Citrix has purchased Cloud.com and this poses some interesting changes to the overall virtualization and cloud markets. One also has to wonder about the timing of the announcement to coincide with the same day as the big announcements coming out of VMware. I see this purchase as a mixed blessing to the market place, but also a renewal for Citrix.Citrix has long been the underdog in the hypervisor wars but they have not been in their cloud initiatives. They own some of the most used SaaS plays: GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, GoToTraining, GoToAssist, and GoToManage. These SaaS plays give Citrix a very good lead into the Cloud consumer market. What they have been missing however are the lower level PaaS and IaaS cloud plays. Yes they have been a participant in OpenStack, but did not own the property, therefore they could only recommend changes and not own the changes.
With the purchase of Cloud.com, Citrix now owns an IaaS solution that allows it to compete head on with VMware’s vCloud family of products. Since Cloud.com’s CloudStack is based on OpenStack, all the work Citrix has done in the Open Source community will also get used going forward. The question is, will CloudStack change to be more XenServer specific over time, or will it maintain its root in OpenStack where any hypervisor is supported? Only Time will tell if this is the case. Will OpenStack also incorporate NetScaler products as part of their cloud gateway component as well? I can only assume, that these options will be made available directly from Citrix as some sort of bundle.
Perhaps now with CloudStack, Citrix will no longer be the underdog. Citrix already understands SaaS, and by purchasing an IaaS they have inherited a ready-made team and existing customers that form the core of their new Cloud Platforms product group.
This puts Citrix in an interesting position of offering a Service Provider package, but also they now compete directly with a service provider, RackSpace who happens to own the OpenStack project. It will be a fine line to walk.
Cost will also be a fine line to walk as this could provide enterprises with a low-cost scale out solution if the price is right.
Read the Full Announcement.