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Citrix Announces Agreement to Acquire XenSource

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the two-great-tastes dept.

Software 86

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."

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86 comments

God Smack Your Ass !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20276645)


God Smack Your Ass !!

I hate Citrix (2, Insightful)

celardore (844933) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278037)

A couple of years ago at work, the IT dept. changed all our 486s for terminals and a Citrix network. It was awful. The server and connection to said server were, and still are, buggy. Whereas before, if the network went down, we could still at least type a letter or work on a spreadsheet. Now if the network goes down (which is at least weekly) we're stuck with nothing to do. In an accounts department it is vital that we have Excel, Word, etc to do the most basic of tasks. Worst move ever.

On the plus side, I got to keep my 486 which I installed Linux on and now it runs pretty nicely.

Re:I hate Citrix (1)

twokay (979515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278305)

I work with a Citrix/Server 2003 based network at a school and there have never been any problems with the connection to the servers. This is with half the kids on flash game sites or streaming video from mtv.com (good fun can be had shadowing them while they are on game sites :p).

I would say that your problems are with the IT department being clueless, or someone skimped on hardware are the servers are loaded too heavily.

Re:I hate Citrix (1)

celardore (844933) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278475)

For the most part I would say you are absolutely right. On the other side of the coin though, with CTRL+ALT+DEL then task manager then the 'users' tab, I can right click a name and "remote control" their session. I have access to the managers accounts. I don't do it though, because I like my job and want to keep it. I'm just saying Citrix is horrible for usability and security.

Re:I hate Citrix (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20279033)

It's not citrix that's insecure, it's the basic design of windows that was always intended to be single user. Thus, a lot of design choices were made which may have seemed sensible in a single user system, but aren't suitable for a system where several users are going to be using it at once.

Re:I hate Citrix (1)

AI0867 (868277) | more than 6 years ago | (#20279263)

We used to have terminals with the option of either citrix or X. citrix was slower and locked down to the point where it was completely unusable. X was on (an old server running) RH9 with all homedirs on AFS.

Last year, citrix was replaced with powerfuse, which was somewhat better, but everything is on the way of being replaced with dual boot windows w/ roaming profiles and suse10.2 (with the same AFS).

Re:I hate Citrix (1)

Scrybe (95209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285687)

WOAH, I think the bigger indication here of a clueless user/admin population is that you are saying that you:
a) were using a 486 in production a couple years ago
b) still use one
How much RAM does that monster have, 32MB? Maybe a high speed VESA Local Bus "Accelerated" video card?

Of course if your network is going down weekly that is another indication of problems that should not occur with a modern network/provider. Splurge on a $30/mo DSL backup if you are a remote site.

Citrix is an excellent way to provide access to windows applications BUT you have to size the servers appropriately. This IS windows we are talking about.

Slashdot is only now reporting this?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20276659)

I'm surprised that it has taken Slashdot so long to report on this pretty major story. I first read of it a few days back in the WSJ, and then saw it posted on Reddit and Digg. It was old news yesterday, and even older news today.

Re:Slashdot is only now reporting this?! (1)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#20277013)

There've been stories on this up for a few days in the Firehose, but this is the first one to make the front page.

Re:Slashdot is only now reporting this?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20277135)

Slashdot is dying.

Howto build virtual ppc64s for in home??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20277723)

Paravirtualization (it's with hardware support) is slower than virtualization in the recent experiments.

So, lguest for linux was invented.

In my home, i want the following things below:
* a lot of cheaper G5 ppc970 (ppc64 only)
* a lot of PS3
* linux to run in ppc64
* dynamic binary translator (dbt) qemu for simulations of ppc64 on 32-bit PCs.
* a lot of virtual ppc64 machines
* a lot of samples virtual images that contain AIX, WinNT, UnixWare, Linux, FBSD, NBSD, OBSD, etc for testing.

The are i386, amd64, sparc64 and ia-64 architectures are archaic and obsolete!!!

