In today’s Synergy keynote Mark Templeton announced Project Avalon, a platform to deliver desktops and apps as cloud services.  It’s almost universal when we talk to customers that the topic of cloud inevitably comes up. What’s interesting is to look at what cloud means to different customers and the use cases driving their need to build and/or consume cloud services.  As the discussion transitions to how desktops, apps, and data fit into their cloud plans it’s clear that everyone is at a different stage on the journey towards the cloud.  With that in mind I want to share some of the background and use cases driving Project Avalon that customers have shared with me and how this enables enterprise and service providers to adopt and build cloud services at their pace

Technology Transitions and Multi-Site Environments
We have many customers with large environments spanning the globe. The first priority for these traditional enterprise customers is to manage the complexity with orchestrating and automating their disparate XenDesktop and XenApp environment from a common layer. Standing up a new environment requires manual provisioning and configuration of the new site. Collectively, we have made advances in automating the process via PowerShell scripts, but one mis-configured cmdlet can cause a unfortunate chain reaction downstream.  The site-specific workflows through created challenges for scaling up seamlessly across multiple sites.  As XenDesktop covers a wider array of user needs or wish to migrate to a new version, the complexity ratio has the potential increase substantially at large scale.  To address these challenges customers will be able to start utilizing the service orchestration technology originally introduced with Project Rainmaker to help automate and orchestrate their existing and new environments deployed on virtualized infrastructure.

Hybrid Deployments
We also see a new emerging wave of enterprise customers that are ready to use cloud resources to fulfill their users desktop and app needs. But the transition isn’t a magical moment where they cut everything over to running their desktops in a cloud.  It’s a process where you’ll strategically place new desktop and app groups in an on-premise private cloud such as CloudStack or possibly look towards one of Citrix’s 1500 CSPs to provide extra capacity in the public cloud for their desktop and app needs.  With Project Avalon, Citrix customers will have the flexibility to provision and manage a hybrid hypervisor and cloud environment side-by-side.  With this customers can quickly add new desktops and apps in the public cloud or migrate users to their internal private cloud overtime.

Service Providers and IT-as-a-Service in the Enterprise
Finally, we’ve seen a growing convergence between service providers and a new wave of enlightened enterprises. What do I mean by the enlightened enterprise? These are the customers that have embraced delivering IT as a service. They talk about self-service, tenant isolation, delegated administration, and delivering services to their customers – all things you traditionally here from a service provider. In fact, service providers have been building service-oriented solutions for years and with Project Avalon, they’ll be able to build upon a proven platform to add desktops, apps, and data to their existing service offerings.

We’re excited about what’s to come with Project Avalon as we work with our customers and partners.  If you’re at Citrix Synergy this week you’ll be able to get more information during Thursday’s keynote, attending a Synergy session, or reading one of Project Avalon blogs from some of my fellow Citrites.