The Register's Ashlee Vance wrote an article last week about Citrix XenServer 4.1. In typical Reg-style snarky tone, Vance is upset with Citrix because before the acquisition, XenSource had announced that the next version of their server product would include Symantec's Veritas Storage Foundation software built-in. But when Citrix finally released the XenServer 4.1 beta last week, the Symantex Veritas code was nowhere to be found.
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I tend to believe you can excuse a company for not living up to comments about future product direction after that company has been acquired. I mean in this case, this is a line-item feature that pre-acquisition XenSource was going to add to a product. These kinds of comments tend to cause trouble when current customers feel "duped" into buying a product based on some future feature, although in this case, I can't imagine any of XenSource's pre-acquisition customers actually getting upset, because Citrix is adding a lot more features then they're taking away. Of course The Register thinks this is a nice conspiracy story.
It gets better. Citrix's XenServer CTO, Simon Crosby, responded to Vance on the Citrix Community Blog. (This is why blogging by vendors rocks!) Crosby echoed my thoughts, basically saying, "Look, we signed that Symantec deal before Citrix bought us. Obviously things have changed since then." So far, so good. But then it gets weird. Crosby goes on to say that the technical integration between XenServer and Symantec Storage Foundation is 100% complete, but they pulled it out of the product because Citrix's channel is not ready to support it??!? (My point being that this server-based computing, Windows-heavy channel is somehow magically ready to support XenServer, but not a line-item feature of it?)
Crosby also said that now that they're part of Citrix, the XenSource group is looking to expand their partnership with Symantec. This could be tricky, though, because Symantec competes with Citrix in several areas. (Security, Application Virtualization, Management) In fact I've written in the past that Symantec might be a good company to buy Citrix, although Citrix is getting bigger and bigger so that may not be possible anymore.
Another conspiracy-theory option is that perhaps Citrix is getting ready to make their own play in the storage virtualization space, perhaps by buying a company like DataCore or Sanbolic. XenDisk anyone?