Citrix joins cloud computing fray with Cloud.com purchase

Jumping into the quickly growing market of cloud software providers, virtualization software provider Citrix has purchased open-source cloud software provider Cloud.com, the companies announced Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We view this acquisition as very strategic and accelerating what we are doing in the cloud infrastructure marketplace," said Sameer Dholakia, a Citrix vice president of market development.

"We believe that [cloud computing] is a transformative trend that is fundamentally changing the way IT infrastructure is designed, built, delivered and consumed," Dholakia said. "We believe that there will be thousands of providers offering a vast array of new cloud services."

Cloud.com, formerly called VMOps, offers an open-source stack of orchestration and administrative software for running multitenant Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud deployments, called CloudStack.

Citrix plans to continue to market the software for creating large-scale public cloud deployments, for internal enterprise use or as a basis of cloud computing services.

"Our focus is very much around enabling organizations to build cloud-scale architectures and infrastructure the way that the largest clouds in the world have been built," Dholakia said.

CloudStack supports not only Citrix's Xenserver hypervisor, but also the open-source KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine), Microsoft's Hyper-V and VMware's vSphere. CloudStack is also closely integrated with the OpenStack open-source cloud stack.

CloudStack will continue to be "hypervisor-neutral," and to be closely intertwined with OpenStack, said Peder Ulander, former Cloud.com chief marketing officer and now vice president of products for Citrix.

"We will maintain a focus on massive scalability," Ulander said.

Citrix plans to integrate it closely with its NetScaler Cloud gateway and NetScaler Cloud Bridge in a way that allows users of public cloud services to bridge cloud-based computations with those running on their own back-end infrastructures.

Cloud.com customers include companies such as Nokia, GoDaddy and Zynga, which offers the popular Farmville series of online games. "We are proven at scale. Some of these customers are well into thousands of servers deployed in their clouds," Ulander said.

In order to better focus on this emerging market of cloud software, Citrix has started a new business division, called the Cloud Platforms Product Group, which will be headed by Dholakia. Dholakia was the former CEO of virtualization vendor VMLogix, which Citrix acquired last year.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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