It’s been a busy spring here in the halls of XenServer-land – and we’ve got a few growing developments to share with you coming out of our Synergy and Summit events before we all head out on vacation for the summer <grin>.

Gartner just released its second go-round of the x86 Server Virtualization Magic Quadrant.  As you generally want to do in these things, Citrix XenServer sprang “up and to the right” – crossing in to the Leaders Quadrant. Certainly XenServer’s continued adoption as a server virtualization platform was an important driver in being designated a Leader by Gartner.  Congrats are also in order for our friends over at Microsoft for the same achievement with Hyper-V. There is no doubt that customers desire choice in their server virtualization platform and XenServer fits the bill in a huge number of use cases, as does Hyper-V – this choice is further supported by our new integration directly with Systems Center 2012 that enables XenServer and Hyper-V to be seamlessly managed under the same pane of glass.  But likely as important to the assessment by Gartner were a few evolutions in the market occurring over the past calendar year.

For one, desktop virtualization has really joined the mainstream – you only need to look at the wild success of our market leading XenDesktop product as proof point for that – and desktop virtualization is an ever-increasing portion of the greater virtualized universe. As we’ve talked about in the past, the XenServer engineering team has been working overtime to optimize our platform for the XenDesktop workload – and customers are starting to take notice. The fact is, we’ve only scratched the surface for what we intend to do to deliver the best performance and absolute lowest TCO when customers run XenServer as the platform for their XenDesktop environments. We believe innovations in these areas will further drive and accelerate the adoption of desktop virtualization broadly in the market. The second market development is the continued rise of cloud computing. Xen and XenServer are firmly entrenched at the largest clouds on the planet – and we continue to see adoption of XenServer as the service provider market ramps its infrastructure build-out to provide infrastructure, platform, and software as a service offerings now that customers are clamoring for them.

So, why does this matter? And, more importantly, why does it matter in the context of our position in the Gartner MQ? Well, this year Gartner recognized that the number of server virtual containers and VMs more than doubled due to (among other things) increased use of hosted virtual desktops (HVD). This expanded the criteria to include both the cloud and the HVD infrastructures as part of its assessment of the server virtualization market. A decision we applaud. The fact is, we see the market similarly – and we compartmentalize our product strategy along those lines as well. XenServer will continue to be a great server virtualization platform, but we also focus on advancing the state-of-the-art for desktop and network virtualization and continuing to ensure XenServer – and Project Olympus and OpenStack – provide the most scalable, secure, open architecture for cloud computing.

And, to keep the good news rolling, XenServer was also tagged by the folks at Info-Tech Research Group as “Champion” in their Server Virtualization Infrastructure Vendor Landscape report. We were one of two selected in the lucrative “upper right quadrant” in that report as well and specifically applauded as providing the most comprehensive all around solution, the most flexibility for customers, at the best value.

Lastly, coming off a hugely successful Synergy event where XenServer continued to be an integral aspect of our XenDesktop, NetScaler, and now Project Olympus undertakings – we’re gearing up for some news of our own as we head towards our next product release. Stay tuned – and check out our new Beta in the meantime.