Compare VMware vSphere vs. XenServer

VMware vSphere is ranked 1st in Server Virtualization Software with 80 reviews while XenServer is ranked 7th in Server Virtualization Software with 15 reviews. VMware vSphere is rated 8.8, while XenServer is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of VMware vSphere writes "Makes Resources Available & Services More Reliable". On the other hand, the top reviewer of XenServer writes "The ability to move a VM while it is still running and continue doing maintenance work is a big advantage". VMware vSphere is most compared with KVM, Proxmox VE and Nutanix Acropolis, whereas XenServer is most compared with Proxmox VE, KVM and Hyper-V. See our VMware vSphere vs. XenServer report.
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54,370 views|45,073 comparisons
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30,369 views|27,483 comparisons
Most Helpful Review
Anonymous User
Find out what your peers are saying about VMware vSphere vs. XenServer and other solutions. Updated: November 2019.
382,547 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:

The vMotion in particular I think is the most valuable because this feature provides migrations of virtual machines in case you want to run do maintenance.Production people can quickly reboot the server with ESXi Quick Boot.The most valuable feature is vSAN, as it reduces the cost of SAN storage and maintenance.We are able to patch our hosts during production hours with the ability to keep services running.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.

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What I like the most is the support of the GPU Graphics and the VM Live migration.The support for this solution is phenomenal.This is a good product for virtualization and it is easy to use.The solution integrates well with other solutions, which makes it really strong as a primary solution to deploy.The solution is easy to deploy. It's very easy to understand problems and read logs.The most valuable feature of the solution is that it is very fast. It also works very well for physically small servers.The ability to move a virtual machine while it is running is a big advantage.The feature I find most valuable, is its performance

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I would like to see VMware vSphere provide a centralized patch service on the VMware level, regardless of your operating systems.I would like more Amazon stuff inside of VMware.Reporting on vCenter needs to be improved.Get the HTML5 client to 100% parity to replace the Flash client.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.

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Network management needs improvement because it is not very stable.The built-in networking features are a little limited.The product could be faster and licensing options could be improved.The solution is too expensive and people are kind of moving away from Citrix. It's starting to become a problem. It is a primary reason that while we are rebuilding we're going to seek out open-source solutions.The solution would benefit from faster technical support.The USB support for the virtual server needs improvement.It needs to have a more robust backup solution.I think the technical support could be better.

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Pricing and Cost Advice
The license of VMware is a one-time payment and you can continue to enroll in support for troubleshooting and also administer the licenses.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 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 pricing is a bit complex.

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This solution is open source, it's free.We migrated from VMware to XenCenter to cut costs.While it is free for small networks, the pricing is high if your network grows past a certain size.The licensing is straight forward based on usage and features.There are free and paid versions. The free version is limited in features but not by time limit. The paid version has more features.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
author avatarUser

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.

author avatarYasser Ghonaim
Real 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.

author avatarImplementation Unit at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real 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.

author avatarIT Representative at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Real 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 and VMWare products at 


author avatarDan Withrow
Real 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.

author avatarIT Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User

Which products specifically?

author avatarIT Manager at a non-tech company
Real 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

author avatarAccount Manager at a tech company with 10,001+ employees

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

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Top Comparisons
Compared 26% of the time.
Compared 19% of the time.
Compared 16% of the time.
Compared 55% of the time.
Compared 17% of the time.
Compared 9% 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%
Software R&D Company27%
Comms Service Provider12%
Media Company9%
Manufacturing Company8%
Energy/Utilities Company10%
Comms Service Provider10%
Non Tech Company10%
Software R&D Company18%
Comms Service Provider17%
Financial Services Firm8%
Company Size
Small Business26%
Midsize Enterprise27%
Large Enterprise47%
Small Business28%
Midsize Enterprise19%
Large Enterprise53%
Small Business44%
Midsize Enterprise26%
Large Enterprise30%
Find out what your peers are saying about VMware vSphere vs. XenServer and other solutions. Updated: November 2019.
382,547 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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