Lucky developers! ;)

RUFW: Read and Understand the Fucked Wiki!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20278269)

A full list of virtualizers-related.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_virtual _machines [wikipedia.org]

POWER6, 790 Mtransistors, 341mm2 die, 65nm, 8th June 2007, 4.7 GHz.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POWER6 [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerPC_970 [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Architecture [wikipedia.org]

* Your future is ppc64!
* ppc64 is your future forever!!!

Wow!!! Lucky developers & users!!!

Info on Xen's latest product (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278733)

I wrote one of those submissions :-) I mostly commented on the product rather than the buyout. Here you go:



"XenSource has been in the news twice this week -- Monday they release a product [xensource.com] , then Tuesday they get bought for $500m by Citrix. Here's Network World's take on the buyout [networkworld.com] and on the product [networkworld.com] . It looks like the 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, 4GB RAM, while the commercial versions support 128GB total RAM, larger VMs, and unlimited VMs and CPUs.)

(But will it run Linux?) It will run Linux -- one of the data sheets implies that Linux only runs in 32-bit mode, while Windows can run 64-bit. Perhaps there's more documentation that provides more details."

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/081507-citri x-xensource-desktop-server-virtualization.html?nlh tspec=081507specialalert1& [networkworld.com]

Re:Slashdot is only now reporting this?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20277071)

this isn't slashdot, it's NewYorkCountryLawyers's blog.

Re:Slashdot is only now reporting this?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20279455)

you owe me a keyboard!

Re:Slashdot is only now reporting this?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20302269)

Dear Anonymous Coward;

It has come to my attention that you have made an unauthorized use of my client's trade mark; namely "NewYorkCountryLawyer" in the preparation of a work derived therefrom. My client reserves all rights to the name, first used in 1999, and registered therein. Your work is essentially attempting to profit by "passing off" as my client, or a licensee of which you are neither.

As you have not requested nor received permission to use the Mark, I believe you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $150,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) therein.

I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all infringing works derived from the Work, and all copies, including electronic copies, of same, that you deliver to me, if applicable, all unused, undistributed copies of same, or destroy such copies immediately and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in the future. If I have not received an affirmative response from you by [date give them about 2 weeks] indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, I shall take further action against you.

Very truly yours

Xen not "closest competitor". (4, Informative)

Courageous (228506) | more than 6 years ago | (#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//

Re:Xen not "closest competitor". (0, Flamebait)

mikaelhg (47691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20276943)

Isn't Microsoft Virtual Server in a completely different market segment? VMware and Xen are for IT departments with flexibility and foresight, Microsoft Virtual Server is for IT departments without those things, and Virtuozzo is for web hosting, right?

You've been reading propaganda again (3, Informative)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20277203)

Microsoft's VS is the old Connectix stuff. It's ok, and changes when a new hypervisor becomes part of Windows Server 2008. They tend to focus on servers, because their heads are up in their behinds about using mulitple desktop OSes-- anything else but theirs.

Virtuozzo isn't a server VM, it's an app VM.

VMWare and Xen are a bit different. VMWare has lots of depth and maturity. Xen has nearly similar compatibility but has fewer API sets to work with it. Xen's app hosting capabililities are more astute and highly competitive with Microsoft's SoftGrid and Citrix's remote apps. That's why Citrix bought them.

Virtuozzo has roots in site hosting, and it's maturity with Apache also extends to OpenVZ.

If by propaganda you mean using the products... (2, Interesting)

mikaelhg (47691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20277449)

Not so much reading propaganda than using the actual products.

We mostly use VMware ESX, which is really directed to IT departments. All of the tools assume central control. They work extremely well and reliably, as long as you're willing to stick with the centrally managed model. We've been using VMware Server on our development workstations to develop and test applications with specific images.

I've been using Amazon EC2, which is a Xen-based value-adding product, for external software testing and random one-off hosting. I've installed Xen with CentOS 5 and FC6/7 on development servers and workstations, to try it out. The open source Xen tools are extremely rudimentary. The XenSource "enterprise" tools are basically copies of the VMware model, and mimic the centrally managed thing without doing it quite as well. However, the Xen API is very malleable towards a non-centrally-management tool model. By that I mean that you could very easily (and I'm doing just that on my copious free time) build a self-service server station for a IT department, to provide quick service to those internal customers who just need some commodity server space, right now, and for the right price.

