by December 1, 2010 0 comments

Currently, the three most popular virtualization platforms are from Citrix, VMware, and Microsoft. Each of them has some free virtualization components and some you have to pay for. Here we analyze the portfolio of key virtualization products each one has to offer.

Virtualization solution from Citrix
Citrix acquired the famous open source virtualization software vendor, XenSource way back in 2007. Citrix still retains the open source legacy of XenSource, with a host of different virtualization products that are as powerful as their commercial counterparts. The only different is that you’re on your own when you deploy them. Take the Xen Cloud Platform for instance, which we’ve covered extensively in the pages before this article. You can do a lot of things with this platform, but if you want support, you have to pay for it.
Let’s look at what sort of virtualization products you can choose from Citrix.

Citrix Xen Server
The Citrix Xen Server has a free version and three paid versions–Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum editions. Here are their details:
Free edition: This edition is Open Source, and supports 8 virtual CPUs per virtual machine and up to 256 GB RAM. Some of the features it provides include- Xen Server hypervisor, XenMotion Live, XenCenter multi-server management, resilient distributed management architecture, conversion tools, VM Disk Snapshot and Revert. The good thing about this edition is that the company has a learning center website that provides free training on the product. Plus Citrix has an online forum with ample Q-A support from Citrix and its customers. So at least your basic support is covered with these two things. For further support, enterprises can reach out to a partner. These days, hardware server vendors provide virtualization software along with their products, and can therefore be contacted for support. Plus, you can subscribe to a support package on the basis of the number of incidents. These are the same as the cost of support for the paid editions, so we’ve talked about the details under the paid editions.
Paid editions: Enterprises having a heterogeneous server environment with a need for high availability and a dynamically moving workload can opt for paid versions of XenServer. The pricing is on per-server basis. Advanced edition costs US $1,000 per server, Enterprise edition comes for US $2500 per server and the Platinum edition is for US $5000 per server.
Citrix offers the same level of paid technical support for both free and paid editions.
Preferred Business Hours Support — Software : This package includes 25 incidents and costs $7,500 USD. This service can be availed from Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm. It includes 6 named contacts.
Preferred Extended Hours Support XenServer: This package includes 5 incidents and the cost involved is $3,000 USD and 24 X 7 X 365 support, ie. 24hrs a day, round the year. It includes 6 named contacts.

Virtualization from VMWare
Vsphere is the basic virtualization platform from VMware, where the hypervisor is an ESX/ESXi Server. vSphere comes in the following versions:
Free vSphere hypervisor: This is a free license for the vSphere Hypervisor, and is available for both 64 or 32-bit hardware. You can download it from VMware’s website. The software supports 6 cores per processor and 256 GB RAM. It can be used by enterprises who want to get a taste of virtualization before diving full-fledged into it. Unlike Citrix, there’s no support available for this edition. Customers would have to upgrade to the paid edition if they want support.
Paid editions: The pricing and licensing model for vSphere is broken into two categories known as vSphere kits and vSphere editions.
Before looking at what these categories contain, it must noted that every edition comes with two options within support and subscription — Basic support and Production Support. The Basic support is designed for non-critical applications and platforms that require support during normal business hours ie 12 x 5. Production support is for critical applications with a severity level of 1, that is requiring a response time of 30 minutes or less and includes 24×7 support. All kits and editions listed below have support and subscription requirements for one year.
Let us now look at what are the various vSphere editionsand their pricing structure:

