Today we completed certification of Citrix XenServer 5.5 with Citrix Essentials 5.5 Platinum Edition. The result - there are now two hypervisor platforms Burton Group considers enterprise-production ready. Enterprise production-ready certification requires a hypervisor platform to meet 100% of our required features (27 in all). Our criteria also includes 42 preferred features and 24 optional features. Preferred and optional features often drive the feasibility of a particular platform across a number of different use cases, but are not considered must-haves for enterprise production workloads. Citrix added several key features for the 5.5 release, including directory service integration, security logging and auditing of administrative actions, and role based access controls (via the Lab Manager interface included in Essentials 5.5 Platinum Edition). Also, Citrix reworked its XenServer support policy to meet our minimum 3 year market support requirement.

If you haven’t seen the full feature list and don’t have access to Burton Group content, stay tuned. We’ll be presenting the complete criteria list at our Catalyst conference in a couple of weeks. By meeting 100% of our required features, Citrix has demonstrated that its platform meets the security, management, availability, storage, network, compute, scalability, and performance requirements typical of many enterprises. Today Citrix has reached a plateau. Like VMware they do not meet 100% of our preferred or optional features (and as expected VMware is further along). Still, XenServer has demonstrated itself as a virtualization platform worthy of the demands of large scale enteprise environments. Congratulations, Citrix.

Having multiple production-ready hypervisors on the market means more choice for the customer, and a greater push for vendors to continue furthering innovation and competitive differentation. Regardless of where your hypervisor loyalties stand, we’ll all benefit from the progress of the XenServer platform.