Prediction: Citrix will drop the open source Xen hypervisor for Hyper-V. The rest of the open source world drops Xen for KVM. - Brian Madden - BrianMadden.com
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Prediction: Citrix will drop the open source Xen hypervisor for Hyper-V. The rest of the open source world drops Xen for KVM.

Written on Jun 30 2008 24,978 views, 57 comments


by Brian Madden

Today, VMware dominates the virtualization market in the enterprise. The only other real competitor is the open source Xen, whether in the form of Citrix's XenServer commercial product, one of the open source flavors like Sun xVM, or the actual open source project.

Microsoft's upcoming Hyper-V product is very similar to the open source Xen hypervisor. The two are so similar, in fact, that I'm now convinced that once Hyper-V comes out, Citrix will shift XenServer so it runs on Hyper-V instead of the open source Xen hypervisor. When that happens, Citrix will have no reason to continue to support Xen.

Meanwhile, there's an upstart open source virtualization engine called KVM. ("KVM" in this context is "Kernal Virtual Machine," not "Keyboard Video Mouse.") Once Citrix (and Microsoft) shift their focus to Hyper-V, we may see the open source community rally behind KVM instead of Xen.

The hardware virtualization market of 2009 / 2010 could very well be split into three camps:

  • VMware ESX
  • Microsoft / Citrix Hyper-V
  • Open source KVM

Let's dig deeper into how we might get there from where we are today.

Hyper-V and Xen are very similar

Microsoft was involved in the original development of the Xen project in Cambridge. (Gabe originally wrote about this last August.) Then at VMworld in August 2007, Citrix and Microsoft announced that the virtual machines of XenServer and Hyper-V will be compatible with each other, and the APIs to control them will be compatible.

Hyper-V and the open source Xen hypervisor are so similar, in fact, that one could plausibly argue that Hyper-V is the "Windows version of Xen." Benny Tritsch likes to point out that the whole reason Microsoft built the "Server Core" installation option for Windows Server 2008 is so that they'd have something other than Linux to run in Hyper-V's parent partition. (The parent partition in Hyper-V is analogous to Dom0 in Xen.)

When Hyper-V comes out, Citrix will shift focus there, away from Xen

The current market penatration of XenServer is zero. Literally zero. (Sure, some people have bought XenServer, but the percentage of people currently using XenServer is less than the margin of error in all polls asking people what virtualization platform they use. So for all intents and purposes, XenServer's market share is zero.)

But when Hyper-V comes out, this will change. Hyper-V's market share will not be zero for long. Hyper-V will be free and included in all versions of Server 2008. Microsoft has a long history and does a great job creating products that—while technically inferior to competitors—are just "good enough" for people to use them. Especially when they're built-in to Windows.

I have no idea what Hyper-V's market share will be six months or a year from now. But I can absolutely 100% guarantee it will be more than XenServer's is today.

So if today's Citrix XenServer product adds value to a hypervisor that no one's going to use in a year, and if that hypervisor is very similar to a hypervisor that millions of people will use in a year, why wouldn't Citrix make the modifications to XenServer to support Hyper-V-based hypervisors in addition to Xen-based hypervisors?

In fact, we already have precedence for this relationship between Citrix and Microsoft. In the server-based computing world, Microsoft provides baseline functionality with terminal services, and Citrix adds value with XenApp (Presentation Server). This would be no different in the hardware virtualization world: Microsoft provides the baseline functionality via Hyper-V, and Citrix would add value with XenServer.

From a practical standpoint, I'm sure XenServer won't "automatically" work on Hyper-V. Citrix will certainly have to do some work make everything functional. But the similarities between Hyper-V and Xen should make this process relatively straightforward.

Citrix XenServer supporting Hyper-V is a fairly non-controversial prediction that most people agree with. So let's take this one step further. Assuming Citrix ports XenServer to Hyper-V, how long will they continue supporting the open source Xen hypervisor? Or more directly, why should Citrix continue to support the open source Xen?

From a practical standpoint, maintaining a Xen version and a Hyper-V version of XenServer would just be extra work for Citrix. And will Citrix lose any sales if they just get rid of Xen support? Not likely. (Certainly not enough to outweigh the savings of ditching Xen support altogether.) Chances are that if a customer is "anti-Windows" enough to not want to use Hyper-V, then they're going to be the type of person who would instead prefer to use one of the open source Xen products instead of Citrix's commercial XenServer.

