Citrix at Citrix Synergy™, the conference where cloud computing, networking and virtualization meet, Citrix unveiled Citrix CloudPortal™, a new product line designed to help providers transform general purpose cloud infrastructure into profitable cloud businesses. The company also previewed the next upcoming release of its flagship Citrix CloudStack™ platform, acquired earlier this year through the acquisition of Cloud.com. To date, more than 2,000 cloud providers around the world have chosen Citrix as a key platform for building their cloud businesses, including 4 of the top 5 largest public clouds in production (see an around-the-world virtual tour of real clouds in production powered by CTXS cloud technology). Today’s news further expands the Citrix vision for helping cloud providers of all sizes and business models build clouds the way the world’s most successful clouds are built – and transform them into profitable and productive businesses.
Easing Cloud Provider Challenges with Citrix CloudPortal
As the industry transitions from the PC Era to the Cloud Era, the cloud services market is projected to exceed $55 billion by the end of 2014, comprised of thousands of providers of all sizes. These providers will offer a vast array of cloud services including business and productivity applications, gaming, consumer collaboration services, managed desktops, data storage, business continuity services, and infrastructure as a service. In order to grow to cloud-scale while maintaining sufficient margins and quality customer service, cloud providers need to make it as easy and fast for customers to add new services, change options, add users, and manage their accounts – on their own, at any time. Some providers attempt to build their own customer portals, but soon discover the complexities and costs of maintaining the platform and integrating it with new service offerings. Ultimately, this hurts their time to market with new services, and decreases their flexibility as a business.
The new Citrix CloudPortal product line eases those challenges for providers of all sizes and business models by simplifying and automating the commerce and customer service aspects of operating a cloud business, including on-boarding, account management, billing and metering, customer service and service provisioning. Besides making it easier and more cost effective for cloud providers to grow their businesses, CloudPortal empowers cloud customers with self-service control, reducing management costs for providers, while improving the overall service experience for customers. CloudPortal also adds a rich set of pre-built provider-focused solutions for popular cloud offering, including IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), DaaS (Desktops-as-a-Service), SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and WaaS (Windows-as-a-Service). By partnering with Citrix, public and private cloud providers alike can leverage their core competencies in areas like applications, infrastructure, and data management to build differentiated, high value services that can be managed from a simple online business portal (see attached graphic of Citrix CloudPortal and how it fits into the Citrix Cloud Platforms product line).
The new Citrix CloudPortal product line has two editions that enable providers to automate the commerce of their clouds and dramatically increase their admin-to-customer leverage. Both solutions were designed in close collaboration with some of the world’s most successful cloud providers, and are already in production in clouds around the world. With today’s launch, Citrix is now making both editions broadly available to all customers worldwide:
- CloudPortal Services Manager: CloudPortal Services Manager is an extensible solution that manages the “finished goods” side of service delivery for cloud apps and services. It provides out-of-the-box support for Windows-as-a-Service clouds (powered by Citrix XenApp®), as well as popular business applications like Exchange, Office, SharePoint, Lync, web hosting and more. Without any IT expertise, providers can add and change services, manage users, delegate control, and administer their accounts from one place. Hundreds of service providers already use the solution to provide cloud-hosted applications to more than a quarter million users worldwide. These service providers have used the comprehensive SDK to add over 150 custom Windows, Web and 3rd-party SaaS services to the platform.
- CloudPortal Business Manager: A first solution of its kind in the cloud market, CloudPortal Business Manager is a comprehensive BSS/OSS (business support system, operations support system) for cloud providers. It provides powerful, easy-to-use, account and partner management, pricing and billing, customer management, and reporting capabilities, enabling providers to bring large scale clouds to market rapidly with all the on-boarding and management tools they need. Designed in close partnership with large providers, CloudPortal Business Manager already powers large-scale infrastructure clouds around the world, including IDC Frontier in Japan, Ninefold in Australia, and the Tata InstaCompute Cloud in India.
Raising the Bar with Citrix CloudStack 3
Before providers can build successful businesses, they need to ensure they are building on a platform designed for the economics, elasticity and scale of the cloud. Citrix CloudStack is designed to do exactly that. CloudStack is not a traditional enterprise server virtualization platform with cloud-like management layers on top. It was designed from the ground up as an open, multi-hypervisor platform to help customers build public and private clouds the way the world’s largest and most successful clouds are built – simple, automated, elastic, scalable and efficient.
At Synergy Barcelona this week, Citrix will also preview its upcoming Citrix CloudStack 3, the first release of the market leading cloud platform under the Citrix brand. The new edition of CloudStack sets a new standard across the board, helping cloud providers get to market quickly with highly scalable, highly reliable services designed and optimized for cloud delivery. New capabilities include:
- Cloud-Optimized Virtualization Platform: While maintaining a strong commitment to being hypervisor agnostic with support for leading platforms such as Hyper-V, KVM, OVM, vSphere and Xen®, CloudStack 3 will include a cloud-optimized version of Citrix XenServer® 6 as a core integrated feature. This optimized virtualization platform will bring new levels of scale, manageability, security, multi-tenancy, and virtual switching integration that is currently unavailable in traditional enterprise virtualization solutions on the market.
- Differentiating with NaaS: As Networking-as-a-Service becomes a key differentiator for providers looking to deliver advanced enterprise solutions in the cloud, CloudStack 3 will introduce tight integration with the Citrix NetScaler® product line, starting with the NetScaler SDX™ and VPX™ appliances, and extending through network level integration with solutions like Citrix CloudBridge and Citrix CloudGateway. As a result, service providers can offer value added services around enterprise class networking functionality into their clouds, including global-load balancing, disaster recovery, application security, secure remote connectivity, and network performance optimization.
- Extended OpenStack Support: Citrix is the second largest contributor to OpenStack, the popular open source cloud infrastructure movement that now includes over 1,100 cloud developers, and more than 100 member companies. CloudStack 3 will introduce support for Swift, the OpenStack object-storage technology for creating redundant, scalable object storage using clusters of standardized servers to store petabytes of accessible data.
- CloudPortal Services Manager will be released in mid-December 2011 through the Citrix Service Provider (CSP) program. It is based on technology acquired from EMS-Cortex earlier this year.
- CloudPortal Business Manager is available today to cloud providers worldwide through the Cloud Market Development team at Citrix.
- CloudStack 3 will be available in Q4. More details will be announced at that time.