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Citrix Makes Storage Virtualization Move

Citrix joined forces in a technology partnership with NetApp today, underlining the growing convergence of server and storage virtualization.

"This is our first announcement [with NetApp] and it's the deepest integration that we have," says Simon Crosby, CTO of Citrix's virtualization division. "A huge amount of the innovation in virtualization is shifting into the area of storage."

In a nutshell, Citrix has built a set of plug-ins into version 4.1 of its flagship XenServer offering, launched today. The links use APIs in NetApp's Data OnTap software.

"We use OnTap to get functions such as provisioning, cloning, replication, backup, and recovery," says Crosby. "They are implemented by NetApp in the array, so we dont have to write them as software inside of XenServer."

This is a different approach from that taken by rival vendor and virtualization trailblazer VMware, which has its own in-built clustered file system called VMFS as part of its ESX Server offering.

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