Before anyone starts shouting, yes I’m a VMware employee and a VMware fanatic or whatever they call it these days.
One of my customers phoned me up today and wanted to discuss the fact that XenServer Enterprise is available for free. I wasn’t prepared at all which makes a discussion like this very “interesting” to say the least, especially because I’m not a competitive expert.
I answered the customers question by asking a question: Do you really think the product is free and enterprise ready?
The customer referred me to this blog article by Mr. Crosby, the article clearly states:”…will find in XenServer a complete free Enterprise Virtual Infrastructure solution”.
This particular customer is a heavy DRS user, I’m talking about multiple clusters with each at least 3 resource pools which contains at least 100 VM’s each. The current version of XenServer doesn’t have the DRS implementation the customer currently uses, but not only doesn’t the current version have this feature… the next version will also not have this feature. DRS will be part of Xenserver Essentials, in other words the paid management tool.
I’m just a consultant, I might be wrong… but most of my customers consider DRS to be an Enterprise feature. But it’s actually not only DRS that’s missing from the Free “Enterprise” Virtual Infrastructure solution… what about High Availability? I could be wrong again but all my customers seem to agree that High Availability is an Enterprise feature. Again HA is available, but it has been shifted from XenServer Enterprise to XenServer Essentials, yes the paid version… and what about support on the Free version, can’t seem to find any info on support.
Now I’m not going to tell you guys that VMware has the best product or that XenServer doesn’t cut it in an enterprise environment because that depends on your needs and wants. I do want to stress that not everything is what it seems to be and don’t believe everything you read.