Citrix draws battle lines in virtualisation space

Citrix draws battle lines in virtualisation space

Virtualisation vendor looks to topple dominant VMware with channel recruitment drive

Software vendor Citrix has bolstered its XenServer distribution line-up and almost doubled its reseller base since January through acquisitions and partnerships.

It also hinted at plans for further acquisitions later this year.

DNS Arrow, SCH and IQ-Sys have joined Citrix distributors ComputerLinks and Data Solutions to broaden the desktop virtualisation vendor’s UK channel reach.

Roger Baskerville, regional director of Northern Europe for Citrix, told CRN: “Through the signing of more partners, Citrix provides an alternative offering in virtualisation for the channel.”

Steve Pearce, managing director of DNS Arrow, said that the distributor was looking forward to further developing its relationship with Citrix. “Citrix has five distributors now but there is no overlap,” he said.

Since it acquired XenSource in August last year, Citrix’s has grown the number of XenSource VARs from 35 to 110.

Paul Dobson, Citrix’s senior manager for EMEA corporate communications, revealed that the vendor had plans for further acquisitions to continue its growth, which was 20 per cent last year.

Dobson added: “The market opportunities surrounding virtualisation are huge.

“It is not so much about taking market share from competitors, but staking a new piece of the market for ourselves because there is so much unploughed ground out there.”

Dobson explained that although some 10 million servers were shipped last year, only nine per cent of them had been equipped with virtualisation capabilities.

Pearce said that Citrix was a strong brand with some good muscle behind it, and predicted that in a few months the vendor would be in a good position to give virtualisation rival VMware a nudge.

But VMware remains confident that it will retain its dominance of the virtualisation market, despite the stiffer competition.

In his keynote speech at VMworld Europe last week, Carl Eschenbach, vice president of worldwide field operations of VMware, said: “After acquiring XenSource, Citrix said it had a $40m worldwide platform. However, this [platform] is still quite new to the market and not a lot of people are using it.”