VMware vSphere vs. XenServer

As of June 2019, VMware vSphere is ranked 1st in Server Virtualization Software with 88 reviews vs XenServer which is ranked 7th in Server Virtualization Software with 3 reviews. The top reviewer of VMware vSphere writes "Makes Resources Available & Services More Reliable". The top reviewer of XenServer writes "Offers full control over our virtual machines and is budget-friendly ". VMware vSphere is most compared with KVM, Proxmox VE and Hyper-V. XenServer is most compared with Proxmox VE, KVM and Hyper-V. See our VMware vSphere vs. XenServer report.
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VMware vSphere Logo
115,276 views|47,076 comparisons
XenServer Logo
47,711 views|27,964 comparisons
Most Helpful Review
Find out what your peers are saying about VMware vSphere vs. XenServer and other solutions. Updated: May 2019.
348,275 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members

We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:

We are able to create virtual machines and move them from one host to another, controlling the resources.The most valuable feature is its ability to revert to previous snapshots during testing of various guest and application deployments.It helps to automate the data replication and DR (disaster recovery).Using vSphere we have virtualized over one thousand servers and this gave us management, cost and datacenter space advantages.The features in VMware vSphere data recovery are excellent. Sometimes I've deleted an entire server before and was able to recover the deleted VM. I just used some command line tools and I was able to restore the deleted VM.The most valuable features for me are a very easily scalable infrastructure. I can have a couple of hosts to do basic workloads. I can have a lot of hosts to do a lot of workloads. vSAN integrates my storage so I don't need an external storage SAN. I love having everything integrated in the same UI. The new HTML5 interface doesn't require any plugins anymore and it's super-fast.Since we have an internal cloud, suddenly people may require 1000 or 2000 VMS in something. We have options to analyze and make sure we have enough scalability.Production people can quickly reboot the server with ESXi Quick Boot.

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This solution allows the end users to clone, start, stop, or remotely control their VMs.We find there are good central maintenance and central management panels.

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Generally, the user interface needs to be improved for non-technical people.Two improvements that I would like to see are higher resolution console modes for guests and easier switching between consoles.I feel that the scalability of the solution should be improved.Although vSphere is a nearly perfect product, it does need a little improvement. Datacenter and Cluster structure should be mixed so that the management of clusters would be easier.We want to see improvement from VMware with security. We want minimal downtime. We want automation. We want to deploy more efficiently.An improvement could be allowing a "dark mode" for the interface. I think the HTML5 client is a little bit hard to read. It's all white. It's a little bit bright on the eyes. A lot of us IT guys view in the dark.We previously had a hard time using tech support.I would like more Amazon stuff inside of VMware.

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The self-service user portal needs to be more granular and be more customizable.It needs improvement with the security features.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
The licensing fees are on a yearly basis.VMware does provide organizations with discounts. The customer service license fee we got discounts on from the supplier in order for us to get the best out of the license fees. That's our experience. We possibly paid less than our partner company. The partner is only local and not global like our firm.The price is high, but you get back a lot.Our ROI is good.There is an average performance boost, especially if you use VM encryption inside the VMware with another product, like McAfee. You will see great improvement in these cases.VMware is costly versus other competitors but is still one of the market leaders and expanding now with partners like AWS.The pricing is a bit complex.It is expensive. Other solutions on the market are free. We had to plan with VMware how many hosts that we needed in order to determine the price.

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The most valuable feature is the cost; it is a free product.To subscribe to the paid version with support, it is approximately $6,000 per year.The pricing and licensing is so important. Customers do consider the price seriously.

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Answers from the Community
Avigail Sugarman

Sure, at a high level:
VMware products allow you to set up multiple virtual servers on a single physical server. This allows you to run the virtual servers on the physical server resources. It is an easy way to replicate environments so that there are no surprises when you go to production. You can set up development, QA and UAT all on the same physical box which are identical.

Citrix products allow you to process at a data center where your computing power is located. The user attaches to the Citrix network from remote location, uses the application which runs at the data center but only the screens and data is transferred. The process eliminates latency in distribution to remote user locations. Using Citrix a document can be created in Philadelphia and viewed in Hong Kong virtually without any user detectible delay because all of the processing was done at a data center in Philadelphia.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need more details.