Virtuozzo's story is basically over. With absolutely everybody in the underdog space choosing Xen, it's not likely they'll get much new business outside their narrow niche. It doesn't matter how neat your product is, if the product next door is completely acceptable, open to newcomers, free, and adopted by all of your other suppliers.

Re:If by propaganda you mean using the products... (3, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278085)

I'm not so sure about Virtuozzo; its mgmt components are ok.

Microsoft's VS seems to give a comfort level to homogeneous Microsoft 'houses'. Yet we've also seen it run Fedora seamlessly....although you can't get reasonable instrumentation without going to other stuff.

VMWare is nice, sexy, red, lipstick, and costs a fortune.

Yet Xen, while far better than early releases (ugly), seems to peak many interests in our web racks... for cost. Slick, it is not. But Citrix specializes in 'slick' and so we expect there to be interesting changes.

Unless you don't use Windows at all (and I'm not saying anyone does), the Microsoft VS will migrate onto Xen soon, too. Who'll win the race? Performance, price, reliability, in reverse order.

Re:If by propaganda you mean using the products... (1)

mikaelhg (47691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278309)

I'm not so sure about Virtuozzo; its mgmt components are ok.

In the IT department space, the key questions are a) does it do the job and b) are you willing to bet heavily on that it'll be around in ten years?

I left out Microsoft Virtual Server because everyone knows that unless you push the Microsoft products to the very upper edge of your stack, you're screwed with your pants on. I have nothing personal against them, I just have to take care of my employer's interests in the IT field first.

I'll bet you 10 that strategic positioning will beat the pants off performance, price and reliability. If your OS providers (Linux providers, Sun) are going with Xen, and your application and hardware providers are partnering with your OS providers, it just makes sense to put all your eggs in the same basket, since the penalty for breaking one egg is pretty much the same as for breaking them all. Right?

Re:If by propaganda you mean using the products... (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278521)

"But Citrix specializes in 'slick' and so we expect there to be interesting changes."

Of course, as Xen is opensource I expect the free software variants of xen management to grow at a fair pace (particularly fuelled by linux vendor interest).

Which rather begs the question; exactly what is Citrix paying $500M for, when they could use Xen for their own purposes anyway?

"Who'll win the race?"

Yeah, well, one thing's for sure; it wont be the stockholders in those companies at least. Virtualization may be a 'hot' segment, but it's rapidly getting extremely competetive. Paying inflated prices giving the web boom/crash a run for its money for companies in a sector that's already seen it's highest profit margins may not be a particularly bright long term investment.

Re:If by propaganda you mean using the products... (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278863)

Xen is a checkmark for Citrix; remember that terminal services competes with all that Citrix tries to do.

Competition is fun.

Re:If by propaganda you mean using the products... (1)

clydemaxwell (935315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20283543)

What the heck do you mean by terminal services? Terminal services are what Citrix provides...if by Windows 'Terminal Services', they are a prereq for installing citrix! Either way, I'm confused by what you mean.

Re:If by propaganda you mean using the products... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20282919)

"Which rather begs the question; exactly what is Citrix paying $500M for, when they could use Xen for their own purposes anyway?"

Xen has the whole copyright over its product. In order for Citrix to both acquire its brand recognition and "embrace and extend" it (i.e.: make it go into a closed source solution, even more than it's now), they must buy the company.

It's a growing trend on IT: found an interesting IT start-up; publish it under the "new open source buzz-word" and let it be bought by one of the "big names" you are stated to compete against (or enwiden it's market niche for).

Just to point out to another example rigth now on Slashdot's front page, just like Alfresco or SugarCRM are still trying.

Re:If by propaganda you mean using the products... (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20293679)


Virtuozzo's story is basically over.

