Citrix Embraces OpenStack Cloud With Project Olympus


Citrix Systems on Wednesday opened an early access program for Project Olympus, a new open-source cloud infrastructure that's based on Citrix XenServer and OpenStack, Rackspace and NASA's joint open source cloud computing platform.

Citrix sees Project Olympus as the functional equivalent of Amazon EC2, offering massively scalable compute and storage but based on commodity hardware. Citrix's goal with Project Olympus is to enable companies to build private clouds that are as flexible, efficient and scalable as public clouds.

Project Olympus consists of a Citrix-certified version of OpenStack and a cloud-optimized version of Citrix XenServer. Project Olympus will also support other hypervisors, including VMware and Hyper-V. In fact, Citrix engineers wrote the adapter that connects OpenStack to VMware, said Sameer Dholakia, vice president of product marketing for Citrix's Datacenter and Cloud division, in a press conference at Citrix Synergy.

OpenStack has been attracting a ton of industry attention, but at this stage of the game there are still many questions about how it'll work.

Dell, Equinix and Rackspace in March launched an OpenStack demo environment in three data centers, and they're planning to open cloud demo environments in Equinix data centers in Europe and Asia later this year.

Citrix, a founding member of OpenStack and one of the 60 software and hardware vendors that have thrown their support behind the initiative, plans to make Project Olympus generally available in the second half of this year, according to Dholakia.

"The big question about OpenStack thus far has been where customers will buy it from. Now they have their answer," said Dholakia.

Aware that some customers will want to kick off pilots and proof-of-concept deployments as soon as possible, Citrix also launched its Project Olympus Early Access Program, which offers an early glimpse into the offering and features support from Dell and Rackspace.

Specifically, Dell is giving program members deployment software and an optimized reference architecture based on the PowerEdge C server platforms, while Rackspace is offering deployment services, training and ongoing customer cloud support through its Rackspace Cloud Builders program.