix qualifies for a bigger booth at VMworld 2010.