VMware still leader in x86 Infrastructure Virtualization

Gartner published their magic quadrant again for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure. VMware again came out as the number 1 company in infrastructure virtualization.

The number of installed server VMs and containers has nearly doubled in the past year as competition improves, virtualization adoption expands, the midmarket heats up, desktop virtualization drives more workloads to servers and workloads are deployed by cloud computing providers.

The magic quadrant by Gartner shows VMware being the number 1 company in x86 Infrastructure Virtualization, followed by Microsoft and Citrix .


As of mid-2011, at least 40% of x86 architecture workloads have been virtualized on servers; furthermore, the installed base is expected to grow five-fold from 2010 through 2015 (as both the number of workloads in the marketplace grow and as penetration grows to more than 75%). A rapidly growing number of midmarket enterprises are virtualizing for the first time, and have several strong alternatives from which to choose. Virtual machine (VM) and operating system (OS) software container technologies are being used as the foundational elements for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud computing offerings and for private cloud deployments. x86 server virtualization infrastructure is not a commodity market. While migration from one technology to another is certainly possible, the earlier that choice is made, the better, in terms of cost, skills and processes. Although virtualization can offer an immediate and tactical return on investment (ROI), virtualization is an extremely strategic foundation for infrastructure modernization, improving the speed and quality of IT services, and migrating to hybrid and public cloud computing.

For the entire article go to the Gartner post over here.

Citrix best practices for virtualizing XenApp

VMware already published a document about the best practices of virtualizing XenApp servers on top of VMware vSphere. You can read about it and download the document over here.

Now Citrix has published a best practice document, the XenApp Planning Guide: Virtualization Best Practics with their point of view on virtualizing XenApp servers. Note that this document not only focuses on virtualizatin XenApp on top of VMware vSphere, but also the hypervisors by Microsoft (Hyper-V) and Citrix (XenServer) are taken into account.

This document also contains a lot of useful recommendations. So I would recommend reading both the VMware document and the Citrix document carefully when designing your virtual environment

Overview of the Citrix document :

Desktop virtualization comprises of many different types of virtual desktops.  One option is to use a
Hosted Shared Desktop model, which consists of a published desktop running on a Citrix XenApp

One of the goals when creating a design for Hosted Shared Desktops is to try and maximize
scalability while still providing an adequate use experience. Hosted Shared Desktops provide an
advantage over other desktop virtualization techniques by only requiring the use of a single
operating system, which significantly reduces user resource requirements and helps improve
scalability numbers.

However, in order to get the most users, making correct design decisions as to the resource
allocation is important.  Creating too many virtual machines or too few might negatively impact

This planning guide provides resource allocation recommendations for users running on a Hosted
Shared Desktop on either Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008.

Note: Even though these best practices are based on the Hosted Shared Desktop model, they are still relevant in a non-desktop model where users only connect to published applications without the desktop interface.

The XenApp Planning Guide: Virtualization Best Practices can be found here.