Citrix Adopts OpenStack for Project Olympus

by Sean Michael Kerner

Citrix formally announces the name and direction of their OpenStack open source cloud virtualization stack initiative

Olympus is the legendary home of the Greek deities in the cloud. This week, Citrix launched its effort to bring the open source cloud technology to the home of Zeus with Project Olympus.

Project Olympus is the Citrix distribution of the OpenStack platform. OpenStack began as a joint effort of Rackspace and NASA in July of 2010. The effort has since expanded to over 60 industry partners including Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS), Dell and Cisco. The OpenStack platform supports KVM, Hyper-V and Xen as hypervisor platforms.

Citrix's Project Olympus includes a cloud-optimized version of Citrix XenServer integrated with OpenStack. Although Olympus is focused on Xen, the Citrix platform will also supports VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V for virtualization as well.

"Citrix believes it is time to leverage the open source community to bring cloud to a new level of innovation with a solution that brings the open, elastic, scale-out infrastructures of leading IaaS clouds to private clouds," Sameer Dholakia, VP of Product Marketing, Datacenter and Cloud Division at Citrix, said in a statement. "There was no better project to help bring Project Olympus to fruition than OpenStack, with its dedicated industry support, rich ecosystem and rapid pace of innovation."

Project Olympus is currently available as an early access program with general availability set for later this year. Citrix is partnering with Dell and Rackspace to help enable the early access Olympus deployments.

Although Olympus was only officially announced this week, plans for commercial OpenStack support were first revealed in March. At the time, Rackspace announced setup and operational support and Dell announced its own set of hardware enablement and support features. Mark Collier, vice president of marketing and business development at Rackspace, told InternetNews.com at the time, that Citrix and Canonical Ubuntu Linux would be developing software distributions that would become part of the commercial support system.

Canonical has since adopted OpenStack as the default technology for its Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud for its upcoming 11.10 release. Ubuntu 11.04 includes the OpenStack Cactus release as a technical preview.

Cactus is the most recent OpenStack release, and it debuted in April of this year. With Cactus, OpenStack improved the Glance image creation service. Cactus also provides a new API that opens up OpenStack development and integration opportunities.

Cactus followed the Bexar OpenStack release which came out in February of 2011. The next major release of OpenStack is codenamed Diablo and is set for general availability in July.

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 Thursday May 26th 2011
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