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Chris Wolf Outtakes

In the course of interviewing sources for articles, journalists almost always gather more information than they can use in their stories. This is a shame because so much good info simply doesn't get used. That is why today I am dedicating this blog to outtakes from my recent interview with Burton Group Senior Analyst and virtualization guru Chris Wolf, whom I spoke to in the course of writing my imminent cover profile on Citrix.

"XenServer is one of only two hypervisors Burton Group has certified as enterprise-ready, so in the landscape of hypervisors, I'd say it's right up there at the top. Don't get me wrong. Feature for feature it's still not going to be an equal comparison to VMware vSphere…but in terms of delivering the essential features that you need for enterprise workloads, XenServer does make the cut in our opinion."

"VMware has been the no-brainer decision, and as a CIO, you're not going to get fired for implementing VMware on a large scale basis."

"There are some workloads that perform as well, and in some cases better on the Xen hypervisor than they do on the ESX hypervisor."

"Desktop management groups are very familiar with Citrix, they have worked with Citrix for years now, and they have a relative trust in their products. They're familiar with VMware as a solution for running virtual machines, but not necessarily for managing and delivering desktop applications, which is a different animal."

"I think feature for feature, comparing XenDesktop to View is not that far apart from comparing XenServer to vSphere. VMware had the technology lead in server virtualization, and Citrix has had the lead in terms of delivering applications to users. So that all being said, in terms of desktop virtualization, VMware had about a two-year head start on Citrix in terms of just pure desktop infrastructure, which is why if you look at adoption numbers, VMware still has a pretty sizeable lead over Citrix in terms of number of virtual desktop seats, although Citrix is closing that pretty rapidly."

"Our clients see cloud as not necessarily a replacement for internal infrastructure, but as a complement for say, development test and training, for workloads where I need to be able to use infrastructure temporarily, such as say I have a workload that is very high on Fridays and Saturdays, but the applications are barely used during the week. Being able to burst out to cloud makes a lot of sense, and it's an area where competitively, Citrix has to go there quickly because VMware sees that the market is heading in that direction, they've been extremely aggressive, and they've signed up more than 1,000 service providers to deliver cloud services on VMware infrastructure."

"In terms of virtualizing server applications, I think Citrix will take what they can get, but at the end of the day, XenServer is to them, in my opinion, strategic as a backend for desktop workloads. They don't need Microsoft to lose, or VMware to lose some of their marketshare to win."

"NetScaler is an important product. There are a lot of ISPs, a lot of enterprises that have NetScaler in production. As a front end for either hosting, or IT as a service, NetScaler is proven technology, and the fact that Citrix can leverage that and integrate NetScaler with both desktop application delivery, but also even with server workloads is important strategically, and certainly a key value-add that they bring to the table."

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 04/13/2010 at 12:48 PM


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