With so many new customers looking to XenServer as a second hypervisor to reduce costs or looking to take advantages of new unique technologies such as virtualised GPUs. I’m getting a new type of question… does XenServer scale? This is something we have always taken for granted – if you want hardened and proven at scale XenServer should be a serious contender as your hypervisor. When I looked into it though I realised that because XenServer’s proven capabilities at scale are so often taken for granted it’s something we probably don’t shout about enough. So I thought I’d gather together a few facts and case studies that you can review for yourselves.

XenServer leverages the scalability and of Xen as a platform

XenServer is frequently deployed for very large scale IT projects. Citrix XenServer builds a commercially supported hypervisor with enterprise features on top of the open source Xen hypervisor. Using Xen as a platform means we leverage the technologies of scale used by Xen to support the Amazon EC2 Cloud. This means huge parts of the infrastructure are tested at scale and OEMs such as Intel and NVIDIA can add optimisations for their technologies.


Enterprise Server Virtualisation

In Enterprise Virtualisation XenServer’s experience with large diverse organisations such as Tesco, SK Telecom (Korea’s largest telecom’s company) and Disney. Tesco initially virtualised 1500 hosts to raise CPU consumption efficiency from 6% to 70%, and have continued expanding their virtualisation with XenServer.


VDI and Apps

I’ve recently written a blog about how IBM have been working with us to construct a reference architecture for XenDesktop on top of XenServer for the world’s 11th largest bank Westpac. Bechtel , America’s largest construction and engineering group also chose to virtualise using XenApp and XenDesktop on top of XenServer to gain huge efficiency saving but also work in a more mobile way in some challenging environments, this video gives a nice overview.

German giant SAP are a long-standing XenServer customer leveraging XenServer in-house to deliver applications. We’ve also recently seen some exciting demos of SAP applications utilising vGPU technologies.



Rackspace one of the world’s largest clouds uses XenServer, in fact XenServer with Openstack.   XenServer is also deployed under Citrix CloudPlatform for large deployments such as at the University of São Paulo (USP) is the largest Brazilian university, with 100,000 students, 6,000 professors and 17,000 employees, details.

In fact in July last year it was reported that Citrix XenServer was powering cloud services for four out of five of the world’s largest hosting providers such as 1&1.


XenServer doesn’t just do big

XenServer is a large-scale and cloud hypervisor. The pricing and licensing structure means it is particularly well suited to the economy of scales and deployments of several thousand VMs or even several 1000s of HOSTS(!!!) are not uncommon. However even modest sized businesses find the cost-efficiency of XenServer makes huge sense. Last week I read a blog from a small social media network in Brazil who seemed very pleased to have “reduced data center costs by 60%, increasing capacity by 100%” just by virtualising on XenServer. It’s a good read with lots of detail on the network configuration.

I’ve already blogged about some of the simpler ways for smaller enterprises to virtualised using ready-made-solutions such as VDI-in-a-box, and may do more of this if readers request it. For those customers taking the first steps to virtualise though they can be reassured that XenServer is proven at scale and Citrix can offer a range of solutions that will scale as their use or virtualisation and businesses grow.


Citrix’s unrivalled product portfolio

I’ve blogged before here about the advantages of Citrix with a range of solutions supporting large scale deployments and mobile working. Products such as Citrix GoToMeeting, Citrix Receiver, Citrix ShareFile and Netscaler.


Third-party Ecosystem

Whatever the scale of your deployment, we work very closely with our partners to ensure hardware and software is available to suit your needs. For large deployments the availability of tier1 security products, monitoring products, databases and hardware from partners such as CA Technologies, McAfee, Trend, Kaspersky, IBM, Dell, HP and Cisco is key to enabling the large scale reference architectures.