Citrix Brings XenServer Back To Open-Source Community

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Citrix Systems Tuesday said it has moved its XenServer virtualization technology to the open-source community and is now focused on providing management and support.

Citrix also simplified XenServer by offering it via single unified version instead of the three previously available, and changed its service and support pricing to a socket-based licensing model.

XenServer 6.2 becomes the first full-featured, full open-source version of the virtualization technology, and development will be community-led going forward, said Scott Lindars, senior product marketing manager of cloud solutions at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Citrix.


[Related: Citrix Is 'Going Mobile,' Opens XenDesktop 7, XenMobile To Any Device]

The move by Citrix to pass XenServer feature development to the Linux community via a new portal,, comes as virtualization technology matures and becomes more in tune with the cloud, Lindars said.

"The opportunities for virtualization are not getting smaller," he said. "But the biggest opportunity today for virtualization is in the cloud. And where that adoption is happening is in open solutions like Hadoop. We feel putting XenServer in the same category as these applications is the best way to drive forward on cloud solutions."

XenServer started out as an open-source offering managed by XenSource, which Citrix acquired for $500 million in 2007.

Citrix in April said that open community development for the Xen virtualization platform will become a Linux Foundation Collaboration Project. A new portal gives customers and partners access to the XenServer code and a new home for innovation going forward, Lindars said.

This is a huge win for XenServer users as it ensures that versions going forward are truly open source, said Ian Rae, founder and CEO of CloudOps, a Montreal-based systems integrator for public and private clouds.

"Admittedly, I'm biased," Rae said. "When Citrix acquired XenSource, it didn't do a really good job of managing the Xen open-source project. The way they managed it rubbed the open-source community the wrong way. XenServer really became Citrix's version of the open-source Xen, with Citrix adding its own technology to it."

That way of managing an open-source project while adding proprietary technology was fine five years ago, and quite common, Rae said.

NEXT: Bold Move For Citrix

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