Citrix Unveils ‘Path to the Cloud’ Strategy at Synergy
Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) has some serious cloud mojo lately. The company attracted roughly 2,000 channel partners to its Citrix Summit 2012 partner event in San Francisco, from where the statistic emerged that an overwhelming majority of its VARs — 85 percent — see an opportunity to build private clouds using CloudStack. Add to that its headline-stealing move to submit CloudStack to Apache Hadoop at the start of April, and with this week’s Citrix Synergy gathering in San Francisco, we really expected to hear some news from the Bay Area.
That came in the form of a four-pronged cloud strategy, which Citrix has dubbed “Path to the Cloud.” In short, Citrix is spearheading each of the four strategy elements with a new initiative. Those four elements are: Build New Clouds, Bridge to Third-Party Clouds, Deliver Cloud Services to Any Device, and Transform Existing Windows Apps and Desktops into Cloud Services.
And given the “mind share” efforts Citrix has made to link CloudStack and Amazon Web Services, the references to and support for AWS in their unveiled cloud strategy should come as no surprise.
Build New Clouds: Citrix wants it to be “easy for customers of any size to create true, Amazon-style clouds.” Citrix’s efforts to promote CloudStack are no secret — the press release states that 60 industry partners have supported the platform, and there are more than 100 new deployments per month. To build on its enterprise and service provider customer base, the company is launching the Citrix Cloud Platform, powered by Apache CloudStack, designed to provide “customers with a hyper-agnostic solution that makes it easy to build new clouds, connect to existing cloud services, and deliver unparalleled cloud services with the best security, performance and reliability.”
Bridge to Third-Party Clouds: Again Citrix wants it to be easy — in this case for enterprises to connect data centers and private clouds to external, third-party cloud services. To that end the company is offering CloudBridge 2, a “back door” solution that gives data centers a “secure, transparent, high-performance connection to any third-party cloud.” This approach, according to Citrix, “allows customers to tap into the elastic, low-cost capacity of public clouds as part of their overall cloud services strategy.”
Deliver Cloud Services to Any Device: Getting cloud-based services to any device and “to end users with the best performance, reliability, and security is essential.” Citrix recently launched NetScaler, which “helps businesses of any size scale their networks ‘up, in and out’ with ease, just like the world’s largest public clouds,” and the company quite modestly claims is “the industry’s most advanced cloud networking platform.” The new initiative here is NetScaler 10 for AWS — providing all the capabilities of NetScaler and the characteristics of an Amazon-style cloud. Here comes the easy part: NetScaler 10 for AWS “makes it easy for enterprise customers to spin up new instances of NetScaler in seconds, with no on-premise deployment, configuration or management required.”
Transform Existing Windows Apps and Desktops into Cloud Services: Fourth, and last, there’s Project Avalon, which leverages Citrix technologies such as XenDesktop and XenApp to allow customers to deliver Windows apps and desktops as a cloud service. Customers will be able to do so “in a flexible, private cloud environment across single or multiple sites,” and also use public clouds in a “capacity on demand” manner for business continuity, integrating mergers and acquisitions, or for support of offshoring projects. And — surprise! — there’s also an “easy” part: By using the new CloudPlatform, “Avalon will also make it easy” for customers choose new features at their own pace, permitting them to “mix and match” different versions of Windows Server, XenDesktop and XenApp across a mix of both public and private clouds.
And finally, I want to make it easy for you, reader, to learn about the Citrix partner program, so here’s the link.