Citrix Leverages OpenStack With Project Olympus Cloud Platform

by Ostatic Staff - May. 26, 2011

As if the number of players leveraging open source tools for cloud computing wasn't getting diverse enough, Citrix has announced a new, commercial cloud platform called Project Olympus, which is based on OpenStack. According to the announcement: Project Olympus is "a groundbreaking new cloud infrastructure product based on the popular OpenStack project. By leveraging OpenStack, Project Olympus inherits all the collective experience and innovation of hundreds of experienced open source cloud developers – and a rapidly growing list of more than 60 supporting commercial hardware and software vendors. Without a doubt, Project Olympus will compete closely with open source-focused cloud platforms from players ranging from VMware to Red Hat.

Citrix isn't the only player embracing Open Stack for commercial cloud efforts. As we recently discussed, Canonical has embraced OpenStack for its Ubuntu cloud foundation technology. Citrix foresees the OpenStack-based Project Olympus platform giving rise to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud deployments that leverage open technologies.

The major strength of OpenStack is that it is open source, but it also has a huge list of heavy-hitting technology companies backing it. As GigaOM notes:

"Now, Citrix has a community-built and tested cloud-platform software, as well as at least two public cloud partners — Rackspace and Internap — to address the issues of hybrid clouds and portability. The latter two capabilities are possible because all OpenStack clouds use the same core software and APIs. Project Olympus also includes other Citrix technology, such as its Cloud Networking fabric that the company claims lets users perform networking as a service."

Project Olympus is based on a Citrix-certified version of OpenStack, and a cloud-optimized version of Citrix XenServer. Xen is very widely used as a virtualization platform in the cloud.

Project Olympus doesn't officially ship until later this year, although there is an early access program in place. It's yet another player in the open source-focused cloud arena, which many companies are betting on since businesses and organizations have been clear that they want to avoid vendor lock-in as they move key applications and data to public and private clouds.

Look for services and competitive pricing to differentiate these open source cloud players going forward, but one thing's for sure: Commercial technology companies are realizing that they don't need to build cloud platform plays from the ground up. Open source platforms already exist, and Citrix isn't the first commercial technology company to leverage one. According to Citrix: " By bringing an open cloud alternative to the industry, Project Olympus not only provides IT more scalability, but it also allows them to enhance and innovate their services and apps while dynamically expanding their compute capabilities without capital expense."