*shrug*

They had 127% revenue growth last year. One may therefore conclude that rumors of their pending death may be exaggerated... ... anyway, it is my opinion that you are being a bit myopic. It's not about the virtualization layer per se, but rather about the management of it that results in enterprise interest. For that, the commercial Virtuozzo product is quite slick.

C//

Re:You've been reading propaganda again (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278029)

Virtuozzo isn't a server VM, it's an app VM.

Terminology may be a bit vague here. But as I see it, Virtuozzo is not application virtualization, it's operating system virtualization, like Solaris Containers, or like the original mainframe virtualization that started this stuff off 30 years ago.

And p.s., you don't have to "read the propaganda," as you put it, to know who VMWare's biggest competitor is: just ask VMWare, and they will tell you clearly: Microsoft.

Xen is hardly a competitor at all in data center space at the moment, BTW. Redhat is actively recommending you don't use their virtualization product yet for production, and Xen Source is only expecting $8M or so in sales this year.

I mean, jeeze: Live Migration is provably unstable in every distribution of Xen out there, except perhaps for the 4.0 beta stuff. Methinks someone else might be "reading propaganda," as the expression goes...

C//

Re:You've been reading propaganda again (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278203)

We disagree: containers, sandboxes, and other single-OS-instance schemes are app VM; they don't reinstantiate the host OS. They may virtualize by re-instantiation many OS resources, multiple concurrent settings/processes/services/etc, but there's one OS, not multiple OS instances.

I would agree that Microsoft is VMWare's biggest competitor. Big guns. Connectix stuff is well matured and reincarnated, and Microsoft Systems Center VMM might be more than its other disconnected dirt at some point.

But your knowledge of Xen will be changed even now, if you go to their website, look at XenEnterprise V4, and get to understand how their paravirtualization components have been changed. You don't see Xen in data centers.....yet. But like VMWare, Xen's used in a lot of labs, developer pits, skunk works, underneath Virtual Iron, and so on. Presentation virtualization is a big reason why Citrix bought Xen-- there's going to be a fierce war over sending just presentation data as pipes get clogged with too many thick clients-- browser apps and multimedia that chews up wire space.

Re:You've been reading propaganda again (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20279277)

But your knowledge of Xen will be changed even now, if you go to their website, look at XenEnterprise V4, and get to understand how their paravirtualization components have been changed. You don't see Xen in data centers.....yet. But like VMWare, Xen's used in a lot of labs, developer pits, skunk works, underneath Virtual Iron, and so on.

I run one of those labs. We have a virtual data center prototyping lab with $1M in equipment and > 200 virtual machines of various different stripes. Xen is promising, quite promising, but it's not "data center ready yet," from a functional point of view, from a reliability point of view, from a hardware compatibility point of view, ... generally it is at a poor Technical Readiness Level at the moment.

My OP in this thread was objecting to Xen being VMWare's biggest competitor: they're not. At a guess, Xen has a year or two to go before it can be seriously considered for production, high availability data centers.

Could they be VMWare's biggest competitor one day? Different question. However, I tired a long time ago of futuristic technomancy, and tend to focus on things on my near term horizon. The tech biz is rife with hype, as I am sure you know, including Xen, which has been seriously overhyped lately.

Whatever else is true, the industry developments are fun to watch.

C//

Xen has all the pieces. (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 6 years ago | (#20280135)

We know this. The IOMMU work they are doing is _very_ interesting and I think is going to do that full circle thing (reliable hardware-assisted partitioning even in your sub-10k rackmount servers). They're in on the ground floor with this stuff. As soon as the management tools catch up, we'll be taking all this stuff for granted, and the old mainframe guys will just shake their heads.

Re:You've been reading propaganda again (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20293629)

BTW,

We do have a terminology issue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operating_system-leve l_virtualization [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_virtualiz ation [wikipedia.org]

Mind you, one might or might not consider wikipedia authoritative. I've seen OS virtualization most often used as described therein, but the term "app virtualization" I've found to be much murkier.

