Got a tweet the other day from Steve Mason – it asks when we’ll support XenServer. Our marketing group responded back via a tweet – but I thought this was a pretty interesting question – so I’m using it as the foundation of a blog article. I’ve never spoken to Steve – but wanted to give him full credit for raising the issue we’re talking about here.

Of course, the obvious point here from Steve is that we need to support XenServer. He’s right – everyone is in complete agreement. What it comes down to is prioritization.

I spoke about some of this in a previous blog posting concerning VMware, Hyper-V, and XenServer. But that was pretty technically based. What’s more important to this discussion is the market-based post I made a few weeks ago concerning VMware, Hyper-V, and XenServer. The central point was:

IDC reported in late 2011 that Hyper-V grew 62% in 2011 versus VMware ESX’s growth of 21% (note: Citrix XenServer grew 25%.)  Gartner now projects that in 2012 Hyper-V will account for 27% of the virtualization market – a significant improvement over the 11% from 2 years ago (note: Citrix is projected to grow to 6% by Gartner while Linux’s KVM is projected to be at only 2%.)

What is pretty amazing is the penetration Microsoft is projected to be making in the SMB (Small and Medium Business) space.  Gartner projects 85% Hyper-V market share for all businesses with less than 1000 employees that have implemented virtualization.

Because of these statistics, we have prioritized Hyper-V and VMware ahead of XenServer. We’re bringing out our first HOS-level Hyper-V support in a few weeks. It was a bear to do because we had to implement our own CBT (Change Block Tracking) – saying we supported Hyper-V without that seemed to completely lack integrity. (Note: Some very well-known vendors do just that – supporting only fulls because of limitations in Microsoft’s VSS architecture – but to me, that’s just misleading your buyers because they’re going to assume you do it.)

XenServer is on the roadmap and we do plan to support it. Right now, we are scoping the effort – but I’d expect in late this year.