Today is a really exciting day for Citrix, our entire cloud team and most importantly for anyone that is building their own cloud. Two significant advances in our cloud solutions and strategy were unveiled today with the release of Citrix CloudPlatform 4.2, powered by Apache CloudStack and Citrix CloudPortal Business Manager 2.1 (here is a companion blog on the CloudPortal release). Together, these products enable organizations to develop a future-proofed cloud strategy with an application-centric approach to cloud orchestration, so they can run both enterprise and cloud-native workloads on a single platform. This in turn, sets them up for the bigger picture and opportunity of delivering any cloud service through an IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) model. Wow, that’s quite a statement, so let’s break that down…

Why Workloads Matter

To put things in context, the conversation needs to start with workloads, specifically application workloads that run in a cloud. Fundamentally, there are two types, traditional scale-up enterprise  applications like SAP® ERP and Oracle® databases and cloud native scale-out applications like mobile apps, High Performance Computing (HPC), Big Data and batch processing. It goes without saying that these different families of  workloads each bears its own distinct set of hardware, storage, networking, availability and redundancy requirements and overarching uniquely different architectural characteristics.

Considering the vastly different characteristics of traditional scale-up verses cloud native scale-out application workloads, organizations thinking about building a cloud could have a critical decision to make. Should your strategy be focused on enabling traditional workloads and finding the most suitable cloud orchestration platform for enterprise applications? Or, should you be focused on the cloud native workloads that you want to deploy and invest in a cloud platform more suited for scale-out architectures?

The problem with this line of thinking is that it fails to meet the larger, long-term success criteria because it narrowly only focuses on the most present and tangible use cases. It is all too tempting to select an architecture that fits just one scenario, but down the road, when adoption and use cases expand, the solution proves to be ill-suited for handling all of an organizations cloud requirements. Our experience helping over 200 customers launch production clouds has shown us that while many clouds start with those greenfield, cloud native use cases, businesses rapidly realize the need to also incorporate the vast base of existing enterprise application workloads such as database-driven and Windows applications into a standardized cloud architecture.

As organizations define their cloud strategies, it is imperative to think about the use cases and application workloads that will run in the cloud, as these will ultimately define your cloud architecture and which solutions to deploy. To learn more about workloads, read Future proofing your cloud: Why workloads define cloud strategies and watch the video Different workloads, different architectures, one solution.

Application-Centric Cloud Orchestration with CloudPlatform 4.2

With an understanding about the importance of workloads, let’s bring it back to CloudPlatform 4.2. First and foremost, CloudPlatform is the industry’s only application-centric cloud solution to reliably and efficiently orchestrate both existing enterprise workloads and cloud native workloads within a single unified cloud management platform. In contrast, other cloud orchestration platforms on the market address only one type of workload, specifically those enabling an extension of server virtualization, such as VMware® vCloud® and Microsoft® Private Cloud for traditional workloads and those designed for cloud native workloads, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. CloudPlatform breaks that single workload architecture dichotomy by enabling businesses to build one application-centric cloud to reliably and efficiently deliver both enterprise and cloud-native applications throughout their lifecycle.

“At SAP we have a range of applications and services that we are running in the cloud, from SAP’s world class Business Suite to the SAP HANA in-memory computing platform. As diverse as these solutions are, CloudPlatform has the unique ability to run them all, despite their fundamentally different architectures. Because of this, SAP and Citrix are able to help our customers make the transition to the cloud regardless of the types of applications they need to run, today or tomorrow.”

– Ralf Lindenlaub, VP Cloud Solutions Services
SAP

Now let’s look at the major new features in CloudPlatform 4.2 for each workload type. CloudPlatform 4.2 benefits both service providers and enterprise customers, and includes features that will uniquely help each customer type and the types of workloads they typically support.

For Enterprises building private clouds and deploying traditional scale-up workloads:

  • VMware integrations for running enterprise workloads in the cloud and leveraging existing VMware investments, configurations and expertise.
  • nTier application and Virtual Private Clouds models for running multi-tier enterprise applications and virtual private cloud deployments with all the enterprise-grade security, networking and availability requirements of a traditional datacenter.
  • Dedicated Private Cloud Isolation Compliance, security, performance and licensing requirements for enterprise workloads can easily be achieved for running the most stringent workloads in the cloud.
  • Enterprise grade networking integration for supporting the performance, scale and SLA requirements of the most demanding production workloads.
  • Cisco integrations for natively provisioning and managing Cisco UCS workloads directly from CloudPlatform and leveraging Nexus 1000v Switches and ASA 1000v Firewalls within CloudPlatform.

