This morning Citrix and HP jointly announced a long awaited strategic development and distribution agreement that will integrate an enhanced version of Citrix XenServer™ into 64-bit HP ProLiant servers, which they ‘simply’ named the Citrix XenServer HP Select Edition.
The subtitle of the press-release proudly claims “Jointly Developed Solution Offers Unparalleled User Experience and Out-of-the-Box Integration with HP Insight Control Management Software”. We are not sure if Citrix tries to hint at Virtualization vendor Parallels with this interesting choice of wording…
This new solution supposedly features an easy-to-use graphical management console and is seamlessly integrated with the same HP Insight Control management software that customers already use to physically administer their HP ProLiant servers. With this new solution, new and existing HP and Citrix customers will be able to deploy and manage a virtualized environment faster and easier than before. This virtualization bundle follows the VMware partnership with HP, which was announced a few weeks ago during the VMworld Europe Event in Cannes.
Seems like there are interesting times ahead, when you purchase servers at the major hardware vendors… Upon ordering, you will be able to select which virtualization vendor (VMware or XenServer) you want to bundle you new hardware with. Dell already opened a Virtualization price war, as it announced to cover the full cost of certain VMware ESX server 3i licenses and bundles it for free with its newest servers.
These advantages include faster implementation of Citrix XenServer virtualization technology on HP ProLiant servers, increased ease-of use for HP ProLiant customers utilizing Citrix XenServer, and leveraged investments in HP management tools such as HP Integrated Lights-Out (iLO) for remote server management.
“This integrated solution from Citrix and HP promises to have a significant impact on the industry by making the virtualization of servers as easy as managing physical servers,” said Mark Bowker, analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). “By enabling virtualization to be simple from the very beginning, it not only helps proliferate virtualization technology, but also enables enterprises to adopt it faster and easier.”
Integrated Virtualization Done Right
Citrix XenServer is a simple, efficient way to virtualize servers and help deliver a dynamic data center—a flexible, aggregated pool of computing and storage resources. Citrix XenServer supports 64-bit and extends the development and testing resources of the open source Xen virtualization engine, delivering easy-to-use dynamic virtualization solutions.
By tightly integrating Citrix XenServer into ProLiant platforms, Citrix and HP will provide a simpler deployment and management environment that speeds adoption of flexible, cost-saving server virtualization technology, making it the optimal choice for virtualization on HP systems. Highlights include:
• New HP ProLiant iVirtualization – This offering integrates virtualization capabilities into the ProLiant server platform, empowering customers to virtualize their server environments. It allows customers to quickly and easily boot up a Citrix XenServer environment, either on a single server or as part of an end-to-end Citrix solution for server, application and desktop virtualization (see today’s related announcement from HP).
• New HP ProLiant Virtual Console – The newly developed HP ProLiant Virtual Console (PVC), unique to Citrix and HP solutions, provides the same simple-to-use GUI interface to set up and manage virtual machines as HP customers already use to set up and manage individual physical servers. HP PVC further removes complexity from virtualization installations by offering single server virtual machine management using the server’s local keyboard, video, and mouse, or remotely using HP iLO that comes standard with every ProLiant server. This reduces the need for a dedicated management server or even a network connection, as it can be handled directly on the virtualized server.
• Pre-Integrated HP Management – Citrix XenServer HP products are the only integrated virtualization solutions to feature pre-integrated HP management agent technology. As a result, customers can use the same familiar management systems for virtualization that they have been using on their existing HP ProLiant servers, such as HP Systems Insight Manager (SIM). HP SIM provides a consolidated view of system hardware health, configuration, performance and status information for individual HP servers. In addition, HP Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) now supports Citrix XenServer and can be used to perform advanced management of virtual machines.
• Transparent Distribution of Virtualization Technology – The HP version of Citrix XenServer will be available on ten models of ProLiant servers, enabling customers to order systems with XenServer already integrated. The integrated solution will transparently power on as part of the system start-up, without any user intervention. This approach enables fast and straightforward virtual deployments with a consistent, reliable, and familiar ProLiant experience. Additionally, select models of existing HP ProLiant servers will be upgradeable with the XenServer technology.
• Seamless Upgrade – Citrix XenServer HP Select Edition provides a simple license-key upgrade to more powerful enterprise-class features included in Citrix XenServer Enterprise and Platinum editions, such as dynamic provisioning of both virtual and physical servers. – This makes it the only integrated virtualization solution to allow customers to upgrade and leverage enterprise features without having to shutdown and re-install new software or backend management systems.
• End-to-End Virtualization – After implementing Citrix XenServer, HP customers can also easily take advantage of Citrix’s application and desktop virtualization solutions to make the IT infrastructure more flexible and dynamic. Citrix XenApp™ for application virtualization stores all Windows applications in a single central store in the datacenter and then delivers them to end users on-demand via innovative application virtualization technology. Citrix XenDesktop™ is the industry’s first comprehensive, fully integrated desktop delivery system, moving beyond the limitations of existing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) point solutions to ensure the simple, secure, fast delivery of Windows desktops to any office worker over any network.
“HP is the largest x86 server vendor in the world, and by embedding Citrix XenServer into 64-bit HP ProLiant servers, HP and Citrix will make virtualization available to enterprises of any size and accelerate the adoption of server virtualization,” said Peter Levine, senior vice president and general manager, Virtualization and Management Division, Citrix. “Citrix and HP share the belief that virtualization should be a natural extension of the hardware platform, and the integration of XenServer with ProLiant uniquely combines the industry’s deepest integration with a seamless user experience.”
“We have made significant efforts to ensure our customers have the leading options for deploying and managing virtualization,” said Scott Farrand, vice president, Industry Standard Server Software, HP. “HP ProLiant and BladeSystem servers with Insight Control management tools, combined with the unique architecture of Citrix XenServer, deliver a truly integrated user experience that makes virtualization feel like a seamless capability within the infrastructure.”
In addition to these comprehensive server virtualization capabilities, the two companies are also working to strengthen existing storage capabilities for customers. Citrix is a member of the HP Information Management and Storage Partner Program and is working closely with HP’s StorageWorks division on compatibility and certification testing across HP’s enterprise storage product portfolio.
Citrix XenServer HP Select Edition will be available and supported worldwide from HP on March 31, 2008. The Citrix XenServer HP Select Edition offers a low cost, all-in-one solution with integrated Citrix XenServer and HP ProLiant Virtual Console for single server management. HP Select Edition allows creation of an unlimited number of virtual machines per server, with up to 32 GB memory per virtual machine. For optimum enhanced data center flexibility, HP Enterprise Edition enables additional functionality such as resource pooling and live migration. This functionality leverages both ProLiant Virtual Console for single server management and XenCenter for virtual machine management across multiple servers. HP Enterprise Edition also includes HP technical support and services.
About Citrix XenServer
Citrix XenServer, a member of the Citrix Delivery Center™ product family, is an enterprise-class solution for virtualizing application workloads across any number of servers in the datacenter as a flexible aggregated pool of computing resources. With the new Platinum Edition, XenServer becomes the first and only solution on the market to address both virtual and physical servers, making the entire datacenter more dynamic.