Businesses and other organizations interested in moving some of their IT functions onto a cloud-computing platform have several software options to choose. One of these is CloudStack 3 from IT company Citrix Systems, which is now available in a beta version. A full production version of the platform is anticipated by the end of next month.
CloudStack 3 is a result of Citrix’s acquisition last summer of Cloud.com and will be able to provide both private and public cloud services. Reaching out into the world of cloud computing is a new step for Citrix, already well known among managed services providers for its excellent Xen hypervisor that provides strong virtualization technology for both servers and networks. Indeed, the average U.S. resident may well have used some aspect of the Xen hypervisor without even realizing it since this is the technology that underlies some of the largest offerings on the Internet. Amazon, for example, runs off a Citrix-based virtualization system.
CloudStack will be able to support more than a single virtualization platform, a plus for business consumers since it helps them to avoid vendor lock-in. With CloudStack 3 providing cloud functionality, businesses can virtualize with Citrix’s Xen system, or can use competing systems such as VMware’s vSphere. According to Peder Ulander, who serves as VP of product marketing at Citrix, “People go with Citrix because four out of five of the largest clouds in the world run on Xen or XenServer, and 75 percent of Internet traffic goes through a NetScaler. We bring that expertise and technology to CloudStack, which is now integrated with both of those products."