The agreement with Citrix gives the OEM another
out-of-the-box virtualization package to complement its recent
agreement with VMware.
Hewlett-Packard is adding another virtualization option to its line of
Company officials announced March 19 that they will begin embedding a
co-developed version of Citrix's XenServer virtualization software into 10
different ProLiant systems starting March 31. They also have developed a set of
management tools that will create and control the various virtual environments.
The embedded Citrix
, which is only 366KB, is stored in the system's
internal flash memory and will boot up along with the hardware when the server
is first installed. HP and Citrix will also sell the hypervisor in a USB
drive for those customers who want to retrofit older ProLiant servers with the
The deal with Citrix follows a similar agreement that HP
struck last month with VMware,
the largest of the x86 virtualization
vendors, which will embed the ESX 3i hypervisor across the ProLiant line,
giving customers a much easier way to access virtualization. The move might
also appeal to midmarket and small-business users who are interested in the
technology but lack the IT know-how to get started.
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The ESX 3i, much like the Citrix XenServer, sits directly on the hardware
and allows a user to easily partition the system. At 32MB, the 3i is larger than
its counterpart, although both reside within flash memory.
At its European customer conference in Barcelona,
Spain, March 17, HP
also announced a range of new services and software
that look to make
deploying virtualization across the data center much more practical. One
offering, Virtual Server Environment, works with any hypervisor and allows the IT
department to pool resources across the data center.
Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT, sees the recent announcements of
embedded virtualization from Citrix (which entered the virtualization market in
2007 by acquiring XenSource) and VMware as a reaction to the upcoming Hyper-V
option that Microsoft will offer with Windows Server 2008.
"The sense I get is that there is a firm belief from the folks in these
firms that the hypervisor embedded in the operating system gives an extra
competitive advantage to Microsoft," King said. "Having options, such as the
ones VMware and Citrix are beginning to offer, ensures that they will have
parity, if not superiority, when the Hyper-V product finally comes to the