Citrix Partners With Amazon For Tighter XenServer, AWS Integration

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Longtime buddies Citrix and Amazon last week unveiled a deeper partnership that will see the companies bring their engineering teams together to improve interoperability between their virtualization and cloud computing technologies.

Citrix is helping Amazon to optimize performance of Citrix products and Windows applications running on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Citrix is also working with Amazon on optimizing XenServer deployments to allow workloads to be moved back and forth between data centers and Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Citrix and Amazon have been working to allow Citrix NetScaler, Branch Repeater and virtual appliance implementations (VPX) to use Amazon's cloud for scaling out their Windows or Web application delivery infrastructure. In a pilot program launched last May, Citrix and Amazon teamed up to allow Citrix XenApp to run on Amazon EC2, and the companies are now expanding the partnership to the rest of Citrix product portfolio.

Gordon Mangione, vice president of Citrix's Datacenter and Cloud division, said customers now have the option of buying Citrix products running on Amazon's cloud infrastructure, which will allow Citrix channel partners to deliver solutions to customers faster than in the past.

"Customers that want to deploy more versions of our products will no longer have to procure and hook up a server -- they can just do it in the cloud and deploy and access those applications regardless of where the customer is and what device they're using," Mangione said.

In a blog post last week, Simon Crosby, CTO of Citrix's Datacenter and Cloud Division, said his company's "extensive experience" optimizing Windows workloads on XenServer will carry over to the AWS environment.

"We will ensure that AWS runs Windows as well as, or better than your private cloud, enabling you to move more workloads to the cloud sooner, and to maximize price/performance," Crosby said in the blog post.

The Citrix-Amazon partnership will help Microsoft enterprise and SPLA customers as well, Crosby said, because the Windows Azure VM role offers "only an ephemeral instance model" for Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machines.

However, several visitors to Crosby's blog left anonymous comments that suggest skepticism about Citrix's claims.

"I'll believe this stuff when I see it. Citrix has a tendency to make broad claims that don't really live up to reality. Are you willing to put a timeline to any of the features you mentioned or is this just the typical cloud washing and marketing fluff?" said one anonymous poster.

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