Citrix Xen 5.0 or Vmware ESX 3.5

Hi all

      I have been askiing few Vmware questions in the past to virtualise our servers (4 servers in total with redundancy) and got really good answers. I found out Citrix xen 5.0 server yesterday and getting quite intimidated with the price and features.

        Since we are in the initial stage of getting the hardware for the Virtualisation project, I would like to know from experts, which platform you recommend?

        What I have seen from Ctirix and several other forums is 'Xen server 5.0 have new improved features and priced based on per server NOT per processor and the performance is great.

   The price at the moment we are looking from Vmware for 2 server with dual core processors +VC licese is around $7500.

     What do you recommend experts? We are lookiing for a business class virtualisation with High availiabilty and redundancy.

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You need to consider a complete package of needs and how you're going to support those. For variable (frequently changing) needs, I would opt for Citrix and use several virtualization layers (O/S virtualization, Application Virtualization). Citrix is the leader as far as I am concerned when it comes to flexibility and Application level virtualization.

For an Enterprise level solution, where you may not have frequently changing requirements (other than supporting growth, upgrades, etc., ) I would go with the market leader in virtualization of the O/S.

Supporting any decision would probably include my comfort with the company as well. VMWare is doing very well in my camp.

(6 DELL R900's with 132Gb RAM with VM-Ware ESX).
Have no idea on Xen, but when considering platforms for virtualisation, I were undecisive between ESX and VMWare server. The problem was, that ESX performed better (ie better granularity and prioritisation over system resources), but VMWare server was free, and in certain way gave more flexibility over ESX..
Before the decision was made, VMWare made me happy with ESXi.
The same I would try on Xen versus other platforms. In the end, not everything is ultra performance, but also you should keep in mind, that you also have to manage it. Not only you, but also one of your fellow colleagues, just in case of your illness, vacancy etc.
I really think it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. VMWare is certainly the leader from a server virtualization perspective. I say this based on their longevity and track recond in the virtualizatoin business. Citrix is great stuff but they have not been in server virtualizatoin nearly as long. For the money I am an ESX fan for server virtualization. Why not given them a test run. You can get them on trial, run a few tests and see what makes the most sense for you personnally. I doubt in the end that you will really be able to see a perforomance difference of any great magnitude. You are going to love it or hate it based on how it works for you as an administrator/engineer.

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