Citrix XenServer is really open source now

March 11, 2010

Yes, I know that it isn’t a fresh news, just a simply remind for everyone that missed it. Now Citrix XenServer is really an opensource software. Some days ago in fact, when I was retrieving the latest XenServer ISO (with Update 2 included) with myCitrix account, I realised that also the source code was available for download from the corporate website.
The open source code is available here too, also if you don’t have a myCitrix account.

Obviously the source code doesn’t include XenCenter (the centralized management interface, free of charge but proprietary) and the heartbeat element required for High Availability, included in the full version (the Essential component).

I remember that Citrix XenServer is a commercial implementation of the Xen open source hypervisor, and that in August 2007 Citrix acquired XenSource, the company which started and developed the Xen project since its early days, for $500M. So, when Citrix give away XenServer for free in February 2009 and then announced it will release it as open source, it caused much surprise among the people especially considering the amount of this sum of money.
Now Citrix is working to the next release (6.0?) and the open sorce version of XenServer is the foundation of the Xen Cloud Platform (XCP).

Citrix revenues are (and will be) mainly from products such as Citrix XenDesktop, which can safely rely on the hypervisors of competition, but it is clear that if future releases of XenServer will allow better performance and will increase the number of VMs per core or raise up the level of performance used for advanced functionality as the HDX, these margins could increase further.
I would then emphasize how Citrix is focusing a lot on Virtual Appliances (VA), so after NetScaler VPX and Access Gateway VPX, also Branch Repeater VPX is coming and all these VA provide a further opportunity to test the hypervisor from Fort Lauderdale.


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