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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.