Virtualization shoot-out: Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat, and VMware

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Citrix XenServer combines great Linux performance, rapid deployment, and the major advanced features, though high availability and load balancing require supporting players and additional configuration. A significant drawback is that all VM management operations are serialized. It takes significantly longer to perform any action (such as power up or power down) on multiple virtual machines in XenServer than in any of the other solutions -- a limitation that impacts both manageability and scalability.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization has all of the essential management capabilities, but they're nowhere near as complex to implement as the tools for Hyper-V. RHEV also has a few rough spots, including odd gotchas in host maintenance mode and high availability, but it boasts a quick install, solid Linux and Windows performance, a good CLI, and advanced memory management features such as page sharing and compression. It comes closest to VMware in having all the ingredients to support a scalable environment. 

It may come as little surprise that VMware vSphere still leads the pack by a handy margin, but the gap is closing fast. If there's one obvious result of this test, it's that there's never been a better time to shop for a virtualization solution.

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This article, "Virtualization shoot-out: Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat, and VMware," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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This story, "Virtualization shoot-out: Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat, and VMware" was originally published by InfoWorld.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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