C//

Re:You've been reading propaganda again (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20293793)

There's a problem with semantics and terminology, depending whether you're a marketing person or the one that has to make things work. It's a typical problem.

Containers, sandboxes, and the like are operating system resources virtualization. Some have a greater degree of apparent instance autonomy than others.

Paravirtualized systems link a paravirtualized host OS with subsequent guest instances.

Direct translating systems are actually microkernels, sometimes loaded after a host OS instance that's replaced by the hypervisor or augments it (ESX is like the former).

Presentation virtualization is just remote access to an application or OS instance with a fancy name.

Re:You've been reading propaganda again (1)

max cohen (163682) | more than 6 years ago | (#20279499)

Redhat is actively recommending you don't use their virtualization product yet for production


They are?! That's not the signals I'm seeing from Red Hat. The Virtualization capability of RHEL5 is plastered all over their website and our sales/engineering reps have yet to say hold back on rolling it out.

Re:You've been reading propaganda again (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20280033)

They are?!

They are. They are saying wait for update 1, and saying it in public, at their conferences.

There are features in the RHEL5 hypervisor that, when invoked, can cause any varieties of bad behavior, up to and including the crashing of the hypervisor and the catastrophic loss of all virtual machines hosted by it. Amongst other things.

This situation isn't a surprise to anyone who knows Xen very well. Redhat took the open source Xen, including features in that open source release that the Xen Source authors expressly stated as not being "fully baked yet" (quote), integrated those features into RHEL5, and called them "ready". The result has been an embarassing and highly visible misexecution of their virtualization strategy; that's why they've been turning the volume down a notch and attempting to slow the hype machine.

They're going through a lick the wounds cycle at the moment... attempt to repair the problem. This is one of the reasons that they have KVM as "plan B".

C//

I love when people make me laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20281299)

Virtuozzo and other Linux virtual server products if everything sticks on time table they will be all gone with the merge of containers. Say hello to linux distro default feature. This alteration will allow Microsoft like CPU bias for desktop vs services and splitting stuff like browsers into there own contained zone so it will be kinda default feature since it will have more uses than what Virtuozzo was used for.

Linux kernel is getting lguest what allows the same kernel to be used virtual or to boot the system. Then you have kvm.

Of course Xen will still have its place as a hypervisor. lguest and xen working as one would be great. One kernel no matter if it was running inside Xen lguest or booting the system.

Who uses Xen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20276715)

I suspect few can be bothered with it on desktops when we have qemu (including derivatives) and VMWare player. Those who use Xen for VPS hosting, how hard would it be to switch to ESX or hack up some scripts for qemu?

Re:Who uses Xen? (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#20277675)

Those who use Xen for VPS hosting, how hard would it be to switch to ESX

Considering the price of ESX, it would be out-of-business hard to switch to it. Smart VPS hosts are using OpenVZ/Virtuozzo anyway.

Re:Who uses Xen? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#20287301)

Smart VPS hosts are using OpenVZ/Virtuozzo anyway.

Not really, not. VPS hosts who want to run with the herd are running Virtuozzo. Smart VPS hosts know that while Xen is more hardware-hungry, it provides a better virtual environment for demanding customers who are willing to pay a little extra cash for better flexibility.

Re:Who uses Xen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20289449)

To translate:

- XEN makes it all but impossible to oversell a piece of hardware, meaning you *must* cater to higher-end customers
- On the plus side, you won't wake up one morning with half your VEs having disappeared into the land of ghosts and wind, and your customers who have, say, 256M of RAM actually get 256M of RAM

kvm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20276725)

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:kvm (2, Informative)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20276829)

KVM needs hardware support for virtualization. Xen is nice for us old folks with old computers.

Re:kvm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20277049)

How is Xen 'nicer' than kqemu [bellard.free.fr] or lguest [ozlabs.org] ?

Re:kvm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20277143)

Xen has much higher levels of performance for Windows and Linux virtual machines.

Re:kvm (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20277271)

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.

Re:kvm (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20285505)

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.

