This is a quiet announcement from Citrix. Version 4.1 of the Xen Hypervisor (which Citrix says is intended not to displace VMWare but to compete with VMWare in shops that haven’t yet implemented Virtualization) has many new features and a new bundled edition can be purchased that includes Provisioning Server at no additional charge. They support the use of provisioning server in an unlimited capacity as long as the servers being provisioned reside on the same XenServer Platinum edition host. Also, 4 additional provisioned servers are supported. Not sure where they got the number 4, but overall, it’s pretty cool that you can get all this and a hypervisor too, for $5k.

To accomplish a similar goal with VMWare, you would pay about $6k for VMWare and then an additional $1k per every provisioned server whether virtual or physical. Assuming you wanted to provision 5 virtual machines and 5 physical machines, your total cash outlay when purchasing 1 copy of VMWare ESX and 10 copies of Provisioning Server would be roughly $16k. Using XenServer Platinum would result in a cost savings of $11k.

Did anyone know that XenServer Platinum even existed or was released in February? Unless you have been paying very close attention to Citrix, probably not? Also, XenServer ships with a “customized” XenApp Server virtual machine template which optimizes the XenApp Server guests resulting in better XenApp performance than with other hypervisors. I have yet to prove this personally but this is at least what Citrix is touting. I’ll have to figure out a way to prove this as I’d like to know exactly how they are accomplishing this?

Read about XenServer Platinum and Provisioning Server here:,289142,sid94_gci1298683,00.html#

The XenServer 4.1 Datasheet and Feature/Edition Matrix can be found here: