Citrix targets VMware users in switchover push

Citrix aims free support and tools at VMware users looking to make the switch
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor
Citrix on Wednesday announced a package of incentives to encourage companies to switch from VMware's virtualisation products to those supported by Citrix Essentials, the company's virtualisation management software — including its own XenServer or Microsoft's Hyper-V.

The programme, called Project Open Door, follows on from Citrix's introduction of a free version of XenServer and a version of Essentials supporting Hyper-V earlier this year, as the company looks to turn itself into VMware's principal rival in the virtualisation market.

Project Open Door and the free version of XenServer are both intended to encourage adoption of Citrix Essentials, a paid product that adds storage integration, automated lab and stage management and dynamic workload balancing features. Citrix claimed enterprises can significantly cut costs by switching a portion of their virtual machines from VMware products to XenServer or Hyper-V with Essentials.

Project Open Door is aimed at companies that decommission five or more VMware vSphere 4 or VI3 servers and replace them with XenServer or Hyper-V running with Essentials, Citrix said.

For every five servers converted, participants will get a five-incident support pack, a voucher for six hours of online training and migration tools for transferring their virtual machines. The programme takes effect immediately and will run through to the end of March 2010, according to the company.

Citrix Essentials 5.5 was released in June, adding cloning and provisioning features. It is priced from $2,500 (£1,500) per server, regardless of the number of processors, and is also available as a 30-day trial version.

Another emerging VMware competitor is Red Hat, which is developing its own virtualisation platform and recently completed interoperability testing with Microsoft.

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