Firstly, it celebrated the success of its 2011 Global Conference – Citrix Synergy, which had taken place in San Francisco on May 25th-27th with over 5,500 attendees.
Secondly, Citrix XenServer received absolute top marks in the three market reports released the week starting June 6th by Gartner, Info-Tech Research and IDC. For the first time, all three reports portrayed Citrix as a visionary leader in this space, en par with VMWare – until recently, the indisputable leader – and ahead of Microsoft – another serious contender.
These accolades are, first, testament to the world-class server virtualization product that the XenServer product team has built (with XenServer 6 Beta going live that same week) and, second and probably more importantly, acknowledgment to the power and potential of Citrix’s vision in the cloud computing space.
It couldn’t be any other way considering that more than 85% of the public cloud today is powered by Xen. This includes the most successful players, from infrastructure providers like Amazon and Rackspace, to consumer players like Zynga and Google. Citrix partnership with these companies is extremely strong. A testament to this close relationship between Citrix and its clients is Allan Leinwand, CTO of Zynga, day 2 keynote speech at Citrix Synergy 2011. Leinwand spoke about the key role that XenServer had played in building zcloud, Zynga’s own public cloud that revolutionized infrastructure for social gaming, clearing making Citrix’s technology a core element of its success.
John Sloan, Lead Research Analyst at Info-Tech Research Group said it best: “Citrix provides the most comprehensive all-around solution for the price. VMware, for many years, was the only server virtualization game in town, which allowed it to develop a healthy lead in features and functionality. However, over the last two years, Citrix and Microsoft have largely closed this gap in consolidation and management capabilities and are now moving development to the utility infrastructure. Look closely at Citrix as an alternative to VMware - it offers many of the same features as VMware with more flexibility and a lower price.”
Interestingly enough, according to Gartner’s report, Citrix main advantage – it is the ‘open’ alternative to Microsoft and VMware – can also be a source of weakness given its long-term partnership with Microsoft. As a result, Citrix’s go-to-market strategy regarding how it competes with / complements Microsoft remains confusing for many customers and channel partners. The road ahead is full of promise and challenges!