This week we released XenServer 6.1 with some amazing new features for datacenter, cloud and desktop workloads. Rather than brag about the hot new features or all the progress we’ve made in the product (which we have and hats off the amazing engineers on the XenServer team), I thought I’d share another side of the significance of this release by highlighting some recent evidence of XenServer traction in the market.

Outside of Xen and XenServer dominance in Citrix desktop virtualization solutions and in large public clouds (Amazon, Rackspace, Softlayer, 1&1…), XenServer is also seeing increasing uptake in the enterprise datacenter. There has been growing noise in the industry about the trend toward second sourcing hypervisors as the server virtualization market matures. While recent data shows that 50% of servers have been virtualized it also revealed some changing trends in which vendor solutions are being selected for virtualization projects moving forward.

Market maturation can do funny things to a product segment. As feature gaps disappear, product differentiation blurs and the list of platform selection criteria suddenly gets a lot smaller, leaving price, product maturity and support as the primary deciding factors. Earlier this year Gartner’s Tom Bittman blogged about the Top 5 Server Virtualization Trends of 2012, stating:

“Imagine how the virtualization market would be different if the server virtualization trend was starting today. VMware’s competition has greatly improved in the past few years, and price is becoming a big differentiator. Enterprises that have not yet started to virtualize (and they exist, but tend to be small) have real choices today.”

Based on our experience and new research from Aberdeen – Is the Hypervisor Market Expanding or Contracting?, the trend toward multi-hypervisor datacenter is very real and Citrix is the primary beneficiary. As downloads of Free XenServer cross the 1 million mark, we are seeing a large influx of new users and second source virtualization build outs. This is directly evident in the Aberdeen research as well, showing that Xen/XenServer has presence in an equal number of businesses as VMware and the highest evaluation rate as a second hypervisor, 50% higher than any other hypervisor.

“Xen has presence in an equal number of organizations as VMware. While the share of companies reporting Xen as their primary hypervisor is only 18%, an additional 32% reported also using Xen and another 31% reported evaluating it for future deployment. The 31% Evaluation rate is over 50% higher than any other hypervisor, meaning Xen’s presence and market share should grow in the coming quarters. Amazon Web services and Rackspace, for example, both use Xen for their virtualization platform.”

It’s clear that the feature war is over and that as the next 50% of servers are virtualized there will be a focus on value. While XenServer 6.1 has great new features that have proven technology leadership, Citrix has never swayed from a commitment to making XenServer the value leader in virtualization. It’s that value leadership that is driving the next wave of adoption and we welcome users that are new to virtualization and VMware customers alike to test drive the new XenServer 6.1.

Download Free XenServer 6.1 Today >>

Get Started – Live XenServer Webinar >>
Our resident XenServer Masters, Lee Bushen and Steve Benton, will be answering all your questions about what’s new in XenServer 6.1 as well as showing live demos.