Brian’s followup clarifies his point:
When I say that Citrix will drop Xen, I mean that Citrix will drop the open source Xen hypervisor. I do not believe that Citrix will drop their XenServer product.
When you consider that Citrix Xenserver is a hypervisor based virtualisation stack (Xen on CentOS), and a virtualisation management tool (XenCenter), then sure, it’s possible for Citrix to change XenCenter so that it manages Windows Hyper-V instead. Xenserver, the product and brand, becomes a Windows 2008 Hyper-V install, and XenCenter manages that instead. It’s possible. Scott’s comments about porting Xen to windows missed the mark – Citrix only need to port the management stack and change the virtualisation layer to windows. RedHat are in the process of doing something similar with their recent move away from Xen to KVM. It’s not as radical a shift as from Xen to Hyper-V, but it’s as radical as you need to be – it’s a completely different virtualisation stack.
I’m still not sure I agree with Brian though. Citrix just dropped $550M on purchasing Xensource, and then promptly rebranded their flagship product to match. Granted, Citrix have a great track record for rebranding every couple of years, but it seems like a colossal waste of money given that Hyper-V, while not released at the time, was defintely public knowledge.
Citrix also have no need to drop the Xen out from under Xenserver. Citrix Workflow Studio already handles some automation tasks for both Xenserver and Hyper-V, and it’s no stretch to see this working on VMWare systems as well. Moreover, XenCenter itself could be modified to manage both Xen-based Xenserver systems as well as Windows Hyper-V systems. The reverse will definitely happen from Microsoft’s point of view – integration with XenServer in Microsoft’s Systems Center Operations Manager has been talked about for months now.
One prediction that is worth making is that cross-VM management stacks will flourish and improve. The example of Hyper-V and Xenserver was mentioned earlier, but they will grow to cover other assorted Xen based stacks from Virtual Iron, Novell, Sun etc, KVM stacks like RedHat, and of course VMWare. Citrix Workflow Studio makes a start in some ways, and products like VMLogix’s Lab Manager. Enomalism is already much of the way there, and goes a step beyond into cloud computing. The hypervisor (or at least, some kind of virtualisation) will be ubiquitous, and the winners will be the management stacks.