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What will happen to #XenServer now? – #Citrix, #Virtualization, #IaaS

This is a question that I get a lot these days…. what will happen to XenServer now when Citrix has handed it over to the open source community and that it will be available at XenServer.org. Have they really handed it over, if you think yes; what did they then hand over then though it’s been open source based all along?

Well I suggest that you read a bit about the product strategy etc in this release from Citrix on what the view is:

Key Messages and FAQs for Customers

On June 25, 2013, Citrix announced the availability of the Citrix XenServer 6.2 virtualization platform, which is the first XenServer offering to deliver a full featured, open-source, freely available software package. Citrix is also introducing a new XenServer.org community portal to provide source code access and drive innovation and collaboration around server virtualization and cloud. 

Why the change to open source? 

Citrix is advancing its strategy around open source with the launch of the XenServer.org community portal to drive innovation, collaboration and discussion around XenServer. As evidenced by the strong industry response to phase 1 of this strategy (move Xen to the Linux Foundation, April 15), open source provides us with a way to better engage with ecosystem partners to enable innovation. Open source also provides alignment with the dominant cloud orchestration platforms of CloudStack and OpenStack and meets cloud builder expectations for source code availability and open APIs. Our move to an open source strategy was chosen for several reasons. 

1. Open source is in the Xen / XenSource DNA. 

2. Open source software is leading proprietary software in cloud infrastructure. 

3. Open source enables collaborative development that drives public trust. 

4. Open source communities empower users and broaden market reach. 

What is the new XenServer product strategy? 

The XenServer product strategy is focused on delivering the best platform for customers migrating or adopting a cloud strategy. Leveraging our experience as the leader in desktop virtualization and as the dominant server virtualization platform in the public cloud, we’re focusing the XenServer product strategy on ensuring a seamless path for customers to migrate their most important… continue reading here

You can also read below to get some more great inputs on this transition here:

Today, Citrix announced that XenServer would be fully open sourced and that it will be made available from XenServer.org. First, I wanted to remind everyone that XenServer always has been based on open source software: containing the Xen hypervisor, the Linux kernel, the CentOS Linux distribution and user tools. However many XenServer components were proprietary.

In 2009, Citrix released XAPI – the XenServer management toolstack – and the XCP ISOs – a variant of XenServer that predominantly contains open source components – under open source licenses on xen.org. This marked the beginning of XenServer’s transition towards open source. In 2011, XAPI packages were delivered into Debian and Ubuntu, enabling users to build a XenServer like system from individual packages. Earlier this year, XAPI moved with Xen.org under the auspices of the Xen Project – a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. In other words, the XAPI project is now a sub-project of the Xen Project. The creation of XenServer.org as announced today concludes this journey towards open source.

Why is this good for our community?

One of the consequences of open sourcing XenServer components (aka XAPI) and XCP in stages was that it created confusion amongst developers and users. This was compounded because some software – such as the XCP build system – was not available as open source. The primary reason for this is that the source code, project and the packaging (XCP ISO and XAPI packages delivered into Linux distributions) were not cleanly defined.

Let’s first look at who will be responsible for what in the future:

  • Development of the XAPI components will continue as part of the Xen Project (in the XAPI sub-project). More detail is outlined in the “What’s next” section below. In a nutshell the XAPI project will more closely align with how the Xen Hypervisor project operates. In other words, the XAPI project will create a regular source release which will feed into downstream projects.
  • The XAPI project will work with Linux distributions that contain XAPI packages. A focus area will be an effort to disentangle the packaging from the XAPI components. This will make it easier for Linux distributions to package, build, deliver and support XAPI packages.
  • XenServer and XCP always have been a large codebase, comprised of many hundreds of individual software components, which come from many different sources. In some sense XenServer (and XCP ISOs) are a distribution of the Xen Hypervisor, the XAPI toolstack, CentOS and….

Continue reading this article here.

So I suggest that you sit down and think about how this will impact you and your business.

For instance I find this statement interesting and thin about some of the great features of XenServer in a Desktop Virtualization service with the IntelliCache feature for example.

XenDesktop customers should remember:

  • XenServer is still included for free in XenDesktop VDI, Enterprise and Platinum Editions.

  • XenServer 6.2 uses a new per socket license model and they can freely convert their server licenses to socket licenses on a 1:2 ratio.

  • Customers are not required to upgrade to XenServer 6.2 and will be supported on 6.1 or earlier throughout the product life-cycles.

It’s an interesting change and we’ll see how the market and customers are reacting.



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