This is a guest post from Larry Dignan of TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Although VMware is the dominant virtualization software provider it’s in a close race with Microsoft and Citrix. ZDNet Australia recently put the virtualization suites through their paces and gave a slight edge to Citrix’s XenServer 5.

The testing process looked at bare metal hypervisors, which don’t require an operating system, and virtual machine monitors, which do.

ZDNet Australia based its tests on repeatable functions including:

  • The OS was upgraded from SP1 to SP2, the time taken was recorded
  • Sungard was run, the result was recorded
  • Cinebench single CPU was run, result recorded
  • Cinebench xCPU was run and result recorded
  • A 600MB file was copied up and down from a network share
  • A 4GB file was copied up and down from the network share

From there, the review looked at product features and function, how easy the software was to download and install and manageability.

Here are the results:

Figure A 

Click the image to enlarge.

In the end, ZDNet Australia didn’t really pick a winner, but did note that if it had to pick one it would have been XenServer. However, each situation will be different. The review has a lot more details about methodology and the like.