Citrix has finished its acquisition of Cloud.com, a provider of software-infrastructure platforms for cloud providers.
Cloud.com's products include the CloudStack product line, designed for the deployment and management of cloud services. In theory, these assets will give Citrix a boost in its cloud-deployment aims.
More than 30 percent of enterprises are deploying at least one cloud solution, according to a recent survey by Visiongain. "This dynamic market is quickly maturing and presenting a number of market opportunities for vendors and businesses alike," read the report issued by the IT analytics specialist. "The broad variety of innovative solutions in software, platforms and infrastructure means that there is a cloud service available for many different business demands."
Hence, pressure on companies like Citrix to keep expanding their options and capabilities, which in turn leads to acquisitions. Cloud.com products support hypervisors such as Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere, in addition to open-source ones such as Xen. Citrix apparently intends to expand that support to Microsoft's Hyper-V and System Center.
At the same time, however, Citrix has very publicly dedicated itself to building out an open cloud-computing portfolio, recently adding Project Olympus to its Citrix NetScaler Cloud Gateway and Netscaler Cloud Bridge. Project Olympus will ship later in 2011, and is the first commercialized version of the open-source cloud operating system OpenStack. Public-cloud providers will have the ability to leverage the platform to create customized features within a cloud infrastructure, while corporations and other entities can use the same tools in building out flexible private clouds.
"As the industry moved into the Cloud Era," Mark Templeton, president and CEO of Citrix Systems, wrote in a July 12 statement, "Citrix is committed to leading the charge with powerful solutions that make the cloud more open, more secure and more personal."
Citrix finds itself facing some substantial competition in the space, as companies ranging from Hewlett-Packard to Microsoft all rush to provide businesses with cloud-computing solutions. For example, HP has added dual-bursting capabilities to its CloudSystem platform, enabling clients to better manage, provision and scale resources up and down through public or private clouds based on demand. Meanwhile, behemoths like Oracle are offering a wide range of cloud-related products and services with the specific aim of countering rivals with a narrower focus.
Within that context, it makes sense for Citrix to move with all due haste to build out its capabilities, and to embrace an open-cloud paradigm that could appeal to a wide variety of businesses. Competition in the cloud-computing space will only increase as time goes on.