Furthermore, working with the open source community is not natural for Citrix. They don't care about that community, and their company and business model is in no way setup to deal with open source. The faster that Citrix can distance themselves from open source and tie themselves to Redmond, the stronger their enterprise sales will be.

So when Citrix finally drops open source Xen support from XenServer, who will get upset? The five people who actually bought it already? The open source community who wasn't going to pay for it anyway?

You know who would not be upset? The millions of people who run Hyper-V, the millions of people who are comfortable paying for software they use to run their companies, and the millions of people who are comfortable paying Citrix for software that adds value to the out-of-the-box capabilities of Microsoft Windows.

Once Hyper-V is out, there will be no reason for Citrix to continue to support the open source Xen hypervisor.

The open source community shifts towards KVM, away from Xen

If Citrix drops support for Xen, what does that mean for the future of Xen? Today there are many companies besides Citrix selling or providing products and solutions based on the open source Xen hypervisor. Some of these products include:

  • Sun xVM
  • Oracle VM
  • Virtual Iron
  • Red Hat (oops, not as of last week!)
  • Novell
  • Virtual Iron

But the open source community is split right now over the best way to do virtualization—Xen, or something called "KVM."

KVM (remember this is "Kernel Virtual Machine") is an open source project that is a loadable kernel module that snaps-in to any Linux kernel from February 2007 onward (version 2.6.20 or newer).

"KVM versus Xen" is a religious battle that is best hashed out elsewhere, but I'll try to provide an overview of the two sides here:

  • Xen is a full hypervisor. It's more-or-less its own full operating system, complete with its own hardware compatibility list, that was built from the ground-up to host virtual machines.
  • KVM is not a hypervisor. KVM is not its own operating system. KVM is a "snap-in" to an existing operating system, such as Linux, that lets it run processes in "guest" mode in addition to user mode or kernel mode. This means that KVM runs on anything that Linux runs on (which basically means it runs on anything).

Xen folks attack KVM, saying it's like VMware Server (the free one that was called "GSX") or Microsoft Virtual Server because it's really a Type 2 hypervisor that runs on top of another OS, rather than a "real" Type 1 hypervisor. KVM responds "So what? Why should we rewrite an OS from scratch when something like Linux is available? And if you want to use a KVM machine as a dedicated VM host, then fine, just don't install anything else on that box."

Xen folks also say that Xen offers better performance since it offers paravirtualization, although KVM is working support for paravirtualized NICs and storage, and it's still unclear whether that even matters.

Finally, Xen folks say that KVM is too new and unproven. KVM responds by saying, "We've been in the Linux kernel since Feb 2007. Those kernel maintainers aren't dumb, and the fact we're in the kernel shows how solid we are." (Interestingly, Xen has tried several times—but always failed—to get into the kernel.)

Right now there's no clear winner between Xen and KVM. It's true that KVM's "newness" seems to be it's biggest downside, although support for it is growing. In fact last week RedHat announced that they're throwing their weight behind KVM instead of Xen. And perhaps the most interesting thing about KVM is that it was started by Moshe Bar—the same Moshe Bar who cofounded XenSource!

So if (when?) Citrix switches to Hyper-V, and now that RedHat is on KVM, who's still going to want to spend the time and effort maintaining Xen?

 
 




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Comments

Ewen Bruce wrote And the worst aspect of it is......
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 6:06 AM Link To This Comment
If Citrix drop Xen, they're going to have to rename the entire product line, again!  ;-)
Kata Tank wrote Good prediction but a lot of "if"...
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 6:17 AM Link To This Comment

As usual, good analysis... Still a lot of "if" (Citrix drop Xen, community move to KVM in one block...).

What append "if" citrix keep focus on XenServer ? What append if the community keep an eye on Xen instead of moving in a single move to KVM ? What append if the community see in Xen an opportuynity to be "Mcirosoft Compatible"...

