VMware/Citrix Hypervisor Performance Ding Dong

debate over publishing performance data about ESX.

The blogs are buzzing with talk about the “Thrilla in California”. Billed as a boxing match about hypervisor performance between VMware’s Scott Drummonds and Citrix’s Simon Crosby. The video has been lost by the hosting site due to aquisitions, but a blog post remains here:

http://dcsblog.burtongroup.com/data_center_strategies/2009/07/see-the-thrilla-in-california-on-catalyst-live.html

I was quite put off by Crosby’s approach. Billed as a discussion about the scalability of the companies competing hypervisors – he seemed more keen to make an issue of VMware EULA and costs – than to actually talk technically about the capabilities of ESX vs Xen. To be honest I was surprised to hear the first issue being raised, as I thought/assumed that the restriction on people publishing performance data about ESX had been lifted long ago. Back in June 2006, Richard Garsthagen  (now VMware’s EMEA Senior Evangelist) made it plain that this restriction had been limited within Vi3:

http://www.run-virtual.com/?p=123

“You may use the Software to conduct internal performance testing and benchmarking studies, the results of which you (and not unauthorized third parties) may publish or publicly disseminate; provided that VMware has reviewed and approved of the methodology, assumptions and other parameters of the study. Please contact VMware at benchmark@vmware.com to request such review.”

Is that restrictive? Or is it just there to stop any old Tom, Dick and Harry putting together bogus performance reviews?

Anyway, just this week I had a student who had formerly been a Virtual Iron customer, who – because of the untimely murder of the product by Oracle – is now looking for alternatives. He’d checked out Citrix Xen but abandoned it because of the bottleneck that Partition0 introduced.

This was first published in July 2009

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