Citrix has delivered a key feature of the Essentials stack of management tools for Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor for Windows platforms and pledged to bring the high availability tool, called StorageLink Site Recovery, to its own XenServer hypervisor next year. You heard that right. Citrix is getting its virtual machine failover …
Looking to the future
I suspect that Citrix are hoping to ride into the future hanging onto Hyper-V's coat tails due to the abandonment of Xen by Red Hat and other Linux vendors in favour of KVM. There is no long term future for Xen: competition from VMware, KVM and Hyper-V are going to kill it. Citrix have not got where they are by being stupid, and are positioning themselves now to ensure they have a place in the VM market as Xen fizzles out and becomes irrelevant.
What's this xen then?
I seriously considered Citrix's XenServer earlier in the year for a server platform for a new start-up. I had it installed but then it told me I needed to get a license (which was free of course) but 2 hours later having searched Google and Citrix's own website, I couldn't find the page I needed to register.
I did eventually find it, then noticed the license was only for a year and I thought "what if in a year's time Citrix stop renewing free licenses" - you wouldn't be able to start (or restart) any virtual machines if the license had expired.
So I pulled the plug, downloaded Ubuntu and installed KVM - I've never looked back. The platform is still in test for storage and live migration, but the 4 machines that are running on it as test beds are perfectly stable.
I'm glad I ditched Xen - this article just shows what faith Citrix have when they build something new and exciting and don't put it into their own product first.