Citrix Releases XenServer 5.5

Citrix yesterday announced the availability of Citrix XenServer 5.5, a new upgrade that it says raises the bar once again for ”free, enterprise-class virtualization”.

Today’s announcement comes just 75 days after Citrix changed the game in server virtualization by making XenServer available for unlimited production deployment at no charge. Unlike basic hypervisors that have been free for years, XenServer sets an entirely new standard for free virtualization with powerful features such as centralized multi-node management, built-in storage and full live motion.

In the short period of time since its release, more than 100,000 customers have downloaded XenServer from hundreds of download sites in over 50 countries worldwide with overwhelmingly positive feedback. The new XenServer 5.5 release, available for download today, provides these customers even more value by adding a wide range of new enterprise management capabilities at no additional charge.

The XenServer 5.5 release available for download today adds a wide range of new features that enable easier virtualization management and broader integration with enterprise systems. The latest version now includes features such as consolidated backup, enhanced conversion and search tools, Active Directory integration and expanded guest support for virtually every version of Windows and Linux operating systems. With the new 5.5 release, XenServer provides all the functionality that typically costs up to $5,000 per server with other leading virtualization products.

Also available today is the new 5.5 release of Citrix Essentials for XenServer and Hyper-V, providing advanced virtualization management capabilities for customers using Citrix XenServer or MicrosoftWindows Server 2008 Hyper-V.  Citrix Essentials 5.5 enhances both of these high-growth virtualization platforms by adding expanded storage integration, automated lab and stage management and dynamic workload balancing.

In addition to the availability of the 5.5 product releases, Citrix also today announced the XenServer Central community website, a new resource for all things XenServer to help users enhance their use of the free enterprise-ready virtualization platform.  The XenServer Central website will feature the latest product information, tips and tricks, access to the Citrix KnowledgeCenter and web-based support forums. Offers from Citrix Ready partners for free or discounted licenses for complementary products will also be featured, as well as the latest XenServer content on CitrixTV, Twitter and the blogosphere.

XenServer Central will go live on June 19 at http://www.citrix.com/xenservercentral.

The new XenServer 5.5 release is immediately available for download here. Citrix Essentials 5.5 for XenServer and Hyper-V are also available immediately for purchase or a 30-day trial version on this website.  Suggested pricing for Citrix Essentials starts at $2,500 per server, regardless of the number of processors.

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I'm a blogger, entrepreneur, conference organizer, social media consultant, startup advisor and allround web addict, based in Belgium, Europe. I'm a writer at TechCrunch and managing editor of Virtualization.com.

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