Citrix started shipping today XenServer 5.5 and its Essentials advanced virtualization management application.
The XenServer 5.5 upgrade, which was officially announced in March, offers new features such as consolidated backup, enhanced conversion and search tools, integration with Active Directory and expanded support for “virtually” every version of Windows and Linux operating systems, Citrix claims.
Perhaps the most significant news about version 5.5 is it price: zero dollars. Update: it should be noted that Citrix shipped its first free version of XenServer based on the version 5.0 code in late March.
Like market leader VMware, Citrix decided to make the core virtualization server available at no cost presumably as away to expand market share and sell add on products.
Citrix Essentials 5.5 for Xen and for Microsoft’s Hyper-V, whose availability was also announced today, is priced at $2,500 per server, regardless of the number of processors. The updated platform offers expanded storage integration, automated lab and stage management and dynamic load balancing.