Citrix Releases XenServer 4.1, Simplifies Pricing Policy

Citrix XenServer 4.1

This sure took a while: Citrix finally upgraded XenServer yesterday with the 4.1 release, adding some 50 new features for the first major version upgrade since Citrix acquired XenSource last August.

Citrix XenServer 4.1

Some of the most compelling new capabilities:

  • XenMotion: Seamlessly move virtual machines without downtime
  • XenCenter: Unified virtualization management interface, including servers, storage and networking
  • Native 64-bit hypervisor: Scalability and support for enterprise applications
  • Resource Pools: Efficient configuration, allocation and authentication for virtualization resources
  • XenAPI: Integration with existing management invesments, infrastructure and processes

But it’s the change in pricing policy, which it dubs ‘groundbreaking‘, that deserves a closer look the most: with the release of 4.1, the company is moving away from counting sockets to charging on a per-physical server basis for all XenServer editions. Citrix claims this should let customers have an unlimited number of virtual machines or guest operating systems running on a server for the same price.

XenServer starts at $ 600 per server for an annual license, and $ 900 per server for a perpetual license. Customers using the old pricing structure will need to wait until their current licenses run out before making the change. The new pricing applies to all industry standard 64-bit servers with up to four CPU sockets.

Curious to see if VMware will change its pricing strategy too, and if Microsoft will adapt accordingly (both VMware as Windows Server 2008 Data Center edition with Hyper-V will be charged on a per-processor basis).

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