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Saturday
Aug292009

Battling for the Title of Cloud VME

According to eWeek and Shannon Snowden, Citrix Systems and Xen.org will be developing a 'full-blown cloud computing platform that will rival VMware's vCloud offering.' I'm not yet sure what this means, because there are still piece parts of VMware's vCloud (particularly the details of the vCloud API) that are yet to be revealed. That said, the interview on Snowden's Virtualization Information seemed to have the right elements: portability through support of OVF (YAY!!), commitment to DMTF standards, XenMotion workload migration between datacenters and clouds, extended virtual networking infrastructure, and cloud-scale virtual storage infrastructure.

We discussed the the expected impact to Citrix and XenServer. Both Simon and Ian (Pratt) think that having a bigger footprint of XenServer is good for Citrix and ISVs in general because the (Xen Cloud Platform) XCP won’t necessarily be focused on the management layer, but the foundational components to having a stable, functioning cloud platform. After all, Citrix is already providing XenServer for free.

In fact, the orchestration and management capabilities of open source projects Eucalyptus and OpenNebula.org as well as commercial offerings from vendors and cloud providers will integrate with XCP since these projects are Xen-based already.

Simon said the plan is for Citrix Essentials to work with XCP, so this makes business sense to me. Citrix gets more XenServer in organizations that already are running Xen to power their clouds and have an opportunity to sell more Citrix Essentials.

For me, the early prize in the contest between VMware and Citrix is the cloudbursting title. This would incorporate three elements:

  1. The extended safety cordon required for expanding a private datacenter into the cloud of an IaaS, most likely based on a managed VPN like CohesiveFT's VPNCubed or Amazon's VPC 
  2. The ability to utilize hot migration -- vMotion or XenMotion -- as a basis for VM movement.
  3. A coordinated data management facility -- almost a customer directed content management network -- for identifying, moving and then utilizing data at the most appropriate location as part of the workload migration control.

 

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