Maybe this should come as no surprise given Citrix and Microsoft's joint XenSource / Veridian announcements over the past year or so, but part of Microsoft's big desktop virtualization announcement yesterday was that Citrix XenDesktop will run on Microsoft's Hyper-V in addition to running on Xen.
Let's back up a bit. Citrix bought XenSource last August. Then at Citrix iForum The App Delivery Expo, presented by Citrix this past October, Citrix announced a new product called "XenDesktop." XenDesktop was essentially a combination of three of Citrix's products: Citrix Desktop Server, Ardence (to be called Citrix Provisioning Server), and XenServer (for desktop VMs). Why did they do this? According to what we heard from Citrix in October, the focus of XenDesktop is to simplify desktop virtualization and to combine everything you need into a single product.
What a difference a few months makes! Today Citrix and Microsoft jointly announced that Citrix XenDesktop will also run on Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization platform.
No word yet on pricing and packaging. (For example, will there be multiple flavors of XenDesktop, one for use with the Xen hypervisor another for people who want to use Hyper-V? Will these be priced the same?)
If you've been paying attention the past few months, this shouldn't really come as a surprise. Microsoft and XenSource were close even before Citrix bought them, and Microsoft and the Citrix-owned XenSource have been VERY close, even jointly announcing that virtual machine formats will be interoperable between Hyper-V and Xen, and that each company's tools could manage the other's virtual machines. So really you probably could have assumed that Citrix XenDesktop would work on Hyper-V, even if they didn't announce it.
Here's a fun game to play: Ask your local Citrix rep why they're supporting XenDesktop on Hyper-V. They'll give you an answer that it's all about choice and how some customers will feel more comfortable with Hyper-V and they want to give people the flexibility to do what they want. Then ask your rep why they bundle major features of their other products together.
Of course the fact that XenDesktop will run on Hyper-V is great news. XenDesktop is getting a lot of (well-deserved) attention, and it looks like it's going to be an awesome product. I just think it's funny that four months ago, Citrix was saying "XenDesktop is great because it's a single product for everything!" And now they're saying, "Oh, you can use it with Hyper-V too."
I wonder if it will run on VMware?