Citrix Partners with Microsoft on Branch-in-a-Box

Citrix is partnering with Microsoft to offer a branch-in-a-box package.

LAS Vegas—Citrix Systems at its iForum conference here announced that to meet customer demands for secure application acceleration it will work with long-time partner Microsoft to enter the highly competitive branch-in-a-box market.

The two vendors are working to integrate the Citrix WANScaler WAN optmization appliance with Microsofts Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Internet Security and Administration Server.

Citrix will offer the integrated package, due sometime in the first half of next year, in both an appliance form and in server-based software, giving customers more of a choice in their implementation, according to Prabakar Sundarrajan, CTO and vice president of technology for Citrixs Application Networking Group.

"Customers may have an enterprise license [for Windows Server 2003] and want to manage the server same way they do today, so they can buy the software version. Some customers want a locked down device thats centrally managed. Then they can go with the appliance," said Sundarrajan.

Because WAN optimization techniques cant be applied to encrypted traffic, enterprises deploying such technologies to speed application delivery from centralized applications to remote workers have had to find other means.


To read more about HP signing an OEM agreement with XenSource, click here.

While a growing number of application acceleration providers such as Juniper Networks and Riverbed have added support for SSL encryption, Citrix has chosen to work specifically with Microsoft to create a more seamless offering that works with existing security policies.

"This integrates all three [products] and makes it manageable, without breaking the security model. We believe are bringing the ultimate consolidation point–the services consolidation point. We can put the domain controller/ISA on that platform," he said.

As a part of its integration work with Microsoft, Citrix is also licensing Microsofts Messaging Application Protocol Interface to specifically accelerate Exchange, "instead of reverse engineering it so that we dont break it and any change to it doesnt break us," he said.

In addition, Citrix will license other Microsoft protocols, including its Server Message Block protocol, which includes Microsofts Common Information File System protocol.


Click here to read more about Citrixs virtualization strategy.

Along with the integration of those Microsoft protocols and security software, Citrix will also create plug-ins for the appliance and software to enable Microsoft System Center management tools to manage the branch-based product.

In other iForum partnership news, Citrix also announced that Dell will embed the Citrix XenServer OEM Edition in its PowerEdge servers early next year.

Citrix as part of its agreement with Dell will support Dells OpenManage software. At the same time, Dell will offer the Citrix XenServer Enterprise Edition as a separate offering for its servers.

"This embeds XenServer Express into PowerEdge servers that will be supported, tested and certified by Dell and integrated with Dells OpenManage," said Citrix CEO Mark Templeton in his keynote address on Oct. 23.


To read more about how Riverbed Technology and Juniper Networks are updating their WAN optimization controllers click here.

Customers can upgrade from the OEM edition to the Enterprise Edition with a software license key upgrade.

Templeton in his keynote also announced that Citrix will partner with Business Objects to deliver a virtual server appliance pre-configured and pre-installed with Business Objects business intelligence software. It is aimed at delivering business intelligence to small and medium-sized companies in a more cost effective package.


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