More than 10% of Global Fortune 500 companies have downloaded and activated the Citrix XenServer virtualisation platform for production use in the last four months, with activations among large enterprises spiking significantly after the release of XenServer 5.5 in June.

Since making XenServer available for free unlimited production deployment earlier this year, more than 150 000 users have downloaded the product from hundreds of download sites in over 50 countries.
With its latest release, XenServer has set a new standard for free virtualisation, going beyond the basic hypervisors that have been free for years by adding powerful features such as centralised multi-node management, built-in storage and full live motion. By providing a free, full-featured alternative that dramatically lowers the entry price of virtualisation, Citrix has saved companies of all sizes millions of dollars and provided compelling value to IT organisations as they face shrinking budgets.
“Many industry observers assumed a free XenServer product would not have much appeal outside of mid-sized enterprises and large scale cloud providers,” says Nick Keene, country manager of Citrix Systems. “While XenServer has clearly been very popular in those traditionally strong segments, our traction within the Global Fortune 500 is growing much faster than most expected.
"XenServer already has a strong presence in this base as a part of existing Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp deployments, but the number of large enterprises putting it into production purely for server virtualisation in the last few weeks has been nothing short of amazing. At the rate these deployments are growing, XenServer is going to take a lot of folks by surprise.”
A big reason for the recent surge among large enterprise organisations has been the release of XenServer 5.5 in June, adding a wide range of new enterprise-class capabilities. The Burton Group, in fact, recently certified Citrix XenServer 5.5 and its Citrix Essentials 5.5 management add-on as one of only two hypervisor platforms in the industry to meet 100% of the analyst firm’s required features for enterprise production. To be certified as enterprise production-ready under Burton Group’s comprehensive evaluation criteria, a server virtualisation platform must pass a rigorous examination of virtualisation, computing, storage, networking, security and management capabilities.
While users have everything they need with XenServer to deploy and centrally manage full enterprise-class virtualisation on any number of servers with no upfront costs, those who need more advanced virtualisation management capabilities can purchase Citrix Essentials for XenServer. The Citrix Essentials product line also extends the enterprise management capabilities of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center, helping customers create highly scalable, manageable and agile virtual infrastructures within a Microsoft environment.
Citrix Essentials enhances both of these high-growth virtualisation platforms by adding expanded storage integration, automated lab and stage management and dynamic workload balancing. This combination enables broad interoperability that makes it easier for customers to manage virtual machines across heterogeneous virtualisation environments throughout the full application lifecycle, from lab and testing to production.