Citrix and NetApp Simplify Delivery and Management of Cloud Services

By Krishna Subramainian, VP Product Marketing, Cloud Platforms, Citrix

Citrix and NetApp have a common vision for helping organizations evolve IT and we have been partnering closely to deliver solutions that help IT departments move to an IT-as-a-Service model.

Enterprises adopting cloud architectures face a dilemma – over 80% of their applications are traditional enterprise applications such as ERP and CRM database apps that require “traditional scale-up” architectures, designed before the cloud when hardware-level resiliency and high-availability with high-end servers and SANs were the norm, while most new applications such as Hadoop are “cloud-native scale-out,” where the software handles resiliency and can leverage low-cost commodity scale-out hardware.  

Enterprises want the cost efficiencies of scale-out architectures for their new applications, but they require a cloud architecture that can also orchestrate their existing scale-up applications. Citrix and NetApp deliver unique value to these enterprises by enabling them to run both types of applications seamlessly in the cloud.

Citrix CloudPlatform powered by Apache CloudStack is the industry’s only application-centric cloud solution to reliably and efficiently orchestrate both existing enterprise workloads and cloud-native workloads within a single, unified cloud management platform.

Running these two very different kinds of workloads not only requires a cloud management solution capable of handling both, but also storage solutions that address both workloads.  And this is where NetApp is equally unique – NetApp provides a range of storage solutions that support demanding enterprise applications as well as cloud/object-based applications. 

Citrix and NetApp have been strategic partners for over a decade and have been working closely to align and deliver unique solutions for cloud services. NetApp storage integrations with Citrix CloudPlatform make deployment of all cloud services simpler, faster, and more scalable.

Citrix and NetApp solutions

Virtual Storage Console (VSC) for CloudStack: One of the key integrations for Citrix CloudPlatform and NetApp is the Virtual Storage Console (VSC) plug-in for CloudStack,  which recently won Best of Synergy 2014, Cloud Category, is currently available as part of our technical preview program. VSC for CloudStack will provide storage management capabilities directly from the CloudStack management interface. At a high level, the Virtual Storage Console for CloudStack has many of the same capabilities as the VSC for XenServer. You can view a demo of VSC for XenServer here.

The VSC for CloudStack plug-in fully orchestrates key storage management tasks by extending and exposing a core set of functionality to cloud administrators. The integration includes operations such as provisioning of primary and secondary storage, virtual machine backup and recovery, storage efficiency, storage analytics and more. This plug-in improves traditional CloudStack workflows by applying NetApp best practices to provisioning operations, and by offloading backup and recovery to the storage tier.

Other operations include backup and recovery of virtual machines, primary and secondary storage provisioning, operations such as resize, dedupe, destroy on those provisioned volumes, storage analytics and efficiency gains (by applying dedupe). VSC for CloudStack provides a REST API that 3rd party integrators can leverage and use programmatically without relying on the UI contributions that VSC provides.

VSC for CloudStack preview

CloudPlatform on FlexPod: Our customers, more than ever, are asking for validated and tested cloud infrastructure configurations to help them easily and reliably deploy cloud solutions. With this goal in mind, we recently developed and published Cisco Validated Design (CVD) based on Citrix CloudPlatform running a FlexPod infrastructure.

FlexPod is a converged infrastructure solution that combines NetApp storage systems, Cisco Unified Computing System servers and Cisco Nexus fabric into a single, flexible architecture. FlexPod solutions are validated and tested to reduce risk and increase IT efficiency. This validated CloudPlaform design on Flexpod infrastructure provides customers with a turnkey cloud solution to enable quick time to value.

Customer Proof Points

Citrix CloudPlatform and NetApp deliver trusted, proven and mature cloud solutions that are deployed across many enteprise and service provider datacenters worldwide

One such example is Kommunale Informationsverarbeitung Baden-Franken (KIVBF), which is an IT services provider for more than 600 cities and counties in southwestern Germany. KIVBF is transforming the way local governments provide services to citizens. Using CloudPlatform with NetApp, KIVBF is making it simple to provision desktops and applications via the cloud from a secure, multi-tenant datacenter.

Another example is University of Sao Paulo, which is the largest university in Brazil. University of Sao Paulo leverages Citrix CloudPlatform on NetApp to deliver a university-wide cloud to over 100,000 students, 6,000 professors and 17,000 employees. The reliable and secure cloud solution helped the users access their apps and desktops from anywhere on any device resulting in highly productive learning experiences and scientific research.

Citrix and NetApp will continue to build integrated solutions to help IT departments become more agile as they move to an IT-as-a-Service model.