Cisco, Citrix Extend Partnership on Networking, Cloud, Mobility

Citrix and Cisco have an eye on the future of cloud computing and workforce mobility, aiming to develop services that help businesses stay connected wherever they are.

Networking giants Cisco and Citrix announced an extension of their more than two-year desktop virtualization partnership to tackle the challenges of cloud computing, mobility and networking, hoping to take advantage of what they believe to be a wider technological transition into mobile- and cloud-based architectures.

As part of the strategy, the companies intend to integrate the Citrix NetScaler application delivery controller (ADC) with other Cisco network and security services, such as Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) and Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA).

One of the components of this partnership includes integration of Cisco Nexus 1000V series switches with Citrix virtual infrastructure management software XenServer to enable enterprise and service provider customers to build clouds based in part on open-source technology. In the meantime, Cisco said it would continue to evolve its L4-L7 services in data centers and cloud infrastructure with an integrated, multi-services architecture.

"The nexus of converging forces of social, mobile, cloud and information is dramatically changing data center architectures and how services are delivered,” Joe Skorupa, Gartner distinguished analyst, said in a statement. “The next-generation network has to incorporate best-in-class application delivery controller [ADC] capabilities, integrated into a services architecture that is orchestrated at cloud-scale."

On the mobile front, the companies intend to develop a suite of as-yet-announced bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and mobile workforce solutions designed to give mobile users a unified way to securely access business apps, data, voice and collaboration services wherever they are. The platform will include Citrix ShareFile for secure, cloud-based data services across a mix of end-user devices, and will link Cisco collaboration technology, including tighter integration of the Jabber client, with the Citrix Receiver self-service mobile access client and the company’s CloudGateway platform for enterprise mobility management.

"As IT enters the mobile-cloud era, IT providers need to be more innovative about addressing customers' fast changing needs,” Cisco Chief Technology and Strategy Officer Padmasree Warrior said in a statement. “Over the past two years, Cisco and Citrix have collaborated to deliver significant innovation into the market. Now we are excited to accelerate our partnership into cloud, networking and mobility."

Development of an integrated cloud solution for enterprise and service provider deployments is also a component of the partnership, which would combine Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS), Nexus Series switching, and the company’s Open Network Environment (ONE) components with Citrix's cloud orchestration solution CloudPlatform, powered by open-source Apache CloudStack infrastructure management software.

"Citrix and Cisco share a common vision of computing in the mobile and cloud era, and have a strong shared culture focused on openness, user experience and a relentless commitment to customer success,” Wes Wasson, Citrix senior vice president of strategy, said in a statement. “Extending our successful partnership to new areas like cloud, mobility and networking will allow us to bring some amazing new innovations to our joint customers in both the enterprise and service provider markets."