A whopping 85 percent of Citrix Systems VARs see an opportunity to build private clouds using CloudStack, the open source cloud computing platform from Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS). That big statistic emerged at Citrix Partner Summit 2012, which attracted roughly 2,000 channel partners, according to Citrix Channel Chief Tom Flink.
In many circles, CloudStack is considered an alternative to OpenStack, the open source cloud platform first promoted by Rackspace and NASA. While Rackspace has a lot of cloud mind share, Citrix has a huge footprint in the IT channel, where many VARs and integrators are loyal to the company's virtualization, mobility and cloud offerings. Moreover, nearly 40 percent of cloud services providers (CSPs) say they partner with Citrix, according to the second-annual Talkin' Cloud 100 survey results (formerly the Talkin' Cloud 50), which will be unveiled May 16 during a webcast.
"Our VARs are wondering what the [CloudStack] opportunity is," said Flink, during a phone briefing with Talkin' Cloud. "They all believe there is an opportunity to get involved in CloudStack. I believe the market is very young here, and this is an early stage opportunity for VARs to help customers. With CloudStack and our contribution to the Apache Foundation, we offer the VAR community the easiest, lowest-risk, highest-value way to get into [cloud computing platforms."
Big Citrix Crowds
Citrix Partner Summit and the associated Citrix Synergy customer conference are high-profile events held this week in San Francisco. During the partner gathering, Flink told VARs, systems integrators and cloud services providers (CSPs) to focus on three priorities:
1. Develop a vision for how you and your customers will succeed in the cloud.
2. Leverage what you're good at and what you know -- whether it's virtualization or specific applications.
3. Do something new, such as embracing Citrix AppDNA, ShareFile and GoToMeeting.
- AppDNA allows partners to identify customer applications that can be moved from physical to virtual settings, or transitioned from 32-bit to 64-bit environments.
- ShareFile, which Citrix acquired in 2011, is sort of like a DropBox for enterprises, as TechCrunch put it last year. And potentially sell ShareFile and GoToMeeting in tandem.
- Learn how to architect a unified app storefront for customers -- blanketing everything from Windows to Mac OS, iOS, HTML 5 and Google Android.
Citrix Cloud Partner Program
Citrix promotes three ways for partners to succeed in the cloud. Those options include:
- Become a full-blown cloud services provider (CSP), leveraging Citrix Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) options.
- Go out an architect and deploy clouds for customers. There, Citrix is targeting partners that want to invest in the skills and knowledge to build Amazon-style clouds for customers. (Citrix has vowed to make sure CloudStack complies with Amazon Web Services (AWS) application programming interfaces (APIs).
- Partner with a service provider and offer capabilities like IaaS (infrastructure as a service) to your customers.
Those three categories remind Talkin' Cloud of the Cisco Cloud Partner Program, which also serves three market segments. "You used to be able to put channel partners into individual buckets -- here's a VAR, an ISV, a systems integrator, a telco," said Citrix's Flink. "But now, that entire mix of partners is trying different things in the cloud. In our VAR community, we have a number that have built service-provider type businesses or managed services businesses."
Systems integrators and cloud services providers, Flink noted, are a growing part of Citrix Partner Summit -- representing about 20 percent to 25 percent of the attending partners.
Going forward, Citrix hopes, those partners will line up behind CloudStack and Citrix's other cloud solutions.