VMware and Citrix Systems are competing head-to-head to gain ground in the next round of virtualization in the enterprise, but they're going about it in decidedly different ways.
Their competition, along with rapidly emerging third-party toolsets for managing virtual machines, will be evident in the keynotes and sessions of Interop in Las Vegas, May 17 - 21.
VMware is focused on converting the data center into a more virtualized environment through its layer of software products. If it has its way, every data center eventually will look more like a cloud computing center.
Citrix does many of the same things VMware does, but for now, it's focused on converting the enterprise, starting with the end user, and moving up. It seeks to flank today's IT-centric data center with a more consumer-like approach to virtualization's end users.
As VMware CTO Stephen Herrod said at the company's Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters in April, virtualization software is directly taking over some tasks that used to be done in highly specialized hardware configurations. Many of these functions are being built into VMware's vSphere 4 suite.