Citrix CEO: We're Moving From the PC Era to the Cloud Era

by Sean Kerner

Citrix CEO tells Interop why the cloud and the consumerization of IT changes everything.

LAS VEGAS. Apple isn't the only vendor that thinks we're moving into the post-PC era. Citrix CEO Mark Templeton took the keynote stage at the Interop conference today detailing his vision of the post-PC era.

"It is really clear that we're moving from the PC era to the cloud era which is a whole new era that will change the conversation, change the role of IT and change the business outcomes that are possible with computing," Templeton said. "We're not locked-in, we're opt-in."

Templeton noted that the cloud model is really about moving IT forward and expanding the role of IT from building and operating a factory, to orchestrating and aggregating services.

As a metaphor, Templeton thinks network should move to a model similar to the one used by DirectTV. Templeton noted that DirectTV doesn't own the content it aggregates. Rather, it is responsible for high availability, security and performance as well as ensuring that the user experience makes subscribers happy.

According to Templeton, the consumerization of IT is the most powerful force ever in IT transformation.

"We think it will force more change over the next 10 years than any other technical or business trend," Templeton said. "It's because every single day, we get a new, unique experience as consumers that differs from the experience [we get] when we're at work using enterprise systems, and as the gap grows, the pressure to evolve gets greater."

Templeton noted that the consumerization of IT is bringing with it a bring-your-own-computer, -network and -app mentality. He added that enterprises are not in control of any of this change, but that shouldn't worry them.

"Don't fight it, embrace it," Templeton said. "You can embrace the devices employees buy with their own money and the network they provide from at home or on the road."

Extending his analogy of the factory, Templeton said that IT organizations must put a front door on the factory to deliver services, and on the backdoor there needs to be a service bridge to connect to other services.

"When you go inside the factory and go out the front door you want to see happy empowered users," Templeton said. "Looking out the back door you don't want to see the back wall of the data center, you want to see variety of services you can connect to so it looks like your data center is infinite."

From a product perspective, Templeton used the keynote stage as opportunity to pitch his company's new Netscaler SDX application delivery controller. Templeton said the new Netscaler should be thought of as a service delivery controller that has been designed for the cloud era. The Netscaler SDX can provide up to 100 Gbs at native wire speed.

The Netscaler SDX is powered by the Xen hypervisor, Templeton noted that the Netscaler SDX is the first networking device that is completely virtualized and enables up to 40 virtual versions of Netscaler. The virtual version enables a high degree of service scalability and optimization.

"I've been in this industry a long time and we're now moving way faster than we ever imagined," Templeton said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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This article was originally published on Tuesday May 10th 2011
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