XenServer 6.2 is now fully open source!

It’s an exciting day for Citrix, our customers and the open source community as we announce some BIG news for Citrix XenServer. Today we cross another major milestone as XenServer moves to a full open source model beginning with the new XenServer 6.2. Cutting right to the chase, here are the highlights that I’ll go into more detail on:

  • XenServer 6.2 is available as a free open source virtualization platform for all users
  • Citrix is also introducing a new XenServer.org community portal
  • Citrix provides a paid version of XenServer that includes support and maintenance
  • New CPU socket licensing
  • New simplified packaging and pricing

Ok, so now let’s dive into each of these topics to get the full story…

XenServer is now open Source

The big, big news of the day is the move to open source XenServer as part of Citrix’s commitment and strategy towards enabling the best platform for providing our customers a path to the cloud. Leveraging our experience as the leader in desktop virtualization and as the dominant virtualization platform in the public cloud, Citrix is focused on ensuring a seamless path for customers to migrate their most important workloads to a cloud environment. The first part of this strategy already took place back in April when Xen was moved from Xen.org to the Linux Foundation and became the Xen ProjectTM. You can read more the move to the Linux Foundation and the history of Xen in James Bulpin’s Xen and open-source blog.

But why did Citrix open source XenServer itself? For starters, much of XenServer already was open source, leveraging packages from the Xen Project, Linux kernel and the Cloud Platform (XCP) initiative. We believe that open source plays a strategic role in the future of virtualization and cloud technology and that only open source offers the opportunities for collaborative, open innovation and the economies of scale that these markets demand. By open sourcing XenServer, customers, partners and developers gain full public visibility into the ongoing development and future of XenServer and can directly engage with us to contribute new XenServer functionality, build deeper integrations and steer the architectural direction of the platform. In summary, an open source strategy was chosen because:

  1. Open source is in the DNA of Xen and XenSource
  2. Open source software leads proprietary software in cloud infrastructure
  3. Open source enables collaborative development and drives public trust.
  4. Open source communities empower users and broaden market reach.

Tomorrow, Richard Sharp, Vice President of XenServer Product Development will continue this conversation with a deep dive into the open source strategy so be sure to come back and read his blog.

If XenServer is open source, what does Citrix provide?

With the change to open source, Citrix XenServer is now available for free to everyone on the new XenServer.org community. What Citrix is providing is the supported commercial distribution of the XenServer for customers that are running XenServer in an environment that warrants the “insurance policy” of a supported, commercial product. You can think of this like Red Hat Enterprise Linux versus Linux. At the feature and functionality level, the only difference will be that free Citrix XenServer users will not be able to use XenCenter for automated installation of security fixes, updates and maintenance releases. Free Citrix XenServer does include XenCenter for server management, but not patch management. By purchasing Citrix XenServer you get:

  • Citrix Premier 24×7 worldwide support
  • Commercially packaged and certified product
  • Simplified patching and updating via XenCenter
  • Indemnification and license protection
  • Citrix knowledgebase & My Account Portal

Introducing the New XenServer.org Community

On top of all the product announcements, we’re also excited to introduce the new XenServer.org community portal to provide source code access as well as drive innovation and discussion around server virtualization and cloud. To learn more about the community, what it means to you and how to participate go check out XenServer.org. But who better to talk about the community than Lars Kurth, the Community Director of XenServer.org so for the full story take a look at his blog on XenServer.org.

New CPU Socket Licensing

Starting with XenServer 6.2, the licensing model changes from per-server to per-socket licensing. The change is directly aligned with cloud optimization and enablement product strategy. For starters, socket licensing is aligned with most cloud orchestration and cloud management solutions like Citrix CloudPlatform and Apache CloudStack as well as being also the standard across all other virtualization offerings in the marketplace. Socket licensing will make it easier to forecast licensing costs using a single apple to apples metric. In addition, the socket licensing will benefit smaller customers using single socket servers.

For existing customers upgrading to Citrix XenServer 6.2, it’s win-win because they can convert their server licenses to socket licenses at no cost. Each individual server license will be converted to two socket licenses using a self-managed conversion tool available on citrix.com/myaccount. The license conversion tool will available starting July 17, 2013.

New Simplified Packaging and Pricing

Another improvement to XenServer is the simplification to the overall XenServer packaging and pricing. XenServer 6.2 is now available as single edition that includes Software Maintenance, doing away with the previous Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum editions. Once again, a flat product, support and maintenance model brings consistency with other commercial open source solutions. It provides customers a way to define the value that they see in the product and make a simple determination of does the product fit my need and do I need support. The cost aligns with the previous price of XenServer Enterprise license with the exception that XenServer 6.2 now includes Software Maintenance (Premier Support and Subscription Advantage) at that price. We’re also introducing annual pricing, giving customers more flexibility with their budgeting and buying decisions.

  • Annual – $500 per socket (License and Software Maintenance: SA and support)
  • Perpetual – $1250 per socket (License and Software Maintenance: SA and support)

Get Started Today

We covered a lot today, between open source, new packing and pricing and the XenServer.org community. As a next step, I encourage everyone to: