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Summary:

As the VMworld conference kicks off in Las Vegas, expect to see virtualization try to hook its star to cloud computing much like a tired stripper might lure a lucky gambler into marriage. Since virtualized servers act as the basic building blocks of cloud computing — […]

As the VMworld conference kicks off in Las Vegas, expect to see virtualization try to hook its star to cloud computing much like a tired stripper might lure a lucky gambler into marriage. Since virtualized servers act as the basic building blocks of cloud computing — and hypervisors are moving towards free — the move on the part of virtualization vendors to push beyond the marketing message of server consolidation into providing services to enable the cloud is both a logical and necessary one.

Citrix, maker of the open-source hypervisor XenServer, announced today a series of products designed to help enterprises build and manage computing clouds. The application delivery company released a cloud-optimized version of its hypervisor along with adaptation on its NetScaler and WANScaler products. Combine those three elements with a dashboard and you have Citrix’s answer to cloud computing. You also get Citrix’s plan to make money off the free XenServer hypervisor.

VMware launched a similar array of services today as well, called vCloud, but the VMware vision is delivered from more than 100 partners, including Cisco and BT plc. The goal of both product launches is to create a compute cloud that can function within an enterprise network or be delivered from outside the coporate network to smaller companies, and to take virtualization beyond server consolidation.

To make cloud computing work for enterprises, vendors are pushing four things: a hypervisor, a load balancer to automate and manage resource allocation, a WAN optimization effort or some type of eye into the network to make sure services are delivered efficiently, and a way to manage all of this in one place. VMware takes that one step further by also offering applications as part of its vCloud that are already optimized for virtual environments, although they seem more targeted at startups or smaller businesses that don’t already have enterprise-class software.

With Microsoft, Citrix and VMware all pushing beyond hypervisors and increasing server utilization, the virtualization battlegrounds looks like they will shift to the data centers underlying the cloud, as well as to the desktop.

  1. Thank goodness the market is finally realizing that Cloud Architectures (or utility computing, or whatever you want to call them) are appropriate for inside-the-firewall use as well.

    One note, however: VMware is still missing-the-boat on one teeny-weeny aspect of this… that the management system for these architectures must (a) be multi-vendor from a VM perspective, and (b) be able to span virtual *and* physical. One-pane-of-glass. I’d look to Cassatt or some other non-VM-platform provider to provide the real “datacenter O/S” that VMware is offering. I’m not holding my breath regarding whether they’ll support non-VMware technologies.

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  2. [...] (0) At the VMWorld Show, Cisco took the first concrete steps to establishing a monopoly in the enterprise data centers with the announcement of a new software switch (Nexus 1000) that would allow networking of [...]

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  3. [...] Higginbotham, Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 3:00 PM PT Comments (0) With VMware and Citrix both pushing into the data center with their virtualization products, I had the chance to chat with Simon Crosby briefly about Citrix’s new portfolio of cloud [...]

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  4. [...] September 17, 2008 at 12:12 PM PT Comments (0) As corporate giants get more interested in managing clouds, startups already in the sector are defending their turf and trying to make cloud computing more [...]

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  5. [...] Citrix is a believer in this trend and it recently virtualized its Netscaler platform as part of its efforts to virtualize network resources. While Vyatta is small, it helps Citrix get into the enterprise routing market. For little Vyatta – well being part of Citrix’s cloud efforts can’t hurt. [...]

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