Re:kvm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20277223)

1. Xen is free, XenSource even has a free commercial product XenExpress
2. Xen runs both Windows and Linux VMs
3. The Xen extensions are going in the kernel and they already ship with most of the distros.
4. KVM is to VMWare Workstation, as Xen is to VMWare ESX. KVM is great for developers who want to run a few operating systems on their desktop, Xen is great for admins who want to run a bunch of virtual servers or virtual desktops. So they satisfy different needs.
5. And as you point out KVM is still very much a work in progress.

Re:kvm (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#20277645)

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.

Re:kvm (1)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278983)

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.

Re:kvm (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#20283537)

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.

Re:kvm (1)

gustaffo (598224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278553)

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.

QEMU only in the free version... (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 6 years ago | (#20280159)

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.

Re:kvm (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20281505)

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.

obligatory (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 6 years ago | (#20276763)

... and I thought Citrix already did KVM ... and of course I'm referring to the keyb vid mouse kvm...

Good news for Enterprise Quality Virtualization? (1)

nickh01uk (749576) | more than 6 years ago | (#20276873)

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... (4, Interesting)

TheRealFixer (552803) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20277365)

VDI is basically ESX with a different price scheme. One key issue with VDI is graphics -- it sucks. So as long as you are dealing with primarily text based apps -- your are good to go. Citrix has figured this one out.

VMware may in fact face significant market share -- hence the IPO now versus when it had a real story.

Re:Uhh... (2, Insightful)

TheRealFixer (552803) | more than 6 years ago | (#20279935)

VDI is an overall [i]concept[/i] that VMware has been building with various third-party application vendors (including Citrix - though I'd imagine that's going to change now). VMware sells a VDI edition of VI3 licensing, but it's not required to actually do VDI. At the core, all you need is a virtualization platform, and a remote client to interact with the desktops. You can even do it with VMware server for free if you want.

What do you mean by "graphics"? Are you talking about 3D games, or full motion video? If so, Citrix is not any better at this than VDI. If you're just talking about GUI applications, then you really don't know what you're talking about here. In typical VDI installs, you're virtualizing Windows XP workstations and interacting with them through RDP (which was originally licensed from Citrix, ironically). In Citrix, you're accessing a Windows server over their own ICA protocol. Since RDP 5.1, there's not a whole lot of difference between ICA and RDP. I believe ICA still holds a bit of an edge in bandwidth utilization and efficiency, but not much anymore. Over a LAN, it's not even noticeable. Visual performance-wise, there's not really a difference between VDI and Citrix.

So... What does this mean for OSS? (1)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 6 years ago | (#20277053)

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:So... What does this mean for OSS? (2, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#20277197)

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.

Re:So... What does this mean for OSS? (1)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 6 years ago | (#20281661)

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.

Re:So... What does this mean for OSS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20291785)

CxOs

Chief eXcitement Officers! (Ask Templeton)

Citrix is a Windows shop. Fork Xen to OpenXen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20277501)

This is the worst thing that could possibly have happened to Xen, from a FOSS perspective.

Citrix have no interest whatsoever in Linux or in FOSS, being entirely Windows-oriented. Those things are so far off their radar that they probably don't even register as being anything to do with Xen.

What seems to have happened here is that the XenSource directors sold out for mucho $$$. And I can't say that I entirely blame them, as $500m is a lot of cash.

However, this does mean that we'll have to take what's currently available under GPL and fork an OpenXen.

On the bright side, this might even accelerate [Open]Xen's progress within the Linux community, as XenSource have been rather slow with updates --- probably too busy doing "business", as we now see. :-)

Re:Citrix is a Windows shop. Fork Xen to OpenXen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285761)

This is the worst thing that could possibly have happened to Xen, from a FOSS perspective... However, this does mean that we'll have to take what's currently available under GPL and fork an OpenXen.

It's impossible to tell what Citrix' plans are. They've been around long enough to see what happens when products go closed-source, and when companies buy OSS and continue support it as OSS.

If someone were to take the lead and fork Xen, they would need to change the name from Xen to something else - or risk a copyright lawsuit (and we've had enough of that).

