Citrix attempts to lure VMware customers, even if they adopt Hyper-V

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In July VMware attempted to win those Virtual Iron customers left in the cold by Oracle with an aggressive discount program.

Now it seems that VMware has to defend against a similar move from Citrix, which launches today the Open Door program.

The rules are simple:

The Project Open Door promotion will be effective worldwide from October 1 – March 31, 2010. Customers who decommission five or more VMware vSphere 4 or VI3 servers and replace them with XenServer or Hyper-V plus the Citrix Essentials solution, receive the following: 

  • A free five incident support pack (5 by 8 hours) for every five servers converted
  • A voucher for six hours of online training for every five servers converted
  • Free migration tools for seamlessly transferring virtual machines from VMware to XenServer or Hyper-V

The attempt doesn’t seem particularly aggressive and in normal circumstances we won’t cover it on But there’s one thing that makes the announcement worth the mention: Citrix is investing its support and training money even if customers switch to Hyper-V (plus Essentials).

At this point it’s clear enough that Citrix wants to replicate the profitable synergy “Microsoft Terminal Server plus its Metaframe/Presentation Server/XenApp” with “Microsoft Hyper-V plus its Essentials”. 
But it is still notable that Citrix is now actively encouraging the adoption of a hypervisor that is not XenServer.

Of course the logic behind this move is always the same: “Both hypervisors are free. If the customer wants XenServer we are there to make money with Essentials. If the customer prefers Hyper-V, well, we are there to make the money with Essentials as well.”

The point is that who’s winning the most here is Microsoft. Citrix in fact may turn into a giant promotion and sales machine for Hyper-V. 
The Citrix sales force may not have any incentive to push for XenServer if the customers is more inclined to adopt Hyper-V. And if the customer feels that Citrix doesn’t XenServer at heart itself, then he will build no trust on it and will more likely go to Hyper-V.