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VMware vSphere vs Citrix XenServer

As technology advances, new methods of computing are created to enhance performance and productivity while reducing cost. One of these advancements is Virtualization more recently referred to as cloud computing. Many different options have arisen. The type of virtualization which I will be discussing is in house virtualization.

The current mark has a couple of different option: VMware’s vSphere, Citrix’s XenServer, RedHat’s RHEV and Microsoft’s Hyper-V. I want to compare two of the options that we mostly work with, XenServer and vSphere. The main difference is the platform they are built on. XenServer is an open source product. What is open source?  Opensource refers to something that can be modified because its design is publicly accessible.  Example of this would be Linux.  VMware is proprietary product.They developed the software in house and provide it to customers for a cost.  

As XenServer is an open source product, there is no cost to download and install this product. You may think this is great since cost does not exist. You will however find that support does not come along with it. Citrix gives you the tools but will charge you for any support you need. Prior to going to Citrix for assistance, you will need to comb through all the public documentation for help. Your cost will come with the time it takes for you to search issues on your own. If you cannot find the answer, you may need to spend additional money to get Citrix’s assistance.

VSphere comes with support built into the product purchase.They will have different offerings for different levels of support as well as different levels of product needs. You will have to research to determine which product plan will best suit your needs. Most of these offerings will include assistance with deployment and/or updates. The product plans will provide peace of mind knowing with one phone call assistance will be provided.

The products themselves are relatively the same as far as features. Updates to both products depend solely on the communities developing for them. For one to determine which of these products are better for them, it comes down to time versus money.  As it has been said that time equals money, a company will have determine the cost comparison between the two products, XenServer’s free deployment without support versus vSphere’s product plans with assistance

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