Re:So... What does this mean for OSS? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#20277641)

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]

XEN Foundation (1)

decriptor (762523) | more than 6 years ago | (#20277403)

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 project roadmap," Pratt said.

http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3 694721 [internetnews.com]

Not a problem (1)

realdodgeman (1113225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20277741)

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.

Re:Not a problem (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 6 years ago | (#20279531)

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 dropped updating the opensource branch. (Solaris has jails but this is *not* the same thing) IBM has also expressed interest in Xen, although their interests lie in Linux, so they may not be opposed to shifting to KVM.

Secondly... Xen is very well matured compared to KVM, which only in January added support for paravirtualization. Personally, I have tens of machines running Xen for my business and even on such a "small scale" and wouldn't even consider moving to KVM in its terribly immature and feature-poor state.

Finally... Many companies have already deployed Xen and developed their infracture around it (including developing automation routines, etc). I can see a least a handful able to dedicate some development resources. It might not be as great as having a company behind it, but it would be enough perhaps to keep it stable until something else (maybe KVM) catches up.

Re:Not a problem (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20281569)

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.

More developers for VMware (1)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 6 years ago | (#20277785)

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.

Re:More developers for VMware (1)

martyros (588782) | more than 6 years ago | (#20280097)

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...

Re:More developers for VMware (1)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 6 years ago | (#20287559)

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.

Re:More developers for VMware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20281101)

You don't think that part of the deal won't be golden handcuffs for the important developers?

How naive are you? That would require the people at Xen to want to work for VMWare too, and why leave a rising star where you have a tonne of citrix shares that would be available in two or three years time (I don't know when the shares part of the deal becomes useful).

Can't wait to try it out! (1)

tom581 (217146) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278153)

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, full X11. Preformance is reasonable, I'm running about 4Mb download speed over a comcast cable modem. In previous companies we always used remote ssh, some with the sshd configured for RSA token support. And that was fine for text based work. Unfortunately, not all 3rd party software provides good command line interface. This has forced us to use some form of remote X11 desktop access. I'm fairly pleased with the remote Citrix access. I'm anxious to see what Citrix is going to with Xen. I'm running Xen on redhat 5, and on OpenSuse 10.2. We're currently using vmware GSX server and workstation in the office. I'm very pleased with the command-line access of Xen, and the ease of which to configure and resize virtual disks and VM's. I can clone Xen VM's with a script, making a "one-button" clone, and automatically adjusting all the new clone system specifics', like VM nic mac address, hostname, etc. Could never do that on VMWare. Just imagine the possiblities if Citrix integrates Xen. You could have one-button VM creation, then disconnect, go home & reconnect and resume your work on the newly created VM, all thru a web-browser. Geeze, I wonder if they could come up with an iPhone plugin? ;-) An IT Administrator's DREAM!!!

Re:Can't wait to try it out! (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278953)

There is always NX (www.nomachine.com for a commercial version, free ones are available) which does much the same thing - accelerated X11.

Re:Can't wait to try it out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20285551)

I've always wondered why NX didn't get baked into Xen, especially with all the QEMU/VNC action that was going on. NX can handle VNC just fine. The kicker would have been Xen guests being to pipe things through a virtual videocard directly to an NX server working in the Xen hypervisor, so that the hypervisor is not only a VM broker, but also a remote access/desktop broker as well.

But that isn't likely to happen now, short of someone putting up money to NoMachine, or some heavy work from the FreeNX crowd. Especially with Citrix finishing up Project Tarpon, as well as their PortICA work, which is one of the serious drivers behind this deal, as it eases in the ability to work directly with the ICA protocol from virtualized XP images without RDP shenanigans or a full blown Citrix install. Now if they could just fix that nagging printing problem...

Darn (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278523)

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.

What they're doing with the Free-Beer Version. (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278771)

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, 4GB RAM, while the commercial versions support 128GB total RAM, larger VMs, and unlimited VMs and CPUs.)


