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Dell to embed Xen hypervisor in PowerEdge servers

HP has moment of Xen as well

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Citrix Systems has wrangled Dell as the first Tier 1 server vendor to embed the Xen hypervisor in its x86 servers.

The announcement comes just one day after Citrix completed its $500m purchase of the open-source virtualization firm, XenSource.

Beginning next year, Dell's PowerEdge server line will have the option of shipping with a pre-installed Citrix XenServer OEM Edition software.

This particular Xen package supports two sockets with up to 4GB of RAM and hosts up to four virtual machines. The OEM edition can be upgraded to the server or enterprise versions for the usual licensing cost.

The vendor angle for embedding a hypervisor is that customers can in essence boot to a virtual machine-ready state out of box, skipping the hassle of setting up a virtual environment. In this OEM deal, customers also get software certified and supported by Dell as well.

For Dell, the move adds a choice of hypervisors offered pre-installed with their machines. Dell currently has a similar offering with VMware and its ESX Lite hypervisor. The company told El Reg that it also wants to strike a deal with Microsoft when its virtualization product line grows legs.

Citrix, meanwhile, is ready to start talking Xen OEM deals - in part to eliminate concerns it'll bury the Xen brand in the server space in favor of desktop virtualization.

The company has big plans for Xensource's embedded server hypervisor, according to John Bara, veep of business operations at Citrix. He told us that the company will announce more OEM deals for XenSource in coming months. He thinks that more than 50 per cent of x86 servers will ship Citrix Xen server as an embedded option, by the middle of next year.

Dell expects to begin shipping servers embedded with Citrix XenServer OEM Edition in Q1 2008.

The ink is drying on other pacts with OEM dealers to help give the Xen brand headway on the market leader, VMware. Deals such as...

HP to certify, sell and support XenServer virtualization

While not an embedding deal, Citrix hopes that aligning itself with the largest x86 server vendor in the world will lend it some serious market gravitas.

Citrix announced today an agreement with Hewlett-Packard to qualify and sell Citrix XenServer Enterprise Edition on HP ProLiant and BladeSystem servers.

"We think this is a very positive move in giving Xen the next level of enterprise credibility," said Bara.

The deal will see HP selling the software in conjunction with a server, or afterwards as a stand-alone product.

Bara wouldn't say what the deal means for potential hypervisor embedding pacts with HP in the future, but offered some insight into their plans.

"There are absolutely no closed doors with HP. This is part of a deepening strategic relationship with HP."

So there you have it...sorta. ®

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