Cloud Software Group effectively snuffs open source XenCenter via a README file

It's an interesting way to get the attention of VMware users feeling bruised by Broadcom

Disgruntled VMware users contemplating the open source cut of XenCenter as an alternative need to think again. In December the Cloud Software Group quietly canned the offering with an update to the project's README file.

"Please note that as of December 2023 this copy of the XenCenter repository is considered archived," the December 14 GitHub README states. "As such it will not reflect the latest state of XenCenter development, and any pull requests will not be reviewed/merged. If you have any feedback regarding XenCenter, please send it to feedback [at]"

Good luck getting any feedback. In the past year The Register has asked Cloud Software Group's press representative for info and/or an interview eleven times. Only one such approach has produced a result – and that was a link to a public blog post.

XenCenter is a Windows-based tool for managing the Citrix Hypervisor and/or XenServer. Citrix gave up on general purpose server virtualization a few years ago, but kept its products alive and recommended them as the best way to abstract its other lineup. XenServer often became a silo, so it became possible to manage it with other tools – including VMware's vCenter.

XenCenter is therefore not a huge player. But when Citrix was acquired and merged into the Cloud Software Group, its virtualization products were spun out as a business unit called "XenServer" that last year teased a refresh of its stack aimed at easing migrations away from VMware. So clearly XenServer wants to bolster its offerings and – like every other vendor that knows "V12N" is shorthand for "virtualization" – have a crack at gaining the attention of VMware customers as they ponder whether they want to do business with Broadcom.

Hobbling an open source version of its wares by ceasing to make contributions makes a certain amount of commercial sense for XenServer (the company) as it means only the most up-to-date version of XenCenter (the tool) will be available for sale. But as noted by Vates – the org that led the fork of XenServer into XCP-ng – a significant contributor to XenCenter has pulled the plug, depriving the XenServer org of input and a possible source of innovation.

Vates, for what it is worth, has cooked up a fresh version of its own Xen Orchestra, paired it with XCP-ng, named it the "Vates Virtualization Management Stack," and suggested it as an option for those departing VMware – in part because it's increased the speed of VMware migrations by a factor of 20. Vates revealed that over 95 percent of its new customers are VMware users.

Our virtualization desk's inbox is full of similar stuff from established players like Nutanix, more obscure outfits like Sardina Systems, and everyone in between that knows anything about virtualization.

Maybe XenServer (the company) might one day send some info, too – instead of communicating with all stakeholders by making changes to README documents. ®

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