The XenServer Software Ecosystem

XenServer has increasingly been investing resources to ensure we work well with third party software and tools and our customers demand high quality software products that work on XenServer and the rest of their systems. Customers want to use feature-rich specialist software such as branded anti-virus software from tier 1 vendors such as Symantec, Trend Micro, CA Technologies and NetApp.

Many of our customers say it is important to them that they protect themselves by retaining the option to modify their infrastructure and move workloads around on an hybrid-infrastructure consisting of physical hardware, multiple hypervisors, desktop deployments and even public clouds. There is a huge range of solutions that integrate with XenServer available including:

We’ve showcased a few of the above products on our new XenServer website; these and many other products are also detailed in the Citrix Ready Market Place, where you can find supported and certified products for XenServer and other Citrix products.

Why Open Sourcing helps our Ecosystem

Citrix XenServer is now open source.

The advantages for software development are compelling:

  • Developers making products on XenServer are able to read all of our interfaces and underlying code, ensuring their products interact optimally with XenServer. This cuts out misunderstandings and helps the investigation of product interoperability issues whilst in development which wouldn’t be possible on a closed source hypervisor
  • Partners and customers are able to see and plan future product roadmaps as they will be able to see XenServer code enhancements as they happen throughout a development cycle
    • A higher quality XenServer: Interoperability testing with server, storage and software products will be faster and more transparent, no more waiting for beta builds with this Agile approach!
    • More innovation and functionality: Partners can invest in XenServer development with confidence in Citrix’s commitment to openness

Citrix has also introduced a new XenServer.org community portal where customers and developers can find out about the platforms evolution and planned development. The active forums and Q&A board are frequented by our product managers and engineers, and we actively encourage discussion and collaboration.

XenCenter as an example

One change that I am especially excited to see is that XenCenter is now open source under a BSD license. In the past we have given out some advice on how to build a product like XenCenter in the form of how-to-guides, development forums and small code examples in the API toolkits and on the XenServer developers landing zone.

Developers are now able to use XenCenter as reference best-practice architecture to develop similar products more rapidly and for custom platforms or mobile devices. Partners can augment the existing plug-in architecture to enable deeper integration with their products. Third parties can plan long term to develop functionality for XenServer and XenCenter with confidence that the product is actively maintained and they can take advantage of enhancements as soon as they are made. Best of all, as XenCenter is now open sourced under a permissive BSD license, developers can take our code and use it how they like within their own products whilst keeping their own code proprietary or if they prefer also open source their code to enable their own partner ecosystems, it will be their choice.

We already have a very active ecosystem around XenCenter plugins. The breadth, choice and range of functionality available on XenServer is helping customers cut their costs, by allowing them to choose to spend their money on specific best in class fully supported solutions for their specific requirements.

The XenCenter code is available with the other components of XenServer on github; take a look and download it here.

The Future

With our Open Source code and our open development strategy we look forward to new products from our existing partners and to new partners joining them.