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OpenStack Rivals Citrix in VDI Market


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June 25, 2012

OpenStack Rivals Citrix in VDI Market

By Julie Griffin, Contributing Writer

The name that is typically affiliated with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is Citrix because it is so well known in the VDI market. Indeed, Citrix is often featured in VDI related news for providing prominent companies with virtual desktop solutions or investing in promising startups. However, recent reports suggest that Citrix might have some competition. OpenStack has now entered the market with its own VDI solution in the form of its new VDI company Piston Cloud Computing.

Piston Cloud Computing is the first OpenStack VDI company prepared to take on Citrix’s CloudStack. Certain details about the two companies suggest that there could be an interesting rivalry in the upcoming VDI market.

The rivalry between Citrix and OpenStack is interesting for the same reasons as many other technology related business rivalries: A shared partnership with a third party and an ongoing battle over the ownership of innovation in their particular field. As mentioned above, Citrix has been known to invest in promising startups.

One of those startups, Gridcentrix, is now involved in a partnership with OpenStack in developing Piston’s Cloud OS services. Gridcentrix implements Virtual Memory Streaming (VMS) as a way of adapting to VDI-related technology. VMS technology could give OpenStack leverage in their VDI service platform – at least until Citrix decides to implement Gridcentrix’s VMS technology as well, a discussion that Gridcentrix suggests could take place soon.

The same source disclosed that spokesmen of OpenStack and Citrix “traded jabs back and forth” at a panel discussion this week involving their positions as carriers of open source cloud platforms. A defining area of contention involves Amazon’s APIs and an “integration project” with Amazon, Citrix, OpenStack and Eucalyptus. Citrix representatives pointed out that OpenStack’s lack of involvement was “odd.”   

VDI solutions will continue to be vital for many businesses, specifically in areas involving management solutions for BYOD. Cushman & Wakefield discovered other purposes for VDI solutions with Citrix’s VDI-in-a-box. VDI-in-a-box allows third-party clients access to important desktop applications, so that they can conduct business around the world.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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