Guest wrote Information Services Manager
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 7:46 AM Link To This Comment
Love your stuff, but you're riding the wrong side of the bleeding edge on this one. There's too many other companies behind Xen for Citrix to just write it off. Citrix Shareholders will absolutely kill management if they decide to dump the product after what they just paid for Xen. There's a reason they bought it. Xen will be played as the opensource version of Hyper-V. As you say, the two product lines are so similar anyway - it certainly won't be difficult for Citrix to support both across most of their Xen product lines, and this way as Linux continues to gain mind and market share in the enterprise Citrix can play both. KVM is good, but it has a ways to go before it's competitive with Xen and Hyper-V.
Dan Shappir wrote Wondering about XenServer and XenSource
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 7:59 AM Link To This Comment

I've been wondering about the rationale of XenServer and the XenSource purchase for a long time now: http://ericomguy.blogspot.com/2008/03/i-still-dont-know-answer.html

Interestingly, at his Synergy Geek Speak session Doug Brown said he thinks Citrix spent $500M for XenSource for marketing, not for products or technology. View session recording at: http://www.dabcc.com/article.aspx?id=7844

Another thing: what will "XenServer on top of Hyper-V" provide that you won't be able to get from SCVMM and Hyper-V?

Guest wrote Totally backing this prediction!
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 8:09 AM Link To This Comment

Although it's worth keeping in mind that Xen != Citrix XenServer. There are other Xen based offerings, in particular Sun's upcoming XVM, that will probably have more longevity.

Citrix shareholders won't have anything to complain about when the revenue starts rolling in from XenDesktop licesnses though... Microsoft effectively handed them a massive new market in the connection broker space by saying they (Microsoft) have no intention of releasing a broker. The potential revenue from that will make the $500m they paid for XenSource look like small change.

But as for Citrix XenServer... read the last line of the post again :-)

Guest wrote Hyper V is already shipping....
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 8:13 AM Link To This Comment
Four days before you posted this article, Hyper V shipped.  Did you write this some time ago? 
Guest wrote Microsoft history of "creating products" ??
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 8:17 AM Link To This Comment
Microsoft rarely if ever "Creates" products.  They buy up a second tier leader and destroy the market for anyone else in the space through their marketing $$$ muscle.  Often free Open Source is better than Microsoft "free" software
Brian Madden wrote Re: Hyper V is already shipping....
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 9:18 AM Link To This Comment
Oh, I thought it was just RTM. Is it available for customers now?
Brian Madden wrote Re: Information Services Manager
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 9:20 AM Link To This Comment
Remember, Citrix didn't pay anything for "Xen," they bought "XenSource," which added value on top of the free "Xen." And today that's still true. The XenServer pay-for product still runs on top of the free Xen. So if Citrix switches XenServer from Xen to Hyper-V, the shareholders shouldn't have anything to worry about, since this does not change the value of XenServer at all.
Guest wrote following your line of thinking....
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 9:27 AM Link To This Comment
Brian,  shouldn't MetaFrame have been dropped when Microsoft brought out TSE ?   I know it's apples and oranges to a certain degree, but I think it emphasizes the point that if Citrix wants to stay in the virtual server market they will have to introduce features that Microsoft's base products don't include, just as they did with MetaFrame/Presentation Server/Xenapp.   That's where Citrix makes their money, why would they give that up?   TSE/Terminal services has been 'almost' free from the get-go but last time we checked, Citrix still dominates the SBC market - because of their 'value-added' features.
Nick Fields wrote Chaos reigns!
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 9:34 AM Link To This Comment
So basically VMware wins for the next couple of years while all this chaos is going on.
Guest wrote weak
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 9:45 AM Link To This Comment
this article is a classic case of knowing "just enough to be dangerous"...though brian will be monetizing all the eyeballs attracted to this heavily contrived controversy and laughing all the way to the bank!
Brian Madden wrote Re: weak
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 10:07 AM Link To This Comment
Could be? Can you provide more detail about specifically what parts you don't agree with? Right now your post is like "This article is wrong, but I won't tell you why."
Brian Madden wrote Re: following your line of thinking....
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 10:08 AM Link To This Comment
This is exactly my point, that Citrix XenServer adds value on top of pure Hyper-V. I think we agree 100%. Or was your post meant to respond to someone else?
Tony wrote Prediction
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 10:20 AM Link To This Comment
BriForum 2008 videos will be available 1 week before BriForum 2009
Rupert Collier wrote Re: following your line of thinking....
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 10:31 AM Link To This Comment

What exactly will Citrix add then Brian? I don't see this necessarily being the same as the TS situation at all.

