With this acquisition, is there a danger of slowing down the emergence of public cloud services?
Enterprise software company Citrix Systems has acquired Cloud.com, a provider of software infrastructure platforms for cloud providers.
This acquisition is expected to further establish Citrix as a leader in infrastructure for the rapidly growing cloud provider market.
With the addition of Cloud.com, Citrix will offer a complete portfolio of virtualisation, orchestration and networking offerings purpose built for the Cloud Era.
These offerings are designed to help customers avoid vendor lock-in by letting them use the hardware, software, management products and service providers of their choice.
Cloud.com’s CloudStack product line is a hypervisor-agnostic offering designed from the ground up to help providers build clouds the way the world’s largest and most successful public clouds are built – simple, automated, elastic, scalable and efficient.
Following the acquisition, the Cloud.com product line will continue to support leading commercial hypervisors such as Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere, as well as open source hypervisors like Xen.
Citrix intends to add support for Microsoft products like Hyper-V and System Center to the Cloud.com product line, as well as support a full range of "platform-as-a-service" development environments, storage systems, servers and management software.
This acquisition will help Citrix further accelerate its support of OpenStack, the open source cloud infrastructure movement that now includes over 1,100 cloud developers, and more than 80 member companies.
With this acquisition, Citrix will also be extending OpenStack support to the Cloud.com product line in an upcoming release later this year.
Cloud.com CEO Sheng Liang will continue to lead the design, architecture and technology of the CloudStack product line, reporting to Sameer Dholakia, group vice president and general manager of the newly-formed Cloud Platforms product group at Citrix.
With the addition of Cloud.com, the Citrix infrastructure portfolio for cloud providers will include CloudStack; XenServer; and cloud networking products, which includes NetScaler Cloud Gateway, NetScaler Cloud Bridge, NetScaler SDX, MPX and VPX networking platforms.
It would also include app and desktop products such as XenApp and XenDesktop, which are virtualisation offerings that let cloud providers deliver Windows apps and desktops as a service to any device.
Citrix Systems president and CEO Mark Templeton said they are delighted to welcome the Cloud.com team to the Citrix family to focus their combined efforts on helping customers of all sizes make a difference in business, and in the lives of their customers and employees.
Cloud.com CEO and Founder Sheng Liang said joining forces with Citrix will dramatically accelerate their mission to help customers achieve all the promise cloud computing has to offer, in a way that’s open, secure and efficient.
OnApp CEO Ditlev Bredahl today’s acquisition might be great news for Cloud.com, but there is a real danger of it slowing down the emergence of public cloud services and limiting the options of cloud customers.
"Despite the cloud explosion in the media, even today there are only 500 public cloud service providers in the world. Compared to the 33,000 hosting companies worldwide, it’s a very small percentage that can actually put public cloud services in the hands of customers," Bredahl said.
"With Citrix and CA Technologies calling the shots over who makes it as a cloud service provider, we may start to see a squeeze on the speed of delivery of cloud services which will fall behind customer demand.
"Smaller hosting companies will actually be the biggest driver of public cloud provisioning, but they won’t necessarily meet the revenue or scale requirements of the newly consolidated big boys to get access to the software they need to start offering cloud services. Ultimately users will be forced to buy in a constrained market, which could trigger a rise in pricing, further delaying the advance of the public cloud."
Nexenta Systems CEO Evan Powell said Citrix’s acquisition of Cloud.com has suggested it was an offensive move, intended to confront Vmware.
"But cloud insiders will tell you that this acquisition is as much to do with Citrix responding to the threat from OpenStack, which is a completely open source cloud stack, and from the KVM hypervisor, which is fast becoming the preferred hypervisor for open source cloud deployments," Powell said.
"The recent announcement by Intel, IBM and RedHat and others that they will take an open, collaborative approach to commoditising virtualisation through the open virtualisation alliance (OVA) and the preferred place of KVM as opposed to Citrix’s own Xen hypervisor in most Linux distributions represent existential threats to Citrix’s status as the more open alternative to Vmware," he added.
"Similarly, Cloud.com probably saw that more open approaches to the cloud were likely to predominate in the future; given Cloud.com’s reliance on a proprietary version of the Xen hypervisor, Citrix was a safe port in what is becoming a very turbulent market for cloud infrastructure."