(But will it run Linux?) It will run Linux -- one of the data sheets implies that Linux only runs in 32-bit mode, while Windows can run 64-bit. Perhaps there's more documentation that provides more details."


How free is it? I don't know; I haven't read the licenses, so I don't know if it's free-beer-only-closed-source or Fully Stallman Compliant (unlikely) or somewhere in between (probably.)

Re:What they're doing with the Free-Beer Version. (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20278921)

Strange, i ran a 64bit linux instance under xen 3.x a while ago with no issues...

Re:What they're doing with the Free-Beer Version. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20281599)

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.

If they're smart, they'll be more open with Xen (3, Insightful)

tji (74570) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:If they're smart, they'll be more open with Xen (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 6 years ago | (#20283995)

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 minutes, from deciding to do it until I have an up-and-running virtual server.

When I compare that to the hell that was setting up (and remotely administering) VMWare, I realise I'd never want to go back. And that's without even getting into VMWare's habit of eventually swallowing up all RAM and swap on the host until everything grinds to a clanking halt.

Re:If they're smart, they'll be more open with Xen (2, Informative)

tji (74570) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286269)

> 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 'ttylinux' was painless. Specify the ISO, start the VM, and it's done before it starts.

Installing CentOS was not so simple. Install failed completely and silently. Dig around for support info.. there are hundreds of sources, each very superficial and fragmented. Finally find a random user report on a forum recommending to set the OS type to Solaris for the install. Finally works.

Installing Windows was also not a simple process. The first stage of the install was easy. Point it to the ISO, and let it fly. But, after the system reboot, re-mounting the ISO and getting the VM to find it proves to be very difficult. Finding obscure command-line options gets it moving in the right direction (although, the documented parameters fail to actually mount the ISO), after much more searching and experimentation, I was able to get it to recognize the physical disk in a CD drive and complete the install.

Installing a pre-built Xen "virtual appliance" also proves to be near impossible. This is partly because the suppliers of those appliances have little or no Xen documentation (one can only assume this reflects their userbase.. VMWare documentation is more plentiful). And, it is partly because of the configuration issues in Xen. Is this a paravirtualized image or a full hardware virtualized image? What type of disk image does it use? Again, back to hunting down configuration information all over the Internet. Many suggestions, few actually work to do anything useful. I still haven't gotten these working.

Then, with the OS's that do successfully install, using them can be troublesome. In both Windows and Linux GUI environments, there is some quirk with the mouse pointer that causes the shown VNC pointer to be offset from the GUI pointer by varying amounts (yes, I did disable mouse acceleration. Problem decreases a bit, but is still quite bad). There are many other quirks, which often don't respond well to the documented fixes: making a VM actually reboot - rather than just stopping when rebooted, requiring command line intervention to restart the VM; automatically starting VMs on reboot of the hypervisor host (Dom0). Getting a hung VM to correctly respond with status incormation or actually quit when told to. And many more issues...

Managing and monitoring multiple VMs on a host is also quite weak on Xen, and the strength of VMWare ESX server. It's all done through an intuitive GUI, tons of status and monitoring information is available, and there are bunches of APIs to extend beyond what ESX does itself.

> When I compare that to the hell that was setting up (and remotely administering) VMWare, I realise I'd never want to go back. And that's without even getting into VMWare's habit of eventually swallowing up all RAM and swap on the host until everything grinds to a clanking halt.

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.

I have seen some third party projects that aim to make better Xen management tools. Red Hat has a Python based GUI that is better than nothing. And, as I mentioned, XenSource's proprietary tools are not bad. The good news is, that Xen could easily be very competitive.. the hard work is done, the virtual machine works. Wrap a GUI around it, and it becomes available to 10x as many users.

Re:If they're smart, they'll be more open with Xen (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 6 years ago | (#20286443)

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 hellish.

But I prefer text-based interfaces in general, and I like how easy it is to script my work with Xen using familiar tools.

Re:If they're smart, they'll be more open with Xen (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 6 years ago | (#20291325)

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 other projects overtake their once dominant position.
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