Citrix Bringing Virtualization to China

Citrix is hoping a partnership with Lenovo will help it spread its technology into the massive Chinese market.

Citrix and Lenovo are partnering to bring virtualization technology to the Chinese market.

The deal, announced March 17, means that Lenovo will certify, support and integrate Citrix's XenServer and other virtualization products into the servers it sells in China. Citrix entered the virtualization market in force in 2007 when it bought XenSource, which bases its virtualization technology on the open-source Xen hypervisor.

The agreement also gives Citrix access to one of the world's largest markets for IT through one of the largest providers of PCs and servers within China.

The agreement comes after VMware, the largest x86 virtualization vendor, announced plans in November to expand into the Chinese market itself with a 35-person research and development team that is expected to grow.

Although Lenovo is based in Raleigh, N.C., it remains an essential Chinese company and offers a range of products for that market that it does not sell elsewhere in the world. That will change next year when Lenovo begins selling x86 servers both in the U.S. market and elsewhere.

In an e-mail statement, Simon Crosby, CTO of Citrix's Virtualization and Management division, said his company's deal with Lenovo only involves the Chinese market at this point.

"The Citrix-Lenovo announcement currently focuses on China, where Citrix is offering customers a simpler way to implement virtualization as an integrated part of the server hardware, leading to better quality and more rapid implementation," Crosby said. "The agreement with Lenovo, the largest local server vendor in China, is a key part of our strategy to deploy Citrix XenServer virtualization on every server."

By April, Lenovo will begin selling the Citrix virtualization technology with its two- and four-socket servers.