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Citrix, HP raise the virtualisation bar

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Citrix Systems has announced a strategic development and distribution agreement with HP that will integrate an enhanced version of Citrix XenServer into 64-bit HP ProLiant servers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Citrix and HP have jointly developed an integrated server virtualisation solution called Citrix XenServer HP Select Edition, which will be marketed to HP and Citrix customers.
The new product features an easy-to-use graphical management console and is seamlessly integrated with the same HP Insight Control management software that customers already use to physically administer their HP ProLiant servers. With this new solution, new and existing HP and Citrix customers will be able to deploy and manage a virtualised environment faster and easier than ever before.
As enterprises continue to search for new and better solutions for rising power costs and complex data centre footprints, many are turning to server virtualisation as a solution. Citrix XenServer as an integrated feature on HP ProLiant servers provides customers with an improved user experience, simplifying the adoption of virtualisation and significantly reducing the time it takes to achieve return on investment.
The Citrix XenServer HP Select Edition, part of the HP ProLiant iVirtualisation offering, provides extensive advantages over alternative solutions.
These advantages include faster implementation of Citrix XenServer virtualisation technology on HP ProLiant servers, increased ease-of use for HP ProLiant customers utilising Citrix XenServer, and leveraged investments in HP management tools such as HP Integrated Lights-Out (iLO) for remote server management.
“This integrated solution from Citrix and HP promises to have a significant impact on the industry by making the virtualisation of servers as easy as managing physical servers,” says Mark Bowker, analyst: Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). “By enabling virtualisation to be simple from the very beginning, it not only helps proliferate virtualisation technology, but also enables enterprises to adopt it faster and easier.”
Citrix XenServer is a simple, efficient way to virtualise servers and help deliver a dynamic data centre – a flexible, aggregated pool of computing and storage resources. Citrix XenServer supports 64-bit and extends the development and testing resources of the open source Xen virtualisation engine, delivering easy-to-use dynamic virtualisation solutions.
By tightly integrating Citrix XenServer into ProLiant platforms, Citrix and HP will provide a simpler deployment and management environment that speeds adoption of flexible, cost-saving server virtualisation technology, making it the optimal choice for virtualisation on HP systems. Highlights include:
* New HP ProLiant iVirtualisation: This offering integrates virtualisation capabilities into the ProLiant server platform, empowering customers to virtualise their server environments. It allows customers to quickly and easily boot up a Citrix XenServer environment, either on a single server or as part of an end-to-end Citrix solution for server, application and desktop virtualisation.
* New HP ProLiant Virtual Console: The newly developed HP ProLiant Virtual Console (PVC), unique to Citrix and HP solutions, provides the same simple-to-use GUI interface to set up and manage virtual machines as HP customers already use to set up and manage individual physical servers. HP PVC further removes complexity from virtualisation installations by offering single server virtual machine management using the server’s local keyboard, video, and mouse, or remotely using HP iLO Advanced. This reduces the need for a dedicated management server or even a network connection, as it can be handled directly on the virtualised server.
* Pre-Integrated HP Management: Citrix XenServer HP products are the only integrated virtualisation solutions to feature pre-integrated HP management agent technology. As a result, customers can use the same familiar management systems for virtualisation that they have been using on their existing HP ProLiant servers, such as HP Systems Insight Manager (SIM). HP SIM provides a consolidated view of system hardware health, configuration, performance and status information for individual HP servers. In addition, HP Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) now supports Citrix XenServer and can be used to perform advanced management of virtual machines.
* Transparent distribution of virtualisation technology: The HP version of Citrix XenServer will be available on ten models of ProLiant servers, enabling customers to order systems with XenServer already integrated. The integrated solution will transparently power on as part of the system start-up, without any user intervention. This approach enables fast and straightforward virtual deployments with a consistent, reliable, and familiar ProLiant experience. Additionally, select models of existing HP ProLiant servers will be upgradeable with the XenServer technology.
* Seamless Upgrade: Citrix XenServer HP Select Edition provides a simple license-key upgrade to more powerful enterprise-class features included in Citrix XenServer Enterprise and Platinum editions, such as dynamic provisioning of both virtual and physical servers. This makes it the only integrated virtualisation solution to allow customers to upgrade and leverage enterprise features without having to shutdown and re-install new software or backend management systems.
* End-to-end virtualisation: After implementing Citrix XenServer, HP customers can also easily take advantage of Citrix’s application and desktop virtualisation solutions to make the IT infrastructure more flexible and dynamic. Citrix XenApp™ for application virtualisation stores all Windows applications in a single central store in the data centre and then delivers them to end users on-demand via innovative application virtualisation technology. Citrix XenDesktop™ is the industry’s first comprehensive, fully integrated desktop delivery system, moving beyond the limitations of existing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) point solutions to ensure the simple, secure, fast delivery of Windows desktops to any office worker over any network.
“HP is the largest x86 server vendor in the world, and by embedding Citrix XenServer into 64-bit HP ProLiant servers, HP and Citrix will make virtualisation available to enterprises of any size and accelerate the adoption of server virtualisation,” says Nick Keene, country manager at Citrix Systems Southern Africa. “Citrix and HP share the belief that virtualisation should be a natural extension of the hardware platform, and the integration of XenServer with ProLiant uniquely combines the industry’s deepest integration with a seamless user experience.”