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News Item

New Program for Customers Switching From VMware to XenServer or Hyper-V

Citrix's “Open Door” project offers advanced virtualization management to customers switching servers

Cloud Computing Journal

Citrix Systems, Inc. announced a new program called Project “Open Door” that offers advanced virtualization management along with free support, training and conversion tools to customers switching servers from VMware ESX or vSphere to Citrix XenServer or Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. With more than 70 percent of enterprise customers now using multiple hypervisors in production1, demand for the Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer virtualization platforms continues to grow. In fact, over the past 30 days the number of large enterprise customers who have activated XenServer for production use has more than doubled, and now represents 20 percent of the Global Fortune 500. Project Open Door makes it easier for customers who want to switch out existing VMware servers for the rapidly growing XenServer and Hyper-V platforms, offering advanced virtualization management for both environments, along with free support, training and conversion tools to make the transition as simple as possible.

“XenServer and Hyper-V are clearly the fastest growing virtualization platforms in the industry today, each appealing to a different set of users,” said N. Louis Shipley, group vice president and general manager, XenServer Product Group at Citrix. “With the price of virtualization continuing to rise from other vendors, more and more enterprise customers are switching a portion of their production servers to the Citrix and Microsoft virtualization platforms. Project Open Door helps these customers achieve more agile datacenters by offering them advanced virtualization management through our Citrix Essentials for XenServer and Hyper-V solution, as well as assistance in making the transition smooth, easy and cost-effective. With more virtualization choices than ever, we encourage customers to shop around and make the right choice for their environment.”

Project Open Door helps ensure customers looking to expand their datacenters with XenServer or Hyper-V have a smooth transition. Through March 2010, customers who switch existing VMware servers to XenServer or Hyper-V, and add Citrix Essentials for advanced virtualization management, will receive additional technical support, training, and conversion tools from Citrix at no cost.

Citrix Essentials enhances the XenServer and Hyper-V platforms by adding powerful storage integration through Citrix StorageLink technology, automated lab and stage management and dynamic workload balancing. This combination enables broad interoperability that makes it easier for customers to manage virtual machines across heterogeneous virtualization environments throughout the full application lifecycle, from lab and testing to production.

With one in five enterprise customers now using XenServer, production deployments are growing rapidly across all industry segments. According to the Burton Group, using Citrix XenServer with Citrix Essentials meets 100 percent of the required features for enterprise production deployment. By switching servers from more expensive solutions to XenServer, customers have found that they not only get powerful, enterprise-class virtualization at a far lower cost, they are better equipped to future-proof their virtualization infrastructures for the coming wave of cloud computing. Customers who recently made the switch to XenServer include companies of all sizes, across multiple industries:

“The choice to go with Citrix came down to performance,” said Michael Gilbert, director, IT Divisional Services, Randstad Professionals, a leading global provider of professional employment services. “The 64-bit architecture simply outperformed anything else out there, and that had real world implications in terms of saving costs on additional hardware. Obviously, the price difference is nice, but it’s really the performance that matters. As we take XenServer deeper into the environment we are constantly finding new applications for the technology. For Randstad, leveraging virtualization for disaster recovery purposes is the next on our list.”

“Our first foray into virtualization with another vendor resulted in a host of complaints from users regarding the performance of their applications,” said Scott Richards, systems engineer, Zions Bank, a regional financial services leader with more than 500 offices across 10 US states. “At that point we had a choice to either return to physical or try again with XenServer. In our ‘last ditch’ effort to capture the promise of virtualization we tested Citrix and have been very pleased with the results. Not only have we reduced our hardware footprint and server sprawl but we have also been able to obtain higher levels of application availability, all while meeting the needs of our end user customers. Without XenServer we would have had to revert to the days of underutilized and expensive physical infrastructure. For Zions Bank, it has been a win-win situation all the way around.”

“Citrix XenServer has been the best choice for helping us shrink our server footprint and reduce hardware and virtualization licensing costs,” said Ziad Sukkar, CIO, Asia Pacific Region, Sirva Relocation and affiliate Allied Pickfords, a global shipping provider with operations in more than 40 countries worldwide. “It was surprisingly simple to migrate using the Citrix supplied conversion tools, and we have already seen a huge reduction in overall costs, as well as increased stability and performance of our server virtualization platform. In fact, we are planning to expand our implementation of XenServer so we can virtualize additional applications.” (see their video here that talks about why they made the switch)).

“The Facilities Management Information Systems unit was the first on the UC Davis campus to host large-scale application deployment on the XenServer platform. When we took a step back and looked at our vision for IT, the decision to move to XenServer was really easy to make,” said Florencio Inzunza, network systems administrator, University of California, Davis. “Our ultimate goal is to provide maximum service levels with minimal administrative overhead, and the Citrix focus on delivery, as well as cost effective hosting via virtualization, made the decision very clear.”

“After doing in-depth comparisons of all the virtualization platforms out there, it became quite clear that XenServer provides the biggest bang for the buck,” said Steven Miller, IT manager, Guy M. Turner, a leading regional industrial equipment and transportation company based in North Carolina. “Getting everything we need at a fraction of the cost of many of the alternative solutions on the market just makes sense. It is clear to us that, for perhaps the first time, there is some stout competition to VMware. That is good for the market.”

“For us, the choice to deploy XenServer is all about getting the most performance and scalability for our XenApp servers,” said Jon Garlock, systems manager, J.H. Cohn, one of the largest independent accounting and consulting firms in the United States. “We have seen a huge advantage to running XenApp on XenServer. So much so, that it was simply in our best economic interest to make the switch. By increasing the density and the performance for end users running applications in XenApp, we were easily able to justify the switch.”

“After running and testing both the leading virtualization solutions side by side, our organization standardized on XenServer and now have a host of IT production services running on XenServer,” said Paul Matthews, chief technology officer, OCHIN, Inc., a leader in the health information technology industry. “These include our HL7 Messaging, gateway and e-pharmacy solutions. For a health cooperative of our size and scope, messaging and prescription services are our life blood. So to host these mission critical services on a virtual platform we had to be 100 percent certain of the stability and reliability of the underlying technology. XenServer has exceeded our expectations on all fronts.”

“In making virtualized servers a standard part of our IT infrastructure, we required a secure, reliable, flexible, feature rich and cost effective platform,” said Tom Norton, ICT development manager, Taunton School in the UK. “After careful comparison between XenServer and the VMware technology we had been using, we found XenServer offered all the features we needed, at a fraction of the price. By decommissioning our VMware servers and replacing them with XenServer, we have not only lowered costs, but also gained capacity to support more users on each server and eased the management of the system.

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