3Tera, Citrix Partner to Make Cloud Computing Mainstream

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-09-15

Cloud/utility computing provider 3Tera, which serves up computing power, data storage or applications over a grid to thousands or millions of users for a monthly fee, Sept. 15 revealed a partnership with Citrix Systems designed to make these services available to a wider market.

The agreement, announced at VMworld in Las Vegas, will enable midmarket and low-end enterprise IT shops to build their own enterprise-grade external hosted clouds, and connect them with other clouds, if they so choose. These are platforms that can be deployed in corporate data centers behind customer firewalls.

The two companies will combine Citrix's new XenServer-based Cloud Center software package with 3Tera's AppLogic Cloud Computing Platform. This combination is aimed at helping IT managers move cloud computing from physical servers and virtual machines to a new level that consists of virtual data centers and applications running in the cloud in an on-demand, subscription-price basis.

XenServer Cloud Edition's production-level virtualization capabilities will be enhanced with advanced cloud infrastructure capabilities provided by 3Tera. As its part of the partnership, 3Tera will embed XenServer Cloud Edition into future versions of its AppLogic Cloud Computing platform.

This is all part of a new trend for enterprises to "personalize" their own data centers to act as private cloud computing systems.

"Most currently available software is not designed with cloud computing in mind," 3Tera CEO and Chairman Barry Lynn told me. "Citrix uses the virtualization suite we provide that is designed for better performance and reliability."

Lynn said that Citrix asked 3Tera to help it "spec out" their Cloud Center platform several months ago.

"This, we believe, is the first ready-for-prime-time, commercially supported virtualization tool that can be used in any size data center," Lynn said. "Because our 'cloudware' is already operating system- and middleware-agnostic, now it becomes an open system that can interact with other clouds in the same way."

This evolution to a personalized grid in the Web 2.0 sector has opened numerous opportunities for application vendors such as Salesforce.com, SAAS collaboration provider Workday and Amazon, which also providing computing and storage services to customers over the Web for a monthly fee.

Sun Microsystems and Oracle also have built grid systems that provide on-demand computing services.

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