Citrix partners have largely given the vendor s decision to acquire virtualisation player, XenSource, a thumbs up, saying it will create a strong competitor to current market leader, VMware. But it remains to be seen how existing Citrix resellers with VMware certifications will be impacted by the deal.
The $US500 million acquisition will enable the application delivery vendor to enter the server and desktop virtualisation markets and is expected to close in Q4. Citrix president and CEO, Mark Templeton, hopes to generate $US50 million in revenue through XenSource s virtualisation products by 2008 and take a significant share of the market by 2011.
The XenSource team will operate as a Citrix division focused on virtualisation and management, Templeton said. Citrix plans to distribute its recently released XenEnterprise 4 product through channel partners, as well as combine XenEnterprise with its own Desktop Server and other software pieces. Both are Microsoft partners and will expand that relationship, he said.
Citrix s Australian managing director, Rob Willis, said the deal opened up new sales avenues for channel partners.
"We have seen a lot of opportunity around integrating our existing desktop technology with the server side of virtualisation," he said. "Awareness of the benefits of virtualisation has been growing -- with this acquisition we re giving partners the complete story to tell."
While most Citrix partners contacted by ARN saw value in the deal, some questioned its impact on VMware relationships and several declined to comment. Regal IT has made significant investments in skilling up in Citrix and VMware. Managing director, Mark Gluckman, said he had no interest in taking on XenSource products. "XenSource would have to do something spectacular to change our minds because we are so far down the track with VMware, " he said.
"XenSource is a very immature product and is only starting to get the same feature sets as VMware. It just doesn't compare."
However, Gluckman pointed out Citrix s channel heritage and strong partner network would make it a strong contender.
"Citrix has a very technically competent and well developed channel. That s where VMware has and will continue to struggle," he said.
Melbourne-based integrator and S Central subsidiary, ExpressApps, also works with both Citrix and VMware. Technical director, Phil Lancaster, said interest in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) was growing.
"I think one of the major reasons why Citrix is looking at these products is to ensure it has a dominant place in VDI," he said. "There s been a big shift in popularity for these solutions. You don t just want to be a player on the edge while VMware makes all the runs.