Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Software Businesses Networking Linux

Citrix Announces Agreement to Acquire XenSource 86

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the two-great-tastes dept.
An anonymous reader writes "'Citrix has signed a definitive agreement to acquire XenSource a leader in enterprise-grade virtual infrastructure solutions. The acquisition moves Citrix into adjacent and fast growing datacenter and desktop virtualization markets.' For nearly $500 million, including about $100 million of unvested options, Citrix would be purchasing VMWare's closest competitor in the server virtualization market, with XenEnterprise v4 offering technology similar to VMWare's flagship product — and arguably overtake them as a combined solution, as VMWare offers little in the realm of application and desktop virtualization. Though subject to the customary closing conditions, both boards of directors have approved the transaction, and the deal is expected to close in Q4 of 2007."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Citrix Announces Agreement to Acquire XenSource

Comments Filter:
  • by Courageous (228506) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @11:10AM (#20276705)

    Xen is, of course, not VMWare's "closest competitor". Microsoft has over 25% of the market with their Virtual Server product. After that, Virtuozzo has the next largest deployment.

    C//
  • kvm (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Can someone explain why the future of all virtualization isn't simply kvm?

    kvm seems like the only free, general-purpose, straight forward sort of implementation.

    Xen needs modified guests AFAIK, so Windows and others are out. VMware isn't free and has various issues because of that. kvm seems the obvious choice, although I understand it's still a work in progress.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pipatron (966506)
      KVM needs hardware support for virtualization. Xen is nice for us old folks with old computers.
      • by tepples (727027)

        KVM needs hardware support for virtualization. Xen is nice for us old folks with old computers.
        Old computers tend to have old motherboards that support old RAM with old (that is, small) capacity. Old RAM capacity doesn't work for new virtualization, unless you're running even older operating systems and applications.
        • by pipatron (966506)
          Dunno about that, I can run 6 instances of the latest Ubuntu Server with a bit of shoe-horning on my 512MB P3, and if I just wanted to run 2-3, it'd even be comfortable.
    • Can someone explain why the future of all virtualization isn't simply kvm?

      XenSource/Citrix, Virtual Iron, Red Hat, and Novell have invested millions in Xen, and for the sake of backwards compatibility they are now stuck with it.
      • XenSource/Citrix, Virtual Iron, Red Hat, and Novell have invested millions in Xen, and for the sake of backwards compatibility they are now stuck with it.

        You are wrong. Red Hat and others have invested in libvirt [libvirt.org] and all the virtualisation management tools they ship are based on libvirt. Libvirt supports [libvirt.org] Xen, QEMU and KVM, and will soon support OpenVZ too. There is also discussion about supporting VMWare.

        Rich.

        • I'll believe it when I see RHEL shipping with KVM. And unless they can run Xen VMs on KVM, RHEL will have to continue to include Xen to run old Xen VMs. Gotta love legacy code.
    • by gustaffo (598224)
      Xen doesn't need modified guests, I've tested multiple microsoft os's and linux distributions under it without modified gusts. It works. But, it requires hardware virtualization capability to run in HVM mode. Additionally, disk IO and network IO are terrible due to qemu's disk controller/network card emulation.
      • If you pay for Virtual Iron, then they hook you up with a better userspace abstraction component and paravirtualized drivers for Windows XP/2003 which are infinitely better than the emulated PCNet cards and stuff (even in HVM mode). Clever bastards.
    • by keeboo (724305)
      I'm ok with Xen paravirtualization.
      It has such a low overhead you cannot compare to VMware/kvm full virtualization.
      If you really want/need so, you can run full virtualization with Xen too (if you have the proper hardware extensions).

      Now if you just want to toy with another OS, frankly, paravirtualization is not the most convenient way to do that. But if you're working with dozens of VMs distributed in a couple of servers, I think that paravirtualization is the way to go.
  • ... and I thought Citrix already did KVM ... and of course I'm referring to the keyb vid mouse kvm...
  • What do users of Xen's flagship product Xen Enterprise 4 [trinamo-solutions.com] think of the deal. Is this good news for the products future? Where do you see the business going WRT Citrix and integration over the next few years?
    Nick.
  • Uhh... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRealFixer (552803) * on Saturday August 18, 2007 @11:38AM (#20276961)
    VMware offers little in the realm of... desktop virtualization

    Actually, no, not really. VMware has been doing quite a lot with VDI for a couple of years now. Really, they've pioneered it. It's Citrix that was trying to adapt and catch up in this field, as it threatened their traditional market. The purchase of XenSource goes a long way to help them compete in a market that VMware has been dominating.

    In fact, I would go as far as saying that this purchase is primarily about Citrix keeping up with VMware in VDI.
  • What's Citrix's track record like with the open source community? I don't think I've ever stumbled across their name outside of pre-OpenSolaris Sun systems and Windows-only environments.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by larry bagina (561269)
      my buddy works at citrix. They use some linux boxes on their intranet, but they're not down with it. A cpuple days ago, we were out drinking and looking for tail. He's not a penguin, but he knows I am. He mentioned that Xen would be close sourced, but that was just his educated guess. If ESR or Bruce Perens can get the ear of the CxOs, maybe they'll keep it GPL.
      • by EvilRyry (1025309)
        Xen uses Linux kernel code correct? Wouldn't this mean that at least the core of Xen would always need to remain GPL? I would suspect that Red Hat or Novell would step in to make sure that the surrounding tools and such remain up to date and usable under their current licenses.
    • by vertinox (846076)
      What's Citrix's track record like with the open source community?

      For some reason I thought Citrix was bought out by Microsoft, but I forgot it was that Microsoft only bought the rights to Citrix Metaframe and came up with Terminal Server using that software. And then that had a spat over Windows NT itself.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrix#Microsoft_deal _and_early_relationship [wikipedia.org]
  • This is really interesting. I'm not sure where this is going to take XEN, but they are talking about a XEN foundation. Maybe this will prove to be a really good move for everyone. Community, businesses, and customers(not just xensource customers).

    "Creating the Xen Foundation allows for even greater transparency and leadership independence than we have today, and will provide an organized forum for enabling the community of vendors and users that are building Xen into their businesses to influence the p

  • For all you skeptics out there: If this means that Xen is going closed source, we still have KVM. KVM is growing features faster than any other VM AFAIK. And if Xen stays open source, then all is good anyway.
    • by GiMP (10923)

      For all you skeptics out there: If this means that Xen is going closed source, we still have KVM. KVM is growing features faster than any other VM AFAIK. And if Xen stays open source, then all is good anyway.

      First of all, Xen is its own operating system, it does not depend on Linux -- as does KVM, which is a part of Linux. They're both free software, which is great, but Xen does offer one to run a 'dom0' on NetBSD or OpenSolaris. For the latter alone, I could see Sun keeping Xen going -- even if XenSource

      • IBM has also expressed interest in Xen
        It's a little more than expressing interest. IBM did the PowerPC port of Xen, wrote a lot of the support for IOMMUs to Xen (and Linux), did a lot of the work with HVM, and hosted the last XenSummit.
  • Actually, the brain drain from Xen to VMware will kick into high gear now that Xen employees have had the big payday they've been waiting for.
    • by martyros (588782)
      This seems to presume that there's some compelling reason to leave Xen and go to VMWare. If that's the case, why didn't they just go to VMWare in the first place? They've been hiring...
      • This seems to presume that there's some compelling reason to leave Xen and go to VMWare. If that's the case, why didn't they just go to VMWare in the first place? They've been hiring...

        And they've been hiring people from Xen.
  • I work for a large financial company and we currently use citrix for remote access. We're using an RSA token at the citrix login, besides a regular password. Once connected, (via my firefox web-browser on OpenSuse 10.2 Linux, and yes, SuSE has the citrix plugins, even had an RPM in my old SuSE 9.2 Pro system), I can access my Lotus Notes, email , documents, and we have metaframe installed. I can open remote-host access from the citrix web and remote access a GUI desktop (xdm) on a Solaris gateway host, f
    • by Bert64 (520050)
      There is always NX (www.nomachine.com for a commercial version, free ones are available) which does much the same thing - accelerated X11.
  • by nurb432 (527695)
    There goes the free version. Any other *enterprise ready* free options out there?

