Citrix Cloud products and versions explained

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As we all know by now Citrix has gone cloud with loads of product announcements in the last year. Finding out what each of those products do and how they relate to each other is still a bit vague. What we have seen at Synergy San Fransisco is that Citrix is trying to integrate everything, which is cool but I needed more detail on what all these components actually are all about.

So I went on a quest, the quest for finding the way in the huge Citrix Cloud products portfolio. The results are in this article.

First we need to start with which products I was able to dig up from the Citrix website and announcements.

  • Citrix CloudStack
  • Citrix Cloud Platform
  • Citrix Cloud Portal Business Manager
  • Citrix Cloud Portal Services Manager
  • Citrix Cloud Gateway Express and Enterprise
  • Citrix NetScaler Cloud Bridge and Cloud Connector
  • Project Avalon

Figure 1. Citrix Cloud Architecture

Citrix CloudStack

Citrix CloudStack is a product that was added to the Citrix portfolio when Citrix acquired last year. As we speak CloudStack is already given back to the open source community by Citrix when they submitted it to the Apache Foundation. Citrix will continue to support the development but it is now officially handed over to the community.

What is CloudStack according to

CloudStack forms the foundation for infrastructure clouds and data center operators can quickly and easily build cloud services within their existing infrastructure to offer on-demand, elastic cloud services. CloudStack users can take full advantage of cloud computing to deliver higher efficiency, limitless scale and faster deployment of new services and systems to the end-user. CloudStack will allow user to coordinate virtualized servers, networking and network storage to provide infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) just like hosting providers but on their own hardware.

Citrix CloudPlatform

When Citrix submitted CloudStack to the Apache Foundation they launched a new product named Cloud Platform. Cloud Platform actually is powered by CloudStack and brings Enterprise support agreements to customers for CloudStack.

Citrix CloudPortal

Citrix CloudPortal comes in two separate flavors named Services Manager and Business Manager

Services Manager

CloudPortal Services Manager is the next release of what we used to call Cortex Cloud Control Panel.

What is Cloud Portal Services Manager according to Citrix?

The easy-to-use web portal that helps service providers manage the delivery of cloud services and offerings to their customers. It provides out-of-the-box support for Desktop-as-a-Service and Windows apps (powered by Citrix XenApp), as well as popular business applications like Exchange, Office, SharePoint, Lync, web hosting and more. Without any IT expertise, customers can add or change services, view reports and manage users.

Business Manager

What is Cloud Portal Business Manager according to Citrix?

The comprehensive business operations suite that works in conjunction with Infrastructure-as-a-Service clouds running on Citrix Cloud Platform. Account management, pricing and billing, customer management and reporting capabilities accelerate the time to market and on-boarding processes. Customers use CloudPortal Business Manager to manage their accounts and control their IaaS services.

Citrix Cloud Gateway

Citrix Cloud Gateway is the main platform for giving users access to their applications and data.

To read more about the different versions of Cloud Gateway please read an earlier article I wrote Permanent Link to Cloud Gateway Part 1 – Versions explained.

Citrix NetScaler Cloud Bridge and Cloud Connector

Citrix NetScaler CloudBridge and Cloud Connector are NetScaler platform features which offer a highly intelligent way of connecting private and public clouds together. Although these features may look and act like traditional VPN tunnels they offer more intelligence and control to make sure each and every customer can integrate their own clouds with public clouds.

A nice example for what can be solved by using these features is the problem with a lot of customers using the same 10/8, 172.16/16 or 192.168.1/24 IP ranges ranges what results in routing issues.

Project Avalon

Project Avalon is not really becoming a cloud product but focuses more on the delivery of XenDesktop and XenApp in cloud scenario’s for for example DaaS providers. It will integrate Cloud Portal and Cloud Platform with XenDesktop to be able to provision desktops in the cloud but also provide a way to burst to or over public cloud providers.

A nice example is a “not sized to the max” private cloud which can burst to a public cloud. When a user tries to connect to a shared desktop pool and the private cloud does not hold enough resources to start a new desktop, the desktop will be started in the public cloud without any user or administrator intervention.

To read more on this topic please an earlier article written by Kees Baggerman

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