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Cisco Teams With Citrix In Cloud Networking Push

The partnership will help businesses and partners build and deliver automated cloud services.

Citrix and Cisco extended their desktop virtualization partnership Thursday, adding cloud networking, integrated services and access to business applications for mobile workers.

The two companies will integrate the Citrix NetScaler application delivery controller to interoperate with Cisco network and security technologies, including Cisco's Wide Area Applications Services and its Adaptive Security Appliance. The companies will also integrate Cisco Nexus 100V virtual switch with Citrix XenServer to create cloud services.

Cisco will continue to support its own Application Control Engine products but will recommend NetScaler as an alternative.

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Citrix and Cisco will also orchestrate networking products and services for enterprises and solution providers to deliver cloud services.

This combined portfolio will include components of Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco Nexus Series switching and Cisco Open Network Environment, along with Citrix CloudPlatform, which follows Apache CloudStack, open-source standards.

The companies also announced a "Mobile Workstyles" initiative to give mobile device users access to business applications and services.

The initiative, still under development, will merge Cisco collaboration technology, including Jabber, with Citrix Receiver mobile access client and Citrix Cloud Gateway for mobility management for businesses. Also included will be Citrix ShareFile for sharing secure files across devices.

To access virtual Windows desktops and apps from mobile devices, Citrix will integrate Cisco Medianet with Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp.

The partnership is an important development for both companies, bringing together the application focus of Citrix with the network emphasis of Cisco to create enhanced services, said Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst at ZK Research.

"You're seeing innovation where the network becomes much more application aware," Kerravala said in an interview with CRN.

NEXT: Cisco's CloudStack Allegiance

Shashi Kiran, Cisco's senior director, market management for data center networking and enterprise switching, wrote in a Cisco blog that the partnership will help businesses and partners build and deliver automated cloud services.

"The Cisco-Citrix partnership delivers a best of breed approach to designing next generation, cloud-ready networks, and couples Cisco’s leadership in data center and cloud infrastructure with Citrix’s strength in application delivery controllers," Kiran wrote.

"Bringing these key technologies together into an integrated solution will help enterprise and service provider customers deliver true cloud service automation with deep network and application level intelligence, speeding service deployment, and simplifying networking services," he added.

The growing role open-source standards are playing in cloud environments was pointed out in Cisco's alignment with the Citrix CloudPlatform and its Apache CloudStack, open-source standard.

On Saturday, Cisco announced a free distribution of its OpenStack, open-source cloud platform, a rival of Apache's CloudStack standard. Cisco sees no difficulty in supporting both standards.


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