6fusion Goes Vendor-Agnostic with Xen, Citrix Support

Utility metered cloud company 6fusion announced at the Citrix Synergy conference it has expanded its multi-hypervisor federated cloud to include the Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS) and Open Source Xen platforms, adding to its existing support for VMware.

With these two announcements, 6fusion customers will be able to build and meter private and public cloud infrastructures with either VMware or Citrix platforms. As I noted in a previous blog, 6fusion’s distribution model is fully focused on its channel partners.

In the press release, 6fusion CEO John Cowan said: “6fusion’s objective is to neutralize the relevance of the hypervisor when building cloud infrastructure.” Readers, please take note: Rarely do tech firms state their goals so openly. That is exactly the impression I got from my briefing last week with Rob Bissett, VP of Product Marketing. 6fusion has been 100 percent VMware in the past, but it is making serious efforts to diversify the platforms it supports through its channel.

In talking about the newly added Citrix support, Bissett said: “We’re seeing increasingly in the enterprise marketplace, that, while VMware has something like 70 percent market penetration, many of those organizations are starting alternative hypervisor projects. So, a lot of organizations are running Xen and KVM in addition to VMware. Out technology platform will give them that private cloud, across those different hypervisors, from a single management console.”

Bissett noted that 6fusion only had support for VMware in the past. “By adding in Xen, that gives us access to a broader range of cloud buyers. We’ll be able to expand the ecosystem. It also changes the economic model. As you know, open source Xen is license-free, and Citrix Xen is quite a bit less expensive that VMware. So it opens up a broader range of suppliers that’s going to create a more dynamic environment, and one would hope could lead to better price points for the MSPs.”

He agreed with the notion that companies are starting alternative hypervisor projects due to concerns about vendor lock-in. “That’s absolutely a driver," he said, citing VMware and Amazon as examples. “Companies are becoming increasingly aware that by buying cloud, they’re not really buying cloud, they’re buying virtual hosting from the vendor.”

It’s been called a ‘vendor battle,’ I noted. “Right," he said. "And that’s exactly why our strategy is the way it is — we want to be vendor-agnostic. We have access to all the technologies and all the providers. We’re not taking bets on them. So you can buy from us, and not worry about who the underlying provider is, or what the underlying technology is, we abstract all that. Our approach is to be hypervisor-agnostic so that we can expose our channel to whatever it is they are looking for.”

To read up on the 6fusion partner program, click here.

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