Citrix commercializes OpenStack with Project Olympus

Companies and service providers will be able to easily build OpenStack private or public clouds based on real architectures from Dell and Rackspace

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To help this project succeed, Citrix will rely on one of its partners and fellow OpenStack members, Dell. According to Joseph George, senior strategist, cloud computing solutions at Dell, his company was a pioneer member of the OpenStack community back in July 2010. Citrix and Dell have had a very close relationship as a result.

George said that Dell sees the opportunity to help enable its customers -- whether they are service providers themselves or are looking to build clouds in the enterprise -- by providing the necessary tools with OpenStack, as well as the expertise and reference architectures that Dell can provide.

"Obviously, we have a great platform here in OpenStack," added George. "Let's take Dell's expertise, what we bring to the table, and help define what that reference architecture is, and then enable our customers to build OpenStack in their own environments using Dell-optimized servers."

VMware's annual virtualization trade show, VMworld, is right around the corner. As was the case last year, you can expect this year's VMworld theme to be centered on the cloud. VMware has been driving its cloud computing message home to VMworld audiences for at least two years and promoting its VMware vCloud initiative every chance it gets to keep it top of mind with organizations. So far, being the 900-pound gorilla in the virtualization market seems to give VMware a slight upper hand.

But perhaps siding with OpenStack will give Citrix the leg up on the competition that it's looking for or, more specifically, an edge over VMware. With OpenStack, Citrix has a community-built and tested cloud platform complete with a list of partners and a ready-made ecosystem of developers already contributing to the core software and its APIs.

Citrix is standing behind this latest announcement, throwing out barbed comments such as "this approach stands in stark contrast to first-generation solutions that try to simulate cloud environments by adding proprietary management layers on top of existing datacenter virtualization stacks." As if we don't know who this one is directed against?

Project Olympus hasn't been released -- it was just announced. Citrix said it will begin shipping later this year. But for customers who want to begin testing pilots and proof-of-concept deployments today, Citrix is also introducing the Citrix Project Olympus Early Access Program, with key support from fellow OpenStack founding members, Dell and Rackspace. The program provides a sneak peek into the upcoming Citrix solution and helps customers get everything they need to start building scalable clouds today.

This is an interesting time in the cloud computing market. Solutions are starting to take shape and take hold. Companies like Amazon and VMware have been receiving most of the attention lately; however, OpenStack and Project Olympus may entice more developers and ecosystem partners to look their way and cause the needle to move in the other direction. Only time will tell.

This article, "Citrix commercializes OpenStack with Project Olympus," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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