Citrix boosts cloud portfolio with acquisition

Latest move steps up the competition between Citrix and VMware for cloud dominance

Even after a few of its leading virtualization and cloud gurus departed for other pastures, Citrix is still going full steam ahead with its open source cloud strategy and its plans to offer the market powerful solutions designed to make the cloud more open, more secure, and more personal.

Last week, the company announced the acquisition of and its CloudStack product line, designed for the deployment and management of cloud services. Although financial terms were not disclosed, GigaOM and TechCrunch both reported the price tag to be in the $200 to $250 million range. If correct, that's a hefty price, but Citrix says the acquisition will help round out the company's cloud computing portfolio to now include the ability to build both public and private clouds.

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But acquiring isn't Citrix's first time at the orchestration rodeo. In 2008, the company announced Workflow Studio, its orchestration system that brought together XenServer and NetScaler to provision and de-provision servers on an on-demand basis. A year ago, Citrix acquired cloud and virtualization management vendor VMLogix, which offered management of both public and private clouds to bolster Citrix's OpenCloud infrastructure platform.

Sameer Dholakia, former CEO of VMLogix and now general manager of Citrix's Cloud Platforms Product Group, said the addition of would help Citrix target the transition from the PC era to the cloud era and expand beyond its Xen and NetScaler plays. He also noted this acquisition is very strategic to Citrix and would help accelerate what the company is doing in the cloud infrastructure marketplace.

"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."

Citrix said it would use the acquisition of to enhance the work it has been doing with the OpenStack open source cloud platform; Citrix,, and more than 80 other companies are already members. Citrix will be adding to its own commercial cloud offering announced at Citrix Synergy recently, Project Olympus, which is a combination of the OpenStack cloud with Citrix XenServer and expected to ship later this year. With it, public cloud providers will have the ability to leverage the platform to create customized features within a cloud infrastructure, and corporations will be able to use the same set of tools to build out flexible private cloud scenarios.

Beyond Project Olympus, Citrix is committed to an OpenStack strategy, and has been a key player and a hypervisor-agnostic vendor in this cloud market. With the news of the acquisition, Citrix announced there would be no change in that philosophy.

The product line will continue to support leading commercial hypervisors such as Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere, as well as open source hypervisors like Xen. Citrix intends to add support for Microsoft products like Hyper-V and System Center to the product line, as well as support a full range of platform-as-a-service development environments, storage systems, servers and management software. has been a supporter of the open source KVM hypervisor technology as well, but this platform failed to make the official press release announcement among other virtualization platforms. Whether it was overlooked, intentionally not mentioned, or perhaps being pulled from the "agnostic hypervisor" support list is unclear at this time.

What is clear is that competitor VMware, while supported in this offering, has its own cloud strategy as it tries to push its virtualization dominance up into the clouds. The virtualization giant wants to become the operating system of choice for the cloud, but companies like Citrix, Microsoft, and Red Hat may have something to say about that and none of them appear to be backing down from a fight. Competition in the cloud computing space will only increase as time goes on.

Many of's senior staff will join Citrix, including Peter Ulander,'s CMO, now vice president of product marketing in Citrix's Cloud Platforms Product Group, as well as's CEO Sheng Liang, who will continue to lead the design, architecture, and technology of the CloudStack product line.

This article, "Citrix boosts cloud portfolio with acquisition," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in virtualization at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.