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Citrix Unveils Cloud Computing Strategy and Product Line

New Citrix Cloud Center (C3) Integrates "Cloud Proven" Virtualization and Networking Products to Power Next-Generation Ser

Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS), the global leader in application delivery infrastructure, today unveiled its strategy for cloud computing and announced the new Citrix Cloud Center (C3) product family. The Citrix C3 solution integrates cloud proven virtualization and networking products that power many of todays largest Internet and web service providers. This unique combination lets next-generation cloud providers take advantage of the most widely-adopted virtual infrastructure platform for hosted cloud services, as well as the most proven infrastructure to deliver those services reliably and securely to both cloud consumers and enterprise datacenters. The Citrix strategy will focus on equipping both new and existing cloud providers with the infrastructure needed to deliver successful clouds to their customers.

More than 215,000 enterprise customers rely on our Citrix Delivery Center products every day to deliver applications and desktops as a cloud-like service to their users. Our new Citrix Cloud Center (C3) offering extends these same capabilities to an emerging generation of cloud service providers, enabling them to host and deliver successful cloud services to their users with the same performance, security and reliability, said Wes Wasson, Senior Vice President and CMO, Citrix Systems. While the concept of cloud computing may be new, the components that make up Citrix C3 are among the most proven in the industry, starting with the Xen hypervisor that powers hundreds of the worlds largest cloud providers today, and extending out to NetScaler, which delivers web applications to an estimated 75 percent of all Internet users each day. By integrating these proven technologies with world-class workflow orchestration and datacenter optimization capabilities, and working with hundreds of partners around the world, Citrix will play a major role in making the cloud computing era a practical reality for consumers and corporate users alike.

The Citrix Cloud Center Solution

The Citrix C3 solution  is designed to give cloud providers a complete set of service delivery infrastructure building blocks for hosting, managing and delivering cloud-based computing services. Citrix C3 includes a reference architecture  that combines the individual capabilities of several Citrix product lines to offer a powerful, dynamic, secure and highly available service-based infrastructure ideally suited to large-scale, on-demand delivery of both IT infrastructure and application services. This architecture consists of four key components:

  • Platform - Powered by Citrix® XenServer Cloud Edition: The new XenServer Cloud Edition is a powerful virtual infrastructure solution optimized for service provider environments. It combines the cloud-proven scalability of the Xen® hypervisor which powers most of the worlds largest clouds, with all the virtualization management and dynamic workload provisioning capabilities of the full Citrix XenServer product line (see separate announcement on XenServer 5 today), enabling cloud providers to host and manage any combination of Windows and Linux environments. XenServer Cloud Edition also features an innovative consumption based pricing model to meet the needs of service providers that charge their customers based on metered resource use.
  • Delivery Powered by Citrix® NetScaler®: Through its rich policy-based AppExpert engine, Citrix NetScaler delivers cloud-based resources to end users over the web, continually optimizing end-user application performance and security by dynamically scaling the number of virtual machines (VMs) or servers available in response to changing workload demands and infrastructure availability. This allows cloud providers to balance workloads across large distributed cloud environments and transparently redirect traffic to alternate capacity on or off premise in the event of network failures or datacenter outages. NetScaler can also dramatically reduce server requirements in large cloud centers by offloading protocol and transaction processing from backend server pools. NetScalers proven architecture is designed for highly scalable, multi-tenant web applications and delivers web services to an estimated 75 percent of all Internet users each day.
  • Bridge Powered by Citrix® WANScaler: As larger enterprises begin experimenting with cloud-based services for parts of their own infrastructure and application hosting strategy, cloud providers will also need reliable and secure ways to provide a seamless bridge between hosted cloud services and premise-based enterprise services. Over time, the Citrix C3 solution will incorporate a set of open interfaces that allow customers to easily move virtual machines and application resources into a cloud-based datacenter and back again as needed. The Citrix WANScaler technology will play a critical role in this enterprise bridge by accelerating and optimizing application traffic between the cloud and the enterprise datacenter, even over long distances.
  • Orchestration Powered by Citrix Workflow Studio: Tying it all together, Citrix Workflow Studio provides a powerful orchestration and workflow capability that allows the products in the Citrix C3 portfolio to be dynamically controlled and automated, and integrated with customer business and IT policy. Workflow Studio allows customers to control their infrastructure dynamically integrating previously disconnected processes and products into a single powerful, orchestrated and cohesive system. This unique capability will make it easier for cloud providers to enable highly efficient burstable clouds that automatically scale resources up and down based on demand, shifting hardware resources to where they are most needed and powering them down for maximum power savings when not needed.

Many clouds that offer services based on the Xen hypervisor have asked Citrix to help them offer a richer set of virtualized IT infrastructure services as well as a more scalable infrastructure to deliver them to both enterprise and consumer users, said Simon Crosby, CTO, Virtualization and Management Division, Citrix Systems. These leading cloud providers are committed to Xen as a fast, secure, bare metal hypervisor, but want the richness of a dedicated virtual infrastructure layer that offers great performance for both Windows and Linux, high availability, live relocation, dynamic workload provisioning and other powerful management features provided in the full XenServer product line. XenServer Cloud Edition will include an in-place upgrade package for standalone Xen implementations that includes XenServers industry leading support for Windows guests, including full VM compatibility with Microsoft Hyper-V so our cloud customers can offer their users the ability to boot and run VMs created on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and upload into the cloud. Combining this capability with the powerful delivery infrastructure of NetScaler and WANScaler, plus the dynamic orchestration features of Workflow Studio, makes for a powerful architecture for every category of cloud providers.

Partnering to Enable the Cloud Ecosystem

Modeled after its highly successful partnership strategy in the enterprise computing space, the Citrix Cloud Center strategy will leverage a growing ecosystem of cloud-based partners to enhance and extend the Citrix C3 offering. This open, partner-friendly strategy empowers partners to offer value-added security, high availability, multi-tenant services that enhance the C3 solution and allow enterprise customers to begin benefiting from cloud-based IT services and applications as they are ready to do so.

The introduction of Citrix Cloud Center (C3) is exciting indeed, said Barry X Lynn, Chairman and CEO of 3Tera Inc., the leading provider of end to end non-proprietary cloud computing infrastructure. Commercially supported virtual machines have become a given in today's information technology world. With C3, Citrix brings that same level of industrial strength to virtual data centers.

Skytap is excited to be a strategic partner of Citrix in the cloud computing space, said Scott Roza, CEO, Skytap. Citrix Cloud Center (C3) technologies enable us to offer a hybrid cloud computing model so customers can use Skytap Virtual Lab to run their existing virtual machines and applications in the cloud. Our experience with Citrix has been extremely positive, and their flexibility to work with us on our specific needs really sets them apart from other cloud players.

Citrix Cloud Center (C3) helps us deliver the virtualization capabilities that our customers demand, said Nathan Day, CTO, Softlayer. As a leading provider of hosted and on-demand computing, a partnership with Citrix was an easy decision. It was clear that Citrix is listening to cloud service providers and delivering solutions that meet the needs of this rapidly-evolving IT segment. The flexibility and scalability of Citrix XenServer allows us to deliver virtualization solutions today, and Citrix C3 helps us deliver the cloud computing needs of tomorrow.


The Citrix Cloud Center (C3) product family is available today and includes Citrix XenServer Cloud Edition, Citrix NetScaler, Citrix WANScaler and the Citrix Workflow Studio Tech Preview.


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