TS was mission-critical so the value-add Citrix could offer on top of it was justifiable, as borne out by the fact that Citrix made billions of dollars off the back of it. But virtualising servers isn't mission-critical so I don't quite see what you would absolutely have to buy Citrix on top of Hyper-V for.

OK, Hyper-V may not be as rich in functionality as others out there but surely once you're virtualised, you're virtualised, aren't you? And for 28 dollars a go rather than hundreds in Citrix' case and thousands in VMWare's.

Provisioning Server maybe...? What else?

Guest wrote Re: Information Services Manager
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 10:58 AM Link To This Comment
Citrix bought the intellectual property, management layer, and add-ons that XenSource owned. Yes, XenServer runs ontop of the open source xen solution, but just like Virtual Iron, they improved the management of the Xen infrastructure and included features that do not exist in your open source xen solution, or were still alpha in quality.
Dan Shappir wrote Re: Hyper V is already shipping....
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 11:00 AM Link To This Comment
Guest wrote XenServer is not going to die
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 11:09 AM Link To This Comment

Compared to Citrix's other product lines, XenServer will cost little to update and keep "competitive" in the virtualization marketplace. It will become more expensive for Citrix's to support Xen if the community that has driven its development abandons it entirely, so they do need to proactively support the community and the product as a solution capable of competing against VMware and Hyper-V. Saying XenServer is compatible with Hyper-V does not mean one will run ontop of the other. They simply assure that a virtual machine running on XenServer can be moved to a machine running Hyper-V and all will continue to work and that the management layer will work across both hypervisors. They will do this by supporting the same virtual disk format, .VHD, and using compatible hypervisor API for for virtual machine transportability and management compatibility. A compatible hypervisor API will allow disk drivers, network drivers, memory management, CPU virtualization between Hyper-V and XenServer to work the same on both platforms.

Citrix will always want to have a viable alternative to Hyper-V, just like Microsoft wants to have a viable alternative to XenServer. Neither of them want to settle for second or third place behind VMware. So, it is their combined success that they both are striving for and Citrix will need to carry its weight.

Guest wrote Re: XenServer is not going to die
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 11:12 AM Link To This Comment
Remember, Hyper-V is making Microsoft no money. They would give it away, but the DOJ would be knocking on their door in a split second. It is only the cake, management is the icing everyone wants. Who would buy a cake with no icing.
Guest wrote Re: following your line of thinking....
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 11:14 AM Link To This Comment
But provisioning server works with other virtualization and physical environments, not just Citrix XenServer.
Guest wrote Re: Prediction
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 11:15 AM Link To This Comment
But only in the DVD format which only plays on Windows systems
Matt Kosht wrote XenServer still makes sense to keep
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 11:23 AM Link To This Comment

While I agree this might be a distraction for Citrix, it's in their best interest to stick with it.   XenDesktop for example can run against XenServer (and I believe it's variants),Hyper-V, VMWare so it's "hypervisor-neutral".  This is a great advantage. Microsoft and VMWare can't really compete with that.  This is very appealing to those organizations who don't want to toss their investments in other products. Want to go with App-V,Kidaro (what is this called now?),Hyper-V well throw out your VMWare Server and we'll talk. This is a non-starter for many.

You want to run your hypervisor on a Sun box?  Go ahead.  Citrix just wants put it all together.

Dan Shappir wrote Re: XenServer still makes sense to keep
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 11:47 AM Link To This Comment

> XenDesktop for example can run against XenServer (and I believe it's variants)

This is, in fact, not correct. XenDesktop works with XenServer and VMware. It will also support Hyper-V. That is all. It does not support any of the other Xen-based variants.

Ericom PowerTerm WebConnect does support most Xen-based variants, including XenSrver. For a complete list see: http://www.ericom.com/virtual_desktops.asp

Guest wrote A good laugh
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 11:48 AM Link To This Comment

That's exactly what VMware posted weeks ago ... but Citrix answered that it is FUD....

Official Citrix Blog

<comment>

But what's notable is that they've slipped from spin and FUD over the line - and it's time to call them on it. 

They said, "Both Citrix and Microsoft have stated that Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor will replace XenServer." 

