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2/24/2009
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Citrix Taps VMLogix For Hypervisor Management System

VMLogix's cross-platform LabManager and Stage Manager hypervisor management tools will be key elements of Citrix Essentials for XenServer and Hyper-V.

Citrix Systems and Microsoft took a giant step forward in their competition with VMware by offering Citrix Essentials for XenServer and Hyper-V this week.

But they wouldn't have been able to do it if Citrix hadn't signed an OEM agreement to resell a small company's cross-platform hypervisor management system.

VMLogix's LabManager and VMLogix Stage Manager were tapped by Citrix to supply key elements of the new Citrix Essentials for XenServer and Hyper-V. With LabManager and Stage Manager, Citrix and Microsoft could match management features that VMware has offered since November 2006.

VMLogix of Palo Alto, Calif., and Bangalore, India, was an early entrant to the field of testing new software in virtual machines and test-driving combinations of the operating system, application, and its middleware in a VM before deploying them in a production setting.

In both cases, failures can occur with little or no impact on regular operations. The old way in some data centers was to test in the production environment and pray that all went well.

VMLogix first brought out its LabManager in July 2007, a few months after VMware's LabManager initiative.

"We selected VMLogix because they deliver best-in-class solutions in their markets," said Simon Crosby, CTO of the virtualization division of Citrix, in making Monday's announcement on Citrix Essentials. Crosby noted VMLogix's ability to provide cross-hypervisor management for both Citrix's XenServer and Microsoft's Hyper-V was a key factor. The cross-hypervisor capability aligned closely with Citrix's new role of taking the management lead for both Hyper-V and XenServer hypervisors through its Citrix Essentials product line.

VMLogix will continue to offer its own LabManager and StageManager products after Citrix begins shipping Essentials. They will be priced at $3,885, but in that form, the products can also manage VMware's ESX Server. VMLogix is one of a handful of small companies that has sought to achieve cross-hypervisor capabilities.

Citrix will charge $3,000 for similar capabilities in its Essentials for XenServer and Hyper-V, Platinum Edition. VMLogix LabManager and StageManager won't be included in the $1,500 Enterprise Edition of Citrix Essentials, said VMLogix CEO Sameer Dholakia in an interview.

Dholakia predicted in an interview with InformationWeek last year, that data centers will quickly become mixed environments, relying on more than one brand of hypervisor, noting that Windows Server 2008 started shipping with Hyper-V included.

His firm has 36 customers, and anticipates reaching a much wider customer base through the OEM agreement with Citrix.


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