    And the closest competitor to VMWare? While thats a nice gesture , i am pretty sure that Microsoft is currently #2 in the virtualization market.
    • It looks like the enterprise product is packaging new releases of several of their components -- there's a 64-bit hypervisor version 3.1 that uses the Intel and AMD hardware tricks, APIs, management tools, and XenMotion, which lets you move running virtual machines around. According to Xen's product page [xensource.com], the free-beer XenExpress version gets the hypervisor, APIs, and some of the management tools, but not the fancier management or XenMotion, and it's somewhat crippled in terms of capacity (max 4 VMs, 2 CPUs
      • by Bert64 (520050)
        Strange, i ran a 64bit linux instance under xen 3.x a while ago with no issues...
      • Most of the non-Free components of XenEnterprise are Windows-specific. If you want paravirtualised Windows device drivers and Windows-based GUI management tools, go with the commercial version. According to Simon (CIO of XenSource), there's still a lot more money in virtualising Windows than Linux.
  • by tji (74570) on Saturday August 18, 2007 @04:09PM (#20279725)

    Xen has a lot of potential. The basic virtualization capabilities are on par with VMWare or anybody else.

    What Xen _really_ blows at is usability / manageability. Setting up Xen is a pain in the ass, especially if you're on something other than 32bit x86. Figuring out obscure command line options and text config file syntax won't take them very far.

    XenSource has a closed source, functionally limited GUI management tool in their free (as in beer) XenExpress. It makes managing Xen VMs more realistic, but the limitations are too severe (maximum of 4 VMs, missing some features).

    If they want to compete with VMWare, and fend off KVM, they'll need a lot more traction. They only way they'll get it is to start building the user-base.

    They need to open source their management tools, and make Xen as easy to use as VMWare. Maybe they need to hold back a few enterprise-grade features, so that they can still sell product at the high end. But, the common linux users, and low-end business users could still be enticed away from VMWare, to a more open solution, if it was available. If they continue their half-open approach, they even compete with themselves, in Xen on Ubuntu/Suse/RedHat.

    If they don't open up, VMWare continues to dominate. Microsoft's upcoming hypervisor expands to the strong number 2 option, and other wildcards might crop up.. KVM with a good mgmnt too.
    • What Xen _really_ blows at is usability / manageability. Setting up Xen is a pain in the ass, especially if you're on something other than 32bit x86. Figuring out obscure command line options and text config file syntax won't take them very far.

      Maybe if you only use the Xen-provided tools, but that's not necessary the real-world usage scenario.

      We use Debian on Xen on AMD64.

      Converting a stock Debian Etch install to a Xen dom0 takes about 5 minutes, including the reboot. Creating a new domU takes about 2 m

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tji (74570)
        > Converting a stock Debian Etch install to a Xen dom0 takes about 5 minutes, including the reboot. Creating a new domU takes about 2 minutes, from deciding to do it until I have an up-and-running virtual server.

        Sure, getting a Xen-capable Linux going is simple. In recent Linux distributions it's just a matter of selecting a couple packages for installation.

        Installing client VMs (DomU in the really intuitive Xen nomenclature) can be easy, and can be a MAJOR pain in the ass.

        Installing the trivial 'ttyli
        • The only way I could see Xen, in its current state, being superior is if you absolutely had to use only text based console management. You can, and often must, manage xen from the terminal. If you want to use a GUI, to ease management and hide the details of all those command-line tools, Xen just doesn't measure up.

          To be fair, that describes my situation. I am in Malaysia and the servers I administer are in the USA. With 300ms latency and 1-megabit DSL, using VMware's GUI tools over X or VNC is positively

    • by richlv (778496)
      it's also bad enough that i still can't get full xen with vanilla kernel. yes, 2.6.23 will merge some things, but until i don't need additional patches to kernel (that are outdated and hard to obtain), i don't feel comfortable relying on sych a solution.

      as for the management tools and overall openness, i can only agree. nowadays competition in many fields is only increasing, and projects/products have to compete for users. failing to do that successfully will push the project to some distant place while oth
  • We've got an 8-blade Citrix server rack now. Would be nice if they ran each user in their own VM.

Bus error -- please leave by the rear door.

Working...