vSphere editions
There are 4 editions under VMware vSphere— Standard, Advanced, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus. These are designed for larger IT environments. The prices of various vSphere editions have been indicated by VMware as not including applicable sales tax.
Standard edition: The entry-level solution for basic consolidation of applications to slash hardware costs while accelerating application deployment. It includes license (1 CPU up to 6 cores/256 GB memory per physical server). The license cost is USD 995.00. 1 year support and subscription cost includes either Basic support at USD 273.00 or production support at USD 323.00.
Advanced edition: Solution for continuous availability of applications with zero data loss even with server failures. It includes license (1 CPU up to 12 cores/256 GB memory per physical server). The license cost is USD 2,245.00. While 1 year support and subscription cost includes either Basic support at USD 472.00 or production support at USD 561.00.
Enterprise edition: Solution enabling automated resource and power management for the foundation of a private cloud infrastructure. It includes license (1 CPU up to 6 cores/256 GB memory per physical server). The license cost is USD 2,875.00. While 1 year support and subscription cost includes either Basic support at USD 604.00 or production support at USD 719.00.
Enterprise Plus edition: Solution enables full data center automation with advanced policy-based network and storage management. It includes license (1 CPU up to 12 cores/no license limit on memory per physical server). The license cost is USD 3,495.00. While 1 year support and subscription cost includes either Basic support at USD 734.00 or production support at USD 874.00.
Licensing and support costs : Licensing is done on per CPU basis. All editions must be used in conjunction with an existing or separately purchased vCenter Server edition which provides unified management for vSphere environments and is a required component of a complete VMware vSphere deployment, One instance of vCenter Server is required to centrally manage virtual machines and their hosts and to enable all vSphere features. Subscription and support has to be bought for atleast one year for vCentre Server. Each vSphere edition has specific CPU and memory entitlement. If higher requirements are needed beyond these core entitlements, additional licenses must be purchased. The support & subscription price is separate from license price and would have to be bought for one year or three years along with the license.
vSphere kits: They are all-in-one offerings that contain all necessary licenses and features that are essential to get virtualization running. Every kit has a defined limit in the offerings. There are two kits under this.
Essentials Kits for smaller environments and Acceleration Kits which have advanced features that can scale to any size environments.

Virtualization from Microsoft
The foundation of Microsoft virtualization offerings is Hyper-V virtualization technology which is made available as a part of Windows server Operating System. Microsoft also has free and paid solutions.
Free solution: The Hyper-V Server is a freely downloadable, stand-alone product, which contains only the Windows Hypervisor, Windows Server driver model and virtualization components. Features that it comes with includes host clustering, live migration, supporting virtualization needs like large memory support ( Host OS ) greater than 32 GB and support for (Host OS) greater than 4 processors.
As a part of Microsoft Windows Server R2: Starting from Windows Server 2008, server virtualization using Hyper-V technology has been an integral part of the operating system. One is not paying for Hyper-V but paying for OS and application license.
Windows Server 2008 R2 licensing model overview: Licensing model consists of server OS license and incremental Client Access License (CAL). Windows Server Standard and Enterprise editions are licensed using the Server + CAL model, while Windows Server Datacenter and Windows Server for Itanium-Based Systems editions are licensed using the Processor + CAL model. Under both models, the CAL that accesses the instance of Windows Server must be equivalent or higher in version than the server being accessed.
Let us look at how many instances of server software an enterprise customer gets to run in the physical operating system environment (POSE) and the virtual operating system environment (VOSE) here.
Standard edition: One instance of the server software in the POSE and one instance in VOSE. If the customer runs the instance in VOSE, the instance running in POSE can only be used to manage the instance of the OS running in VOSE.
Enterprise edition: One instance of the server software in the POSE and up to four instances of the server software in the VOSE. If the customer is running four instances in the VOSE, the instance running in the POSE can only be used to manage the four instances of the operating system running in the VOSE.
Data center edition: One instance of the server software in the POSE and an unlimited number of instances of the server software in the VOSE. This licensing provides flexibility to move instances of Windows Server without concern about the number of running virtual instances.

Microsoft System Center Server Management Suites
These are a set of two suites that include a comprehensive server management solution. The costs listed are estimated prices and reflect the starting prices available in Volume Licensing programs; reseller pricing can vary.
System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise (SMSE) includes rights to manage up to four VOSEs plus the POSE, provided the POSE is limited to supporting the virtualization capability. Priced at $1,569 U.S, it includes the license and two years of Software Assurance. While, System Centre Server Management Site Datacentre (SMSD) is licensed on a per processor basis and requires at least two per processor licenses to be assigned to a server device. Includes rights to manage an unlimited number of OS’s and is priced at US $2,620.

Support costs
Basic support consists of a limited number of support incidents included in the software assurance that a customer buys. The number of incidents depends on the number of licenses purchased. Advanced level of support through Microsoft Premier Support is packaged support service starting at US $20k (annually) which consists of 24X7 reactive support, proactive services and a designated technical account manager available across the year to help customers operate a stable environment.

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.