Posts Tagged 'Xen'

Virtualization Suites

After my incursion in the virtualization intrinsics, I decided to look at three of the most popular hypervisor solutions on the market, Microsoft´s Hyper-V, VMWare´s ESX, and Citrix’s XenServer.  These are some of the findings:

Supported host operating systems:

Microsoft Hyper-V VMWare ESX/ESXi Citrix XenServer
Windows 2008 (64-bit machines with AMD-V or Intel-VT enabled processors) Linux (ESX) / Posix (ESXi) (64-bit x86 machines with or without  AMD-V or Intel-VT enabled processors) Linux (64-bit x86 machines. Requires AMD-V or Intel-VT enabled processors for Windows guests support)

As far as guest operating systems are concerned:

Microsoft Hyper-V VMWare ESX/ESXi Citrix XenServer
Windows Server 2000 Windows Server 2000 Windows Server 2000
Windows Server 2003 (x86, x64) Windows Server 2003 (x86, x64) Windows Server 2003 (x86, x64)
Windows Server 2008 (x86, x64) Windows Server 2008 (x86, x64) Windows Server 2008 (x86, x64)
Linux Linux Linux
Windows XP (x86, x64) Windows XP (x86, x64) Windows XP (x86, x64)
Windows Vista (x86, x64) Windows Vista (x86, x64) Windows Vista (x86, x64)
Windows 7 (x86, x64) Windows 7 (x86, x64)  
  NetWare  
  FreeBSD  
  Solaris  

So, how do all of these technologies fit in the solution market? Basically, solution wise there are two main different areas of virtualization, server virtualization, and desktop virtualization.  Both of these provide increasingly more sophisticated administration tools that allow for effortless virtual machine allocation and service level monitoring.

The following table presents the suite of products provided by these three major players:

  Citrix Microsoft VMWare
Virtual desktop Citrix XenDesktop  Microsoft Virtual PC VMWare Workstation
Desktop Streaming Citrix XenDesktop Microsoft RDS (Remote Desktop Services, formerly, Terminal Services) VMWare View (VMWare VDI)
Desktop Distribution Citrix XenDesktop Microsoft MED-V (Microsoft Enterprise Desktop, based on Virtual PC) VMWare View (VMWare VDI)
Application delivery Citrix XenApp Microsoft App-V VMWare ThinApp
Hypervisor Citrix XenServer Microsoft Hyper-V VMWare ESX/ESXi
Cloud OS Citrix Cloud Center C3(Citrix XenServer, Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenDesktop) Windows Azure VMWare vSphere (vCloud)

Virtualization, as we know it, is ending. The technologies behind it are growing strong and will continue to do so, but Cloud Computing is forcing virtualization to be seen as IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). Nobody really cares about dealing with virtualization´s nuts and bolts; companies demand ease of use. Increasingly more sophisticated solutions are emerging for both external and internal Clouds that will push us to redesign our DataCenters, and see it as a self-service infrastructure. More on this very shortly.