Carpathia Chooses Citrix over VMware for Cloud Virtualization

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Managed services and infrastructure provider Carpathia Hosting says it chose Citrix's XenServer instead of VMware to build its cloud computing offering because of the Citrix platform's flexibility. Carpathia's CTO tells Channel Insider that Citrix's flexibility enables Carpathia to layer on value that differentiates its offering.

VMware may have a stronghold on the server virtualization market, but that doesn’t mean competitors like Citrix aren’t winning big deals.

Case in point is Carpathia Hosting, a managed hosting services provider and provider of IT infrastructure and management for enterprises and federal agencies. This week Carpathia announced a partnership with VMware virtualization rival Citrix.

The partnership calls for Carpathia Hosting to build its second-generation enterprise cloud solution, Carpathia InstantOn, on Citrix XenServer technology.

Carpathia Hosting CTO Jon Greaves told Channel Insider that Carpathia Hosting looked at both Citrix and VMware solutions before making a selection for building its cloud offering. He said that much of the decision was based on XenServer’s capabilities for extensibility to help differentiate Carpathia Hosting on the value it could add to its cloud offering. Greaves added that he believes VMware’s ecosystem is more closed and monolithic. That meant that services built on VMware’s virtualization infrastructure ran more of a risk of commoditization, he said.  

"VMware’s vCloud offering is all driven by how much a CPU hour is, so it feels like a race to the bottom on price," Greaves told Channel Insider. "We are focused on taking the Xen platform and overlaying compliance and enterprise features."

Greaves also believes that the Citrix platform does a better job of recognizing the distributed and hybrid nature of the cloud.

"For us, storage is distributed with the servers," he said. "Normally you would find that would make storage unreliable." Carpathia’s InstantOn deploys custom compute and storage solutions to blend dedicated and cloud resources into a single solution.

The companies said that by using physical and virtual networking appliances together—the Citrix flex-tenancy architecture—and the NetScaler Pay-As-You-Grow pricing model, Carpathia Hosting is able to offer customers robust service levels.

Carpathia launched its enterprise cloud offering in the May/June 2009 timeframe and has been nine months in production with real workloads, said Greaves.

He noted that Carpathia still supports VMware in its data center, but its cloud offering is built on XenServer.

"We are selling on capabilities and features versus on price," he said.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com