Cisco, Citrix Expand Collaboration for 'Mobile Cloud' Era

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Cisco Systems Inc. and Citrix announced Wednesday at the Citrix Synergy conference that they are expanding their desktop virtualization partnership to capitalize on what they are calling "the mobile cloud era," which they see as the next major IT architectural transition.

The expanded partnership will focus on three strategic areas – cloud networking, cloud orchestration and mobile work styles – and will include investment in people and resources to drive technology innovation, solution integration and validation, customer support, and joint go-to-market investment on a global basis.

The effort is modeled after the existing partnership wherein Cisco and Citrix collaborated on a joint virtual desktop solution combining Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) with Citrix XenDesktop. It was first launched through the channel in September 2010 with enhancements to support high-definition voice and video added a year later. This summer the companies rolled out a go-to-market framework, a Partner Accelerator, for their indirect sales channels. Since announcing the partnership, the companies said they have more than doubled business together.

"As IT enters the mobile-cloud era, IT providers need to be more innovative about addressing customers' fast changing needs," said Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer, Cisco. "Over the past two years, Cisco and Citrix have collaborated to deliver significant innovation into the market. Now we are excited to accelerate our partnership into cloud, networking and mobility."

In a press statement, the companies outlined their new collaboration in three new areas:

In the area of cloud networking, Cisco and Citrix intend to jointly integrate the Citrix NetScaler application delivery controller (ADC