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Citrix ceases sale of Essentials for Hyper-V

Citing Citrix Essentials' overlap with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012, Citrix says it will focus its development efforts elsewhere.

Citrix Systems Inc. confirmed reports that it will stop selling its Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V, as well as its StorageLink Site Recovery for Hyper-V, citing overlap with Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012.

Reports about Citrix discontinuing the sale of its Hyper-V management tools first surfaced on Twitter after the Citrix Technology Information Exchange, a Dutch event, and were confirmed by a Citrix spokesperson.

“There has been some overlap in development as Microsoft advances their platform and management stack on Hyper-V,” according to a Citrix statement issued through a spokesperson Thursday.  “Based on customer feedback and adoption, Citrix is focusing our integration efforts on System Center.”

Stepping on SCVMM’s toes
Introduced in 2009, the Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V family was billed as a way to augment then-barebones Microsoft Hyper-V environments with enhanced management and disaster recovery capabilities.

Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V includes StorageLink, which ties management storage resources to virtual servers through a Citrix application programming interface. It also includes StorageLink Site Recovery, which includes wizards that initiate remote replication between arrays to protect Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs), as well as features to automate configuration validation between primary and secondary sites, non-disruptive testing and failover controls. Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V also includes lab management, stage management, and dynamic provisioning, which provides deployment of workloads to Hyper-V VMs or physical Windows servers from a single golden image.

Since Essentials’ release, Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) has been catching up with it. SCVMM 2012, currently in beta, will be the first version to provision bare-metal server hardware, host clusters, load balancers, and network and storage resources for VMs. The new product will also add the ability to deploy application services from a template for multiple VMs.

And for the first time, SCVMM 2012 will support the management of XenServer virtual machines, further eroding the usefulness of Citrix’s management stack.

“[Discontinuing Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V] enables joint Citrix-Microsoft customers to get the benefits of XenDesktop features like IntelliCache (which is a XenServer-enabled XenDesktop feature) while managing their XenDesktop and XenServer environment with System Center,” according to the Citrix statement.

According to the Citrix product matrix website, the end-of-sale date for Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V was May 16. The end of maintenance is slated for May 16, 2012, and the end of life for Sept. 15, 2012.

Change afoot at Citrix
Partners say Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V had not seen widespread adoption.

“The usage and adoption of Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V and StorageLink Site Recovery for Hyper-V specifically in real-world customer scenarios is small,” wrote Ruben Spruijt, chief technology officer for Dutch Citrix partner PQR in an email.  “Combine this with an interesting System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 roadmap and you know it’s smart to use the valuable Citrix development resources on other interesting projects.”

This news comes on the heels of executive upheavals for Citrix this week, in which XenSource co-founders Simon Crosby and Ian Pratt announced they were leaving the company to co-found a new cloud security startup. 

Beth Pariseau is a senior news writer for Write to her at

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