Wrong, nope, uh-uh, fail, fiction.  Never happened.   Isn't happening.

</comment> 

Rupert Collier wrote Re: XenServer still makes sense to keep
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 12:12 PM Link To This Comment
Dan, I thought you had already been rapped on the knuckles a few times in this forum for wanton, blatant Ericom plugs Dan...? You're back to your old tricks again :-)
Dan Shappir wrote Re: XenServer still makes sense to keep
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 12:29 PM Link To This Comment
No tricks - I corrected a factually incorrect statement that is pertinent to this discussion. And while you are on the subject you can also visit the User Profile Manager thread (http://www.brianmadden.com/news/2782) and respond to all the plugs that it contains.
Matt Kosht wrote Re: XenServer still makes sense to keep
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 12:30 PM Link To This Comment

>This is, in fact, not correct. XenDesktop works with XenServer and VMware. It will also >support Hyper-V. That is all. It does not support any of the other Xen-based variants.

Not sure where I picked this up but I double-checked that and I stand corrected.  To my point Citrix is still more "flexible" than MS or VMWare.  Ericom ,I can see from your link ,appears to have even more flexibility with the hypervisor choices.  Good stuff. Tks.

Patrick Rouse wrote Re: XenServer still makes sense to keep
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 12:44 PM Link To This Comment

Supporting any hypervisor is not difficult, as one can easily import pre-existing VMs from an environment w/o a connection broker into another console.  This is simple and any connection broker can do this.  What [insert connection broker vendor name here] calls "hypervisor support or integration" is laughable.

It will be interesting to see where this all ends up 3 years from now.  I actually like Dan's posts. :)

Guest wrote Re: XenServer still makes sense to keep
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 2:21 PM Link To This Comment

I've been using the tech preview of XenDesktop for a while now, and what you say is not true. I've done it!

XenDesktop can broker a connection to a client OS running on any hypervisor. In fact, the client OS doesn't even have to be a VM. It can broker a connection to a client OS running on blade PCs. In fact it can broker a connection to a client OS running on someone's desk in the office so they could connect directly to their office PC while they are out of the office if they want. XenDesktop doesn't care how the client OS is being hosted, so any type of hypervisor you want hosting your client OS is supported by XenDesktop.

However, if you use XenServer, Hyper-V, or VMware, XenDesktop can login to those virtual infrastructures as the root account and power up, power down, reboot, suspend (and what not), those virtual machines. This is the only capability you lose in XenDesktop if you choose a different hypervisor, or use Blade PCs, or connect people to their computers on their office desks. We've looked at this solution with great detail as we're trying to decide what's the best host to run our client OS on.

I know you'd love to sell more Ericom products, but you are in fact incredibly incorrect in saying XenDesktop does not support any of the other Xen-based variants. You've just lost a lot of credibility in my opinion, and I appreciated a lot of the input you've provided up to this point.

Dan Shappir wrote Re: XenServer still makes sense to keep
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 3:21 PM Link To This Comment

You are welcome to disagree with me - but why are you turning this into a personal attack?

Yes, you can use XenDesktop, and most any broker, to simply direct connections. As you correctly pointed out, it can even be to a physical desktop workstation. But without the ability to start and stop VMs for a specific hypervisor, I would not say that that hypervisor is actually supported. Indeed, support should also include the ability to create and delete new VM instances and more. XenDesktop can do this with XenServer, VMware and Hyper-V. It cannot do it with any other hypervisor, hence my statement.

Guest wrote vinternals.com
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 5:11 PM Link To This Comment

 ... is backing you right up on this one Brian!

Guest wrote hardware based Xen?
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 5:27 PM Link To This Comment

Don't agree with this line of thinking at all.  Why would Citrix be so committed to having XenServer ship with hardware?  They can't do that with HyperV.  They wouldn't have entered into this arrangement to begin with if they intended to only support HyperV all along. 

And don't underestimate the FOSS folks either.  They'll get a fair amount of enjoyment developing Xen to include some of the features that Citrix adds, and for two reasons - just because they can, and also to get one up on a development model that they find ridiculous.

Xen is here to stay.

Guest wrote If XEN is not supported?.....
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 6:04 PM Link To This Comment

Brian: I think your logic is right on! I just hope Citrix gets it!

