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XenServer 5 Changes the Game in Server Virtualization
New Data Shows XenServer Gaining Share in Fast Growing Virtualization Market

The new XenServer 5 management console now supports virtually every storage environment on the market, including NAS (network attached storage), DAS (direct attached storage) and SAN (storage area networks) -- both fiber channel and iSCSI -- as well as support for 8GB HBAs (host bus adaptors) from both QLogic and Emulex. And via its open storage API, XenServer 5 adds another storage adapter, Dell EqualLogic, to a rapidly growing list of fully integrated storage management capabilities. This approach simplifies datacenter management and underscores the commitment from Citrix to let the vendors who know storage best deliver the same advanced storage capabilities across all servers in the datacenter, both physical and virtual.

This same open architectural approach extends to the popular Xen hypervisor that powers XenServer. By incorporating the Xen hypervisor, XenServer 5 automatically inherits the innovation, security and validation of hundreds of leading system developers from over 50 companies, including the world's largest server and microprocessor manufacturers.

XenServer 5 is a server virtualization platform to be validated for both AMD and Intel 32-bit and 64-bit systems through Microsoft's Server Virtualization Validated Program. This program enables Citrix and other software providers to test and validate their virtualization software to run Windows Server 2008 and previous versions of Windows Server. Under this program, Microsoft offers cooperative technical support to customers running Windows Server and select Microsoft server applications on validated, non-Microsoft server virtualization software, such as XenServer 5.

"Microsoft and Citrix share a common focus on developing an end-to-end computing environment that is flexible, dynamic and responsive to business change. Virtualization is at the heart of this work," said Zane Adam, senior director of integrated virtualization at Microsoft Corp. "To help customers get there, we're working with Citrix to standardize on a common virtualization format, develop virtual machine interoperability and portability between XenServer 5 and Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, enable cooperative technical support, and use Microsoft System Center as a common management framework."

Simple Management Provides the Antidote to Virtualization Complexity
Despite the tremendous cost savings of virtualization, industry estimates show that fewer than 15 percent of all servers are virtualized today. One reason is the growing complexity of first-generation virtualization solutions. To overcome this challenge, Citrix has taken ease-of-use to an entirely new level in XenServer 5 by including new configuration wizards, intuitive interfaces and easy point-and-click conversion of physical servers into virtual machines.

XenServer 5 also adds multiple new visibility enhancements that help administrators keep track of virtual machines as they become separated from specific hardware systems and begin to proliferate across large datacenters. These enhancements include a new Web 2.0 style tagging and searching capability which allows IT professionals to assign metadata and virtual tags to workloads, either pre-defined or customized to each organization's needs. Once tagged, virtual machines are easily located using powerful searching and sorting capabilities based on application type, quality of service requirements, department, cost center, location, origin, owner, performance requirements, or any other important attribute.

XenServer 5 also adds new enhanced performance monitoring, reporting and alerting dashboards that make it easy for IT professionals to see both real time and historical views of virtual machines and physical host performance over long periods of time with virtually no storage or performance overhead. XenServer 5 even allows custom or third-party management solutions to access and report on this persistent performance information, further enhancing ease-of-use for customers of all sizes.

Dynamic Workload Provisioning Improves Agility and Reduces Storage and Power Costs
Unlike other virtualization vendors, Citrix believes virtualization is a key enabling technology, not an end goal -- a means to an end that provides fast, flexible, cost-effective delivery of applications and desktops from a central location to any user in any location. As part of that vision, XenServer 5 is the only leading virtualization product to feature dynamic workload provisioning capabilities that let administrators instantly boot and deliver hundreds of workloads from a single image with one click, even if the target servers have no locally attached disk or hypervisor. The result is an immediate reduction of up to 80 percent in the storage footprint required to run common enterprise applications2 -- all while simultaneously reducing the number of disk images to store, patch, and manage on each individual machine. By enabling servers to run diskless, XenServer 5 also reduces architectural complexity, lowers power and cooling requirements and improves overall datacenter agility.

About Virtualization News
SYS-CON's Virtualization News Desk trawls the news sources of the world for the latest details of virtualization technologies, products, and market trends, and provides breaking news updates from the Virtualization Conference & Expo.

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