Citrix aims to save Hyper-V from disasters

A new edition of Citrix Essentials adds continuity services for Microsoft's Hyper-V, ahead of a similar offering for Citrix's own virtualisation product

Citrix has rolled out disaster-recovery features for Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor, ahead of a planned introduction of the same features for its own XenServer hypervisor next year.

The move builds on an existing partnership between Citrix and Microsoft in the virtualisation market, as the two companies look to compete against virtualisation leader VMware.

As part of this strategy, Citrix earlier this year introduced a version of its Essentials virtualisation management software supporting Hyper-V, as well as a free version of XenServer and a package of incentives to encourage companies to switch from VMware to XenServer or Hyper-V.

Citrix Essentials 5.5 for Microsoft Hyper-V, released on Tuesday, sees the company pushing the Microsoft partnership forward by introducing a feature called Citrix StorageLink Site Recovery for Hyper-V. The feature is being introduced ahead of an equivalent version for Citrix's own hypervisor, XenServer, which will be released in the first half of 2010, Citrix said.

Site Recovery allows Hyper-V virtual machines to fail over across physical servers and be recovered using live migration, according to Citrix. The feature supports Microsoft's System Center tools as well as other systems management applications.

Users can set up, test and manage disaster-recovery services through a single console, according to the company.

Citrix will also release an Express Edition of the software. The freely downloadable update allows users to recover an unlimited number of virtual machines across two host servers, so that one can act as a primary and one as a backup machine. The software is also offered as part of Citrix Essentials Platinum Edition, which costs $3,000 (£1,860) per physical server.

The Express Edition download will be made available free of charge on 23 December, while the Platinum Edition is available for purchase immediately, Citrix said.

"Customers that want to develop proof-of-concepts with disaster-recovery services can deploy the Citrix Essentials 5.5 for Microsoft Hyper-V Express Edition and those that want the functionality for their entire virtualisation farm can upgrade to the Platinum Edition," said Lou Shipley, Citrix's vice president for virtualisation management, in a statement.

He said Citrix is planning to extend Site Recovery to include additional disaster-recovery services.

Aside from Site Recovery, the Platinum Edition of Essentials 5.5 offers features such as dynamic provisioning for deploying physical and virtual workloads from an image, workflow management, and lab and stage management for automating software development processes.

Citrix also released an Enterprise Edition of Essentials 5.5 that includes StorageLink storage management features, workflow orchestration and virtual-only dynamic provisioning, but lacks the Site Recovery tools and other features found in the Platinum version. The Enterprise Edition costs $1,500 per physical server.

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