I would be all in favor of dropping XEN support for Hyper-V.   Citrix's relationship with MS is much too important to be competing with MS. They would have to name their conference something other than "Synergy."

I will implement and support something MS comes out with long before I go to Xen. Hyper-V has much more potential than XEN.

 

Ralf Donkers wrote Why would I buy Citrix XenServer for my Hyper-V environment?
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 6:39 PM Link To This Comment

Why throw away Xen, as it gives you a competitive advantage with the adaptation of XenDesktop. Many customers are looking into VDI and with a free copy of XenServer included they can slowly start with the assurance that their Xen hypervisor can also be managed by SCVMM later.

Also I fail to see what value Citrix can add with their XenServer product to Hyper-V customers that is not already available through SCVMM.

Again as stated in previous posts the management of VMs can be seens as less complex oppose to the Terminal Services challenges we have faced over the past decade. And Hyper-V with SCVMM is a far more complete solution out of the box, than Terminal Services is. Even with the Windows 2008 enhancements.

Maybe if the Citrix/Marathon cuddle becomes a solid product it could be considered for some niche solutions. However I think SCVMM will have a strong roadmap as MS is betting heavy into the management space.

So can someone can fill me in on why I would buy the Citrix XenServer product for my MS Hyper-V / SCVMM environment?

 

Guest wrote Apple to buy Citrix
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 7:51 PM Link To This Comment

Anyone think Apple will end up buying Citrix?  Apples and Citrus go well together, don't they?

An iPhone for everyone running a virtualized desktop via XenDesktop.

Rosen Sharma wrote Xen & MSFT
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 8:46 PM Link To This Comment

Brian,

  the orinigal msft/xen deal ensures that all xen tools support hyper-v and in reciprocation msft will support running windows on xen. I believe most of the hooks either way are already in place and have been tested. So that part of your prediction is already true.

Rosen
http://rosensharma.wordpress.com/

Gabe Knuth wrote Re: Information Services Manager
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 10:45 PM Link To This Comment

That's the point, really.  Citrix bought the management tools and enhancements.  The latest partnership between Microsoft and Citrix is one that makes the virtual disks compatible with each other, which means Citrix is already on it's way to having Hyper-V support.

Dumping support for XenServer (or really, adding full support for Hyper-V...who cares if they dump Xen or not) is just a logical next step on the groundwork that has already been laid out.  A lot of those XenServer features are things that Hyper-V doesn't have, so in a way we could end up with a situation much like XenServer vs. Terminal Server where Citrix augments the base Microsoft product to the point of wide enterprise adoption.

The success of this relies on a solid product that competes well with ESX, of course :)
Gabe Knuth wrote Re: Information Services Manager
on Mon, Jun 30 2008 10:50 PM Link To This Comment
Whoops, meant XenApp vs. Terminal Server.  It's late :)
Guest wrote vmware must be enjoying this
on Tue, Jul 1 2008 3:19 AM Link To This Comment
Interesting and thought-provoking as always Brian. It does beg the question, why you would invest in Microsoft, Citrix and Marathon to get a solution that's still not as comprehensive as VMware VI3. The Vmware, Thinapp and Provision Networks looks to me like the best combo for virtualised servers, applications and desktops.
Guest wrote Re: hardware based Xen?
on Tue, Jul 1 2008 9:58 AM Link To This Comment
Umm, you know you can buy servers with Windows included from almost every single server manufacturer. Do you think you will not be able to buy a server from Dell, with Windows Server 2008 pre-installed and Hyper-V included?
David Thomas wrote Hardware Xen
on Tue, Jul 1 2008 10:06 AM Link To This Comment

Interesting article thanks Brian.

The poster who mentions Xen shipping on hardware has a good point though. I think this ability could be popular. Is Microsoft intending to be able to do this with Hyper-V ? 

Guest wrote Re: If XEN is not supported?.....
on Tue, Jul 1 2008 10:08 AM Link To This Comment

Microsoft is not concerned abou XenServer. It is Citrix that should be mad about Hyper-V. They spent hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire XenSource, for many reasons. But, they have a product people would buy for a couple grand a pop. Now Hyper-V is released for price of a Windows Server license plus $28. Hyper-V makes Microsoft nothing compared to what they have spent to develop it.

