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Citrix Creates 'Project Olympus' To Build Cloud IaaS Solution On Open Source

Citrix is launching Project Olympus, an initiative to help enterprises build a cloud computing infrastructure they can operate privately, behind their own firewall, or export to run in a service provider’s public cloud. It is one of a number of announcements Citrix, known for delivering a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution to enterprises, made at the Citrix Synergy 2011 conference this week in San Francisco.

Citrix also made a number of enhancements to its product portfolio to bring VDI capabilities to small to midsize businesses and to bring VDI to a growing number of portable devices, such as wireless laptops, smartphones and tablet computers.

Project Olympus is based on the Open Stack project, a collaboration of multiple vendors, including Citrix, that have joined together to build a stack of open source software to enable cloud computing. An Open Stack conference was recently held in Santa Clara, Calif.

Project Olympus combines the Open Stack with the Citrix XenServer virtualization platform. However, Olympus will also support other virtualization platforms, such as Microsoft’s Hyper-V and VMware vSphere with the Citrix XenDesktop solution for bringing the virtual image to an endpoint device.

“We’re serious about open, about giving people choice, and leveraging the investments they have already made and so they don’t get locked into the legacy server virtualization,” said Sameer Dholakia, VP of product marketing for data center and cloud computing at Citrix, in a briefing for reporters covering the conference.

Citrix also announced, just prior to the start of the conference, the completion of its acquisition of Kaviza, a maker of what Citrix CEO Mark Templeton described in his keynote address as “VDI-in-a-box” to deliver virtual desktop computing to small to midsize businesses.
“It’s simple and easy to install, and yet has all the capabilities and user experience that Citrix is famous for with Xen Desktop,” said Templeton, who added that “complexity is optional.”

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