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Project Closed Door

Back in early November, I started talking to Citrix about interviewing any VMware defector who was dumping VMware to sign up with Citrix under the aegis of "Project Open Door," which Citrix says offers "advanced virtualization management, along with free support, training and conversion tools to customers switching servers from VMware ESX or vSphere to Citrix XenServer or Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V."

Backing up for a second, the Oct. 14 release they sent me announcing Project Open Door included quotes from eight users, six of which never mentioned VMware in their brief comments. Of the remaining two, one said blandly, "It is clear to us, for perhaps the first time there is some stout competition to VMware." The other finally came up with some warmed over beef, declaring, "After careful comparison between XenServer and the the VMware technology we had been using, we found XenServer offered all the features we needed, at a fraction of the price. By decommissioning our VMware servers and replacing them with XenServer, we have not only lowered costs, but also gained capacity to support more users on each server and eased the management of the system."

Eager to interview former VMware customers who would go into more specifics about why they deserted the mother ship, and how Citrix had eased their transition, I contacted Citrix and asked if they could line up such an interview. They enthusiastically agreed to work on it.

November turned into December, and December turned into January, but Citrix was unable to deliver. At one point, I was told that they were working on an interview, and should be able to provide me with contact information "in the next few days." A subsequent e-mail informed me that "The person we need to speak with is unfortunately out with the flu. The last communique came a month ago, when I was told that Citrix was "not sure we will be able to deliver, but will keep you posted."

Since then, they have not delivered or kept me posted, which only leads me to believe that they couldn't get any of these former ESX (?) or vSphere (?) customers to spill the beans about why they went through all the hassle and expense of making the change. If we were able to hear those war stories, we would have gained some truly valuable insights, and Citrix would have looked like a thousand bucks.

Sans such insights, Project Open Door comes off more like Project Closed Door.

Do you think Citrix is doing would-be customers a service by providing only the "good" news about Project Open Door participants? Send me your comments at bhoard@1105media.com.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 01/12/2010 at 12:48 PM


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