Citrix Entices VMware Customers to Choose XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V

Citrix is announcing Project Open Door in hopes of luring VMware customers to its own XenServer virtualization platform or Microsoft's Hyper-V technology. The common thread in the migration pitch is the Citrix Essentials management software that integrates with both XenServer and Hyper-V. Citrix officials touted the management software while also arguing that XenServer and Hyper-V are cheaper alternatives to VMware's vSphere 4 or ESX platforms.

Citrix Systems is kicking off a program designed to lure businesses away from VMware server virtualization technology and to Citrix's XenServer product or Microsoft's Hyper-V offering.

Citrix officials unveiled Project Open Door Oct. 14, offering free support, training and migration tools to enterprises that move from using VMware's ESX or vSphere virtualization platforms to XenServer or Hyper-V managed by the Citrix Essentials management software.

N. Louis Shipley, group vice president and general manager of Citrix's XenServer Product Group, noted the rise in popularity of the Citrix and Microsoft virtualization offering, and touted the management capabilities and cost of those offerings when compared with VMware.

"With the price of virtualization continuing to rise from other vendors, more and more enterprise customers are switching a portion of their production servers to the Citrix and Microsoft virtualization platforms," Shipley said in a statement.

The project, which runs through March 2010, is aimed at businesses that decommission five or more VMware vSphere 4 or VI3 servers and replace them with XenServer for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, in addition to choosing the Citrix Essentials management offering.

Citrix Essentials include storage integration via the software's StorageLink technology, automated lab and stage management and dynamic workload balancing, according to company officials. The result is easier interoperability for managing virtual machines across heterogeneous environments, they said.

Citrix released Citrix Essentials in February, integrating the software with both XenServer and Hyper-V in a pitch to become the top server virtualization rival to VMware.

Those making the switch will get a free five-incident support pack for every five servers converted, plus a voucher for six hours of online training. In addition, the businesses will receive free migration tools to make the switch from VMware to Citrix or Microsoft.

In support of Project Open Door, Citrix also released statements from eight customers talking about their decisions for choosing Citrix.