Citrix and Xen.org are planning to roll out a strategy for a open-source cloud computing platform based on the Xen virtualization hypervisor. The announcement will come on the first day of VMware's VMworld show. The Xen Cloud Platform will compete directly with VMware's vCloud offering, and will run competing virtualization technologies from such vendors as VMware and Microsoft.
Citrix Systems and Xen.org are going to use the first day of VMware's
VMworld 2009 show to announce a plan to take on the virtualization giant in the
Citrix and Xen.org will announce that they will expand their reach beyond
the Xen virtualization hypervisor by developing a full-blown cloud computing
platform that will rival VMware's
. The cloud platform will be the central focus of Xen.org's
Simon Crosby, CTO of Citrix's
Virtualization and Management Division, and Ian Pratt, chairman of Xen.org,
said in an interview that the goal of the Xen Cloud Platform is to create a
cloud computing environment that virtualizes everything, from servers to
storage to networking devices, and that will run anyone's virtualization
technologies, including VMware's and Microsoft's.
That last part is a key differentiator for Citrix and Xen.org, given that
VMware's strategy is based more on building features that work best with its
"What we're offering is a richer model, with the flexibility of open
source," Crosby said. "With the richer cloud
infrastructure, soon we all can start to [see] the advantages of cloud
Citrix and the Xen.org will announce the plan Aug. 31, the first day of
VMworld, which runs through Sept. 3 in San Francisco.
The announcement will come amid reports that VMware officials have tried to limit
of its largest rivals, Citrix and Microsoft, at the show.
VMware is limiting those companies to 10-by-10-foot booths and requiring Citrix
and Microsoft employees to stay within those boundaries.
A host of tech vendors, including Advanced Micro Devices, Dell,
Hewlett-Packard, Intel, NetApp and Novell, reportedly are pushing the idea of
an open-source cloud platform based on Xen, and Citrix is contributing its own
code, including XenServer, a virtual switch and XenMotion, which enables easy
movement of virtual machines between physical hosts, similar to VMware's
"A lot of vendors are contributing to Xen and participating in [the Xen
Cloud Platform strategy]," Pratt said.
Citrix and Xen.org will not be bringing new software for such tasks as
management and orchestration, Crosby and Pratt said.
Much of that will be supplied by organizations like the Globus Alliance and
Eucalyptus, which already offer such capabilities.
Simon said the Xen Cloud Platform-the first features of which will start
appearing in the fourth quarter-will have all the necessary features demanded
by enterprises, such as multitenancy capabilities, security, encryption, shared
storage, dynamic provisioning of cloud resources and a public API.
The platform also will offer users the ability to interoperate easily with
public cloud computing platforms, such as those offered by Amazon
with its EC2
(Elastic Compute Cloud) and Rackspace with its Rackspace
Pratt said it shouldn't take long to bring the Xen Cloud Platform together.
Many of the necessary features are available now from companies that already innovate
based on the Xen hypervisor.
"We just need to package them together," he said.
Xen is playing a key role in enterprises and cloud computing already, Crosby
said. Xen is used in about 20 percent of enterprises, and most public clouds
are built on it.