 For Service Providers building clouds for scale-out, cloud native workloads:

  • Regions allow the creation of AWS-like availability regions that can consist of multiple zones (including mixed zone types) and datacenters for lower latency, increased scalability and geographic availability as well as regulatory compliance.
  • Object Storage helps deliver Amazon S3-like object storage in a region or across multiple zones for increased workload availability, operations efficiency and management simplicity.
  • Advanced cloud networking enables cloud operators to create advanced cloud networking configurations and Network-as-a-Service offerings.
  • Industry standard AWS APIs enable customers to leverage existing development efforts done with AWS in CloudPlatform environments and integrate with third party AWS compatible ecosystem solutions, such as PaaS or monitoring.

 “CloudPlatform is a strategic component of Alcatel-Lucent’s carrier-grade CloudBand NFV Platform, forming the foundation for our cloud orchestration and IaaS layers. Because CloudPlatform can support both traditional and cloud-era workloads, Service Providers using CloudBand are able to differentiate themselves by migrating their network to cloud environments that provide a high degree of reliability, security and performance necessary to meet the most stringent SLAs.”

– Dor Skuler
ALU International

For Ecosystem Partners Building Custom Extensions:

  • New third-party plug-in framework that lets organizations easily build custom extensions to Citrix CloudPlatform.

“Citrix CloudPlatform 4.2 delivers our customers significant enhancements to their cloud orchestration platform, while also allowing for deeper block storage integration. Specifically, the new plug-in architecture and dynamic storage provisioning functionality allows native access to the advanced quality-of-service controls within the SolidFire storage array. With this combined solution from Citrix and SolidFire customers can now achieve the performance and predictability necessary to confidently host both cloud-native and enterprise class workloads from a single cloud infrastructure.”

– Dave Wright, CEO
SolidFire

Enabling the Journey to ITaaS with CloudPortal Business Manager 2.1

The other big announcement happening today is the release Citrix CloudPortal Business Manager 2.1. CloudPortal Business Manager provides a cloud services delivery platform for self-service IT, unifying and simplifying the commerce, user management, service provisioning and operational aspects of a cloud – simplifying the path to ITaaS. For the full story on the CloudPortal announcement, jump over and read Kailas’s blog after you finish here.

Mature, Proven and Trusted Cloud Solutions

These two product releases not only embody our cloud strategy at Citrix, but they reflect the experiences and customer input gained from working with some of the largest and most innovative cloud builders in the world. CloudPlatform and CloudPortal are mature and proven solutions, trusted to power the world’s leading public and private clouds and run mission critical application workloads.

Our customers range from leading Service Providers and Telcos like British Telecom, Korea Telecom and Bell Canada, Internet companies like Edmunds.com and Spotify, large Enterprises like Disney Interactive, Autodesk and Nokia, and educational institutions like University of Saõ Palo and Hokkaido University.

“As a long time Citrix cloud user, IDC Frontier congratulates and welcomes the release of CloudPlatform 4.2 and CloudPortal Business Manager 2.1. They will meet the needs of our customers ranging from Web 2.0/internet-oriented companies to conventional enterprises. CloudPlatform 4.2 offers many great features for which we were gladly involved in the development processes, such as the function of Configuring Multiple IP Addresses on a Single NIC. CloudPortal Business Manager is equally important as it gives our customer’s on-demand, self-service access to all of our cloud services. We are confident that CloudPlatform 4.2 and CloudPortal Business Manager 2.1 will help us to serve more diverse customers and deliver more values.”

–Noriaki Terakado, General Manager, UX Development Department, Technology Development Division
IDC Frontier

Ready to Learn More?

We covered a lot today and that really only scratches the surface of these two products. So what’s next?

  1. Read the CloudPortal Business Manager announcement blog and come back throughout the week, as we take an in-depth look at these products in follow on blogs
  2. Check out the CloudPlatform and CloudPortal Business Manager product pages to learn more
  3. Try it! Learn how to get started today with CloudPlatform and CloudPortal