Citrix and Xen not versus Xen

Simon Crosby, CTO of Citrix’s Virtualization Management group, contacted me after reading the post, Citrix versus the Xen community, to clear up some misconceptions that he thought were the basis of my post. After reading his message, it's clear that what he had to say was very persuasive.

Simon Crosby, CTO of Citrix’s Virtualization Management group, contacted me after reading the post, Citrix versus the Xen community, to clear up some misconceptions that he thought were the basis of my post. After reading his message, it's clear that what he had to say was very persuasive. Thanks Simon for taking the time to drop me a note.

Here are a few snippets from Simon's message:

"We are entirely comfortable competing with other vendors around the Xen hypervisor, but at the same time, I will (and often do) promote *any* Xen vendor's success or gains in market share at the expense of VMware. Indeed on several occasions I have recommended Virtual Iron's product to customers who wanted an implementation method that we don't support in XenServer. I am delighted to say that I have never recommended that anyone purchase VMware.

However, when I am asked specifically why XenServer is better than other Xen product implementations, I am extremely comfortable making the case as to why our product is better than others out there. I passionately believe that XenServer is the industry's leading virtualization platform in ease of use, price and performance. At the same time I recognize also that there are numerous legitimate implementations of the Xen hypervisor out there. Xen is an engine. There will be numerous cars. XenServer aims to be a Lexus. There will be Rolls Royces and Skodas too.

To be clear, your implication that there is some strange Citrix vs Xen thing going on is unfair. We invest over $10M per year in open source Xen, probably a hundred times what Virtual Iron does, and probably more than any other vendor in the community."

My response

Simon and I have enjoyed jousting back and forth over market dynamics, technology and customer requirements for quite some time. I highly respect his opinions and am grateful that his message was direct and forceful. He can't help it. That's just his nature.

It is clear from what I read that Citrix's focus on coopetition is based upon an effort to push the envelope and to improve the Xen technology that everyone is using. The focus isn't on pushing others out of the market. Although it would be possible to look at the Xen open source repository to determine who has been the most active, who has created the most modules or whose modules have become part of the software that's being used today, I haven't done that. It does appear, however, that Citrix is investing heavily in improving the code.

It's good to hear that Simon has recommended the work of others when the situation required it. That's being a good member of the community. It's also good to read how enthusiastic he is about his team, the products he's bringing to market and how Citrix is trying to provide solid technological solutions to the market.

I'm thankful to be given the other side of the story. Does this information change your mind about the dynamics of the Xen community? It helped me see things in a new light.

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