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.

May 27, 2011

3 Min Read
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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.”Also at the conference, Citrix released new updates to Citrix Receiver, its universal software client for delivering desktop images, data and corporate applications to a variety of end user devices in the modern, widely distributed mobile IT environment. Citrix says Receiver now supports 1,000 different PC and Mac computers, 149 different smartphones, 37 tablet models and 10 different types of thin client desktops. Here, Citrix is addressing the widely recognized trend called the consumerization of IT, in which workers bring their personal devices to work and the IT departments have to find ways to accommodate them.

Citrix also announced new features for its GoToMeeting line of collaboration tools for online meetings. It announced the open public beta of GoToMeeting with HD Faces, which delivers high-definition audio and video for telepresence-like video conference via Xen Desktop.

This solution is also targeted at SMBs, said Paul Burrin, a Citrix VP, while briefing reporters. “[Customers say,] ‘We want telepresence, we think it’s a fantastic capability, but we can’t afford these high-end systems,'” said Burrin.

Citrix also offered a technology preview of an upgrade to its Citrix HDX technology for delivering improved performance for rich media delivered in a VDI environment, including 3-D graphics, and improved audio and video in its XenDesktop and XenApp product lines, including improved multitasking.

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