23 July 14
Yasser GhonaimReal User

VMware and Citrix server virtualization do almost the same thing with nearly same options, on the other hand Citrix Xenapp and Xendesktop is far more advanced and efficient and have their own secured protocol. I've been using Citrix Xenapp for long time, it is an amazing solution saving huge cost related to communication channels and software license. Also I implemented Citrix Xenapp on VMware and HyperV. The stability of Citrix over VMware is far more better than over HyperV. We used the Citrix Xenapp to streaming Oracle EBS and Microsoft office to remote users (about 13000 user) it served up to 1600 concurrent user very efficient.

05 March 19
Implementation Unit at a tech services company with 51-200 employeesReal User


VMware and Citrix XenServer both are Bare metal (Type1) Virtualization Software. Both are good. But VMware is too user friendly and good for Enterprise as well. Whereas, Citrix is good for SMB.

24 July 14
IT Representative at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employeesReal User

In short, there are so many options with each company that it is hard to provide a short sweet answer.  From my experience, Citrix has been used primarily to enable one to access computers and systems remotely as well as a tool to enable folks to get together via an online meeting format.  VMWare, conversely, has been used for virtual environments where one could host their servers, say up to 4 or 5 of them, virtually, on each ESXi host machine.  Again, each company has many products, however I have thought of them as an apples verses oranges comparison in as far as the service/products they offer. One can explore Citrix products at http://www.citrix.com/products.html?posit=glnav and VMWare products at http://www.vmware.com/products/. 


23 July 14
Dan WithrowReal User

Adding to Howard's points, you can virtualize NetScaler as well. It is now replacing Cisco's Load Balancing line of products. Citrix XenServer also allows for users to build their own Cloud.
As with Rakesh's comments, Citrix can provide some of same benefits.
1. Reduce physical space in the data center, thereby reducing physical server maintenance, cooling costs and OPEX.
2. Using templates, you can deploy virtual servers in hours instead of days or weeks with physical purchases.
3. With Desktop virtualization, Microsoft has VDA licensing. Server OS licensing remains the same.

Overall, both vendors have their own key points of expertise, it will depend on what you really want to accomplish with virtualization.

23 July 14
IT Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employeesReal User

Which products specifically?

23 July 14
IT Manager at a non-tech companyReal User

Haven't used citrix but had been useing VMWARE , I will therefore concentrate on VMware alone.
VMWare benefits on Multiple fronts
1. Reduce Physical Space of Data Center
2. Reduces Physical Server Maintenance Cost and thereby OPEX
3. Make implementing Redundancy much Easier
4. Servers are Up in Days compared to conventional methods where we needed to procure physical Servers
5. Reduce Energy Cost as we have reduced number of Physical Servers
6. Reduces Windows OS licensing cost

23 July 14
Account Manager at a tech company with 10,001+ employeesVendor

Adding to Howard's points above, VMware uses their existing Hypervisor platform to enable customers build their own Cloud too.

23 July 14
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Top Comparisons
Compared 27% of the time.
Compared 18% of the time.
Compared 13% of the time.
Compared 49% of the time.
Compared 20% of the time.
Compared 10% of the time.

VMware vSphere is the leading server virtualization platform with consistent management for virtual data centers.

Deliver business value from day one with powerful server virtualization, breakthrough availability, safe automated management and intelligent operational insight that adapts to your environment. Automate workload placement and resource optimization based on preset customizable templates.

Citrix XenServer is an open source virtualization platform that manages server, desktop and cloud virtual infrastructures. XenServer is straightforward and quick to install. Even the most demanding workloads and automated management processes can take just a couple of minutes to virtualize. XenServer lowers IT costs and increases IT agility and flexibility.

Learn more about VMware vSphere
Learn more about XenServer
Sample Customers
Abu Dhabi Ports Company, ACS, AIA New Zealand, Consona, Corporate Express, CS Energy, and Digiweb. U.S. Army Shared Services Center, SoftLayer, Educational Services of America, Independent Bank, and SK Telecom.
Top Industries
Financial Services Firm12%
Energy/Utilities Company10%
Manufacturing Company9%
Comms Service Provider13%
Financial Services Firm11%
Healthcare Company9%
Manufacturing Company8%
Insurance Company9%
Healthcare Company9%
Company Size
Small Business26%
Midsize Enterprise28%
Large Enterprise46%
Small Business19%
Midsize Enterprise36%
Large Enterprise45%
Small Business47%
Midsize Enterprise33%
Large Enterprise20%
Find out what your peers are saying about VMware vSphere vs. XenServer and other solutions. Updated: May 2019.
348,275 professionals have used our research since 2012.
We monitor all Server Virtualization Software reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.

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