This is Microsoft's real upperhand and intent behind adding virtualization to their server OS. If you run Microsoft, you have to buy microsoft licenses. If you are running VMware or XenServer you have to buy the hypervisor in addition to the OS licenses. With Hyper-V on Windows Server Enterprise you receive four free OS instances in addition to the hypervisor. With Hyper-V on Datacenter Edition you can run as many virtual OS instances the host can support. The same is true when you run these versions on top of XenServer and VMware, but with those solutions you are spending quite a bit on just the hypervisor to begin with. On Microsoft you can spend that money you are saving on better management tools or more storage, those things you will definitely need more of as you adopt virtualization.

Guest wrote Re: Why would I buy Citrix XenServer for my Hyper-V environment?
on Tue, Jul 1 2008 10:21 AM Link To This Comment

You wouldn't. XenServer is the Xen Hypervisor with a good management toolset and some enterprise features at your fingertips. XenDesktop is a different story as that includes the Connection Broker (Desktop Delivery Controller) and the ICA protocol for Desktops OSs. The Platinum edition of XenServer does include one extra Citrix product, Citrix Provisioning Server.

Citrix and Microsoft are betting that in the end the hypervisor will be worthless in the eyes of the customer, they will want to see management tools. Another desire of most clients will be options. Give them more options, whether they choose to exercise them or not, and they feel more comfortable about adopting a new technology. So you have Hyper-V from Microsoft, you have XenServer from Citrix, and then a solution from Novell. These three give you everything you need and if their efforts to collaborate amongst themselves works you will receive a seamless solution that meets all of your needs. Servers, desktops, Windows, Linux, application delivery, application availability, monitoring, etc. You cannot solve these same problems with just the solutions from VMware. You most definitely have to include Microsoft, if you run Linux you have to work with at least one other company. Clearly the ecosystem surrounding the Microsoft, Citrix, and Novell solution set is more capable and more wellknown to the decision makers than that provided by VMware.

Guest wrote Re: vmware must be enjoying this
on Tue, Jul 1 2008 10:27 AM Link To This Comment
Microsoft, Citrix, and Marathon would give you a more reliable solution than anything VMware has on the market today. Realize that Marathon provides constant availability. It does not simply restart a failed VM on another server, like VMware ESX supports. It will actually ensure that the OS continues to run even though the server it was running on failed. It does this by keeping a synchronous mirror off the VM (including OS and application state) on another server. WMware has a solution that they are working on that promises to do the same, but it has not been released.
Guest wrote Re: Hardware Xen
on Tue, Jul 1 2008 10:33 AM Link To This Comment
To answer your question, can you think of a single large manufacturer of PC servers that does not provide the option of pre-installing a copy of Windows Server? You can expect that Dell, HP, and others will have a radio button in their online server configurators that lets you select Windows Server 2008 w/ Hyper-V. This took a while for VMware to accomplish because of their limited hardware support, but anything that runs windows server 2008 will run Hyper-V.
Guest wrote "Xen is a hypervisor, KVM isn't" : Are you sure?
on Tue, Jul 1 2008 11:28 AM Link To This Comment

Xen isn't more or less a stand alone operating system. It's only the hypervisor. For a Xen based solution to work it needs a Domain0 - which can be either a Linux install or a solaris install.

For Citrix XenServer CentOS 5 is used, Red Hat uses RHEL, Novell use SLES, Oracle use RHEL/OEL and Sun uses Solaris.

While Xen talks about being operating system agnotstic, it needs one to run.

KVM adds hypervisor capabilites into the Linux kernel. 

If you compare Linux/KVM architecture to VMware they are very similar - thin OS with hypervisor capabilities.

The Xen model is challenged going forward

Guest wrote Re: Wondering about XenServer and XenSource
on Tue, Jul 1 2008 10:29 PM Link To This Comment
Yep believe Doug Brown, he was pushing Premitech a while back...
Guest wrote Re: following your line of thinking....
on Tue, Jul 1 2008 10:31 PM Link To This Comment
When will MS system center add support for XenServer. Not soon, so Citrix has to built a better option, and likely MS will be too slow for many but good enough for most.
David Thomas wrote Re: Hardware Xen
on Wed, Jul 2 2008 3:32 AM Link To This Comment

Xen will be shipping embedded on the hardware via a USB stick on the motherboard from what Ive read. This is quite different to the vendors just installing the OS of your choice on the hard drive. Reading on the register site info on this it mentions that manufactuerers will probably offer this embedded hyper-v as well at some point.

Guest wrote Citrix XenServer is here to stay Brian!
on Wed, Jul 2 2008 12:08 PM Link To This Comment
Brian! Please read this.HP has made a special version of Citrix XenServer that integrates directly into the console of the server (royalty money to Citrix!, and the shareholders) Very cheap to the end user about 150-200$ per server. And a very nice HP GUI take a look at  http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/servers/software/citrix/Yes you can handle the virtual servers directly from the console or you could run the Citrix XenCenter if you won’t toHP is the biggest Server maker today and Citrix could be the biggest provider of VirtualizationTechnology in the feature. (Dell is now following HP/citrix)Here in Sweden HP Servers with Citrix XenServer integrated is Selling Very Well to small costumers Why buy 2 Servers when you can buy one physical hardware ? This is new to the reseller channel but Citrix has a Big opportunity here
Guest wrote MS-Hyper-V
on Wed, Jul 2 2008 12:27 PM Link To This Comment
MS Will Make a big impact with Hyper-V But dosent't Hyper V requires Windows OS ? HP Severs with XenServer integrated dosen't require that, Im free to install a unlimited OS up to 32GB enough for almost everyone..
Guest wrote HP-Citrix Xenserver
on Wed, Jul 2 2008 12:40 PM Link To This Comment
 We are running 4 Virtual servers with our new HP Hardware (1) with Citrix XenServer, Everything is working great, We saved a lot of money when we moved to 1 Physical hardware from 4 Dell servers Disadvantage, lack of migrating toolsWe solved that with Acronis True Image Virtual Edition http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/ATIVE/
Guest wrote Re: If XEN is not supported?.....
on Thu, Jul 3 2008 10:29 AM Link To This Comment

What your missing is Hyper-V is just a Hypervisor a Hypervisor is not what organisations are deploying today. They are deploying a platform that provides live migration for moving workloads, automated DR capability and other automation facilities that turns a set of physical servers into single managed computing system that can adapt to changes imposed upon it. Hyper-V would have been a great solution in 2002.

If the functionality offered by Hyper-V was sufficient then organisations would have been deploying VMServer. Also consider - if VMware had not existed - do you think Microsoft would have delivered a Hypervisor - the existence of an innovative software company should be considered a valuable thing to those people that have to implement and build infrastructure as it makes my life easier.

Guest wrote VMware and Parallels are not Hyperventilating on Hyper-V Launch by Microsoft
on Thu, Jul 3 2008 6:09 PM Link To This Comment
Brian, quite a bold prediction you made here. At Virtualization.com we buy you a round of drinks if this one comes true in the near future. We linked back to this intriguing post from our own post with reactions with video reations from VMware and Parallels on the Hyper-V launch. Cheers, Toon
Guest wrote VM Wars - Blegh!
on Tue, Jul 22 2008 2:36 PM Link To This Comment

This is somewhat absurd....  it's like we're back to the old UNIX days.  I think the right idea is for Citrix, Qumranet, Microsoft, VMware, and all the other orgs with a vested interested in virtualization marketshare to get together and come up with standards for  virtualization management, paravirtualization, containers, API's etc.  I think VMware has already taken a leadership role in pushing for such open standards.  KVM is already leveraging existing open source assets such as QEMU for this purpose.

Ideally, transitioning from  from one virtualization platform to another should be seamless.  VM's shouldn't be held captive by virtualization architectures just as operating systems shouldn't be held captive by hardware architectures.   I can see everyone getting on-board with this - except perhaps Microsoft.   The diversity amongst the open source/open standards offerings should keep innovation going and drive the price of virtualization platforms down - forcing all of the commercial vendors to harness revenue from advanced enterprise features, management tools, certification, consulting, etc. 


Guest wrote You clearly have no idea what you are talking about
on Fri, Sep 12 2008 6:26 AM Link To This Comment

Yet again we have another fine example of a person with a blog that has high readership claiming to be an expert.

Your blog post is unfounded, inaccurate, badly researched, and draws many conclusions that lack any strength.

 

Brian, please go away and stop writing.  You are damaging the IT community with your gabble.

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