Synergy 2011: Q&A on opening up the cloud

With openness a big theme in the cloud and virtualisation space, we get Citrix's opinion.

Citrix was built on the ideal of openness. It's made a lot of money from it as well.

During the company Synergy 2011 conference in San Francisco this week, there has been plenty of talk about being open to help the industry and customers move forward to the "cloud era."

We caught up with Kimberly Woodward, vice president of corporate marketing at Citrix, to talk about what the firm and others are doing to push the open cause in both virtualisation and cloud.

There have been plenty of moves in the open virtualisation space recently, in particular the founding of the Open Virtualisation Alliance. Is it positive others are pushing this?

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Anything that we see that is open, we think has value because customers want to know if you are going to support a varied environment. The days of vendor lock in are absolutely gone.

It used to be you bought an IBM stack and everyone was happy. Today that doesn't happy anymore. Our customers want a variety of different vendors and so based on that we are supportive of anything that is about open, about being transparent to the industry those are very important parts of our culture.

So why are you not involved in the Open Virtualisation Alliance when it's open to anyone?

I actually can't comment on why we're not involved in that. Obviously we're big partners with Intel, we're big partners with HP, so it might be that we just haven't had a chance to get into detailed to discussions.

The Open Virtualisation Alliance will be focusing heavily on the Kernel-based Virtual Machine. Could you explain how KVM could affect Citrix's business?

There are different flavours of hypervisor there's Hyper V, ESX and there's our Xen hypervisor. KVM is another hypervisor.

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I believe it's using some of the Xen open source code. It's another offering in the market for a hypervisor.

I believe if you look at the market stats, it's not got a huge market share right now but again in the spirit of openness should other hypervisors really become demanded by our customers, we would work them in.

When their footprint is big enough and enterprise customers are coming and saying, Citrix, I want to run XenDesktop and I want to use a different hypervisor and I want to have some management tools on top of a different hypervisor,' that is certainly something that we would pay attention to.

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