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"Customers have been telling Citrix they really need support," CloudOps' Rae said. "They need fast patches as problems develop and need someone there to pick up the phone 24x7. For features, let the community deliver. Commercial firms like Citrix can focus on support."
Rae called the single XenServer offering fantastic. "If a customer downloads the free version for test and development, then when the application goes into production they know it works right," he said. "This simplifies the world for contributors, customers and partners."
Moving XenServer to open source also could open new opportunities to the channel, Rae said.
"It will be free, which is a low barrier to entry," he said. "So anyone can use it. But Citrix is now focusing on the value-add of maintenance and support. Citrix has learned the right way to do open source by experience and by working with the open-source community."
Lindars pointed out additional opportunities. "There could be an upswell of new users downloading the free version who will then look to the channel for help with tech support and software maintenance," he said.