When I woke up this morning, the first thought on my mind was that the World Series starts tomorrow, and my hometown Cleveland Indians aren't going to be there. It wasn't the best way to wake up, but even though I wanted to crawl back into bed, I had to drag myself out to go to the first full day of iForum 07, the App Delivery yada yada.
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During the keynote it was the usual keynotey stuff, but at well over two hours in length it couldn't be all ra-ra. Plenty of great information (and even live demos...in a freaking keynote!) came out, especially with regards to the XenSource acquistion and Ardence. The live demos included a portable version of the famous Ardence video, where 30 servers are provisioned and re-provisioned on the fly.
Among the kernels of information brought up, there were some really bold quotes that I think need mentioning. The most important one was, when talking about the XenSource acquisition, that Xen was the "most powerful hypervisor in the world." I'll leave comments on that to Ron (and "guest", whoever that is). It should be noted that not once, ever, was VMware mentioned in this, even though the words "virtual infrastructure" (not "Virtual Infrastructure") were used many times. Oh, and VMware is a sponsor, too. Ouch.
During the keynote, Templeton announced the rebadged version of XenEnterprise will be called Citrix XenServer. There will also be a Citrix XenServer Express edition to coincide with the old XenEnterprise Express product. XenServer is a suite of tools designed to effectively manage Xen or Microsoft Viridian based virtual machines, and is a key component in Citrix's new virtualization mantra - the dynamic data center.
Templeton outlined the Citrix vision for a dynamic data center, using technology from XenSource and Ardence. The idea behind the dynamic data center is that any application "workload" can be used on any combination of servers as needed, wherever and whenever, on demand. To accomplish this, the've set three strategies:
- Strategy 1 - A hardened, "super-fast" (his words) 64-bit hypervisor that can be managed by...
- Strategy 2 - A powerful set of tools and services built around the hypervisor. This includes server provisioning, centralized management, and application workload management, which is all enhanced by...
- Strategy 3 - Partners at all levels of the computing environment. From processors to operating systems to applications.
Now, at this point, from our view, it's all conjecture. Even the demos we saw were just simple glances at what Ardence can do. The only XenSource demo that we saw today was 30 servers booting into XenEnterprise via an Ardence vDisk. Citrix is saying all the right things, but it remains to be seen how Citrix will combine so many different technolgies into one homogenized solution. This isn't a bad thing yet, since the XenSource acquisition was just finalized yesterday, but if we're still having this conversation next year there might be some problems.
Other notes from the Keynote:
- XenDesktop was announced
- Dell and Citrix now have an agreement where you can select XenServer Express as the OS when building a PowerEdge server
- HP and Citrix will test, validate, and support XenServer on Proliant servers [Maybe this was the consolation prize for HP in the bidding war for XenSource? :) ]
- They had fireworks when Mark T. came out. Fireworks. Like Hulk Hogan was coming out.
- There are 4000 people here!
- This is the 10th iForum (or Thinergy)
- Brad Pederson has SEVENTEEN patents!
- The interactions between the Mark T. and Pete Downing were blatantly stolen from an infomercial for toilet wipes or some ultra-fast vegetable grower. Mark T: "Wow, Pete! Is there anything else that Ardence can do?" Pete: "Funny you should ask, Mark!"
Tomorrow's keynote will dive into XenDesktop, so check back for more information early tomorrow afternoon.