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Citrix readies CloudPlatform on CloudStack in bid for enterprises

Compatibility with Amazon, a slew of cloud tools and its upcoming CloudPlatform could help virtualization titan Citrix become a serious cloud vendor.

Citrix’s soon-to-be-released CloudPlatform gives developers flexibility between on-premises clouds and Amazon Web Services -- and a reason to choose Citrix Cloudstack over OpenStack.

CloudPlatform lets customers create, deploy and manage applications that can run across both Citrix CloudPlatform and Amazon Web Services (AWS) clouds with EC2-compatible tools.

What I think we are seeing here is Citrix building out or articulating how it plans to move forward with its traditional business model in a cloud-powered world.

Charles King, principal analyst, Pund-IT Inc.

The platform, due out next month, constitutes the first commercial release of the open source CloudStack orchestration system that Citrix gained last year when it bought out

Citrix CloudStack and CloudPlatform will compete with the open source OpenStack platform, which has more than 170 companies behind it, including IBM, Hewlett Packard and Dell.

Some say enterprise customers who need a commercial cloud platform with 24-hour support may choose Citrix’s CloudPlatform over OpenStack.

"That's really critical -- you've got to have somebody to call," said Sean McDermott, CEO of Windward IT Solutions, an IT service management and systems engineering firm based in Herndon, Va. In fact, Citrix's dominance in the cloud hypervisor arena will probably help to convince prospective CloudPlatform customers, he added.

It is also hypervisor-agnostic, which could attract VMware vSphere customers and reassure potential IT teams concerned about vendor lock-in. Conversely, the majority of OpenStack development is done with the KVM/Ubuntu and XEN hypervisors.

"What I think we are seeing here is Citrix building out or articulating how it plans to move forward with its traditional business model in a cloud-powered world," said Charles King, principal analyst at Hayward, Calif.-based corporate advisory firm Pund-IT Inc.

"They are saying they have a unified solution that can work in private, public and hybrid clouds," he added.

Citrix has also added Amazon integrations to other cloud offerings, including the cloud networking platform NetScaler 10 for AWS. A technical preview was released this month.

NetScaler application delivery controllers with Citrix’s new TriScaling technology provide “an innovative way to scale your cloud solutions while continuing to address the needs of your legacy solutions," said Floyd Strimling, cloud evangelist at, a provider of management software for IT infrastructures.

Austin, Texas-based Zenoss' products can be used with CloudStack.

Citrix CloudPlatform will cost $1,500 per server.


Stuart J. Johnston is Senior News Writer for Contact him at

Ed Scannell is Senior Executive Editor for and He can be contacted at

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How much does OpenStack and/or CloudStack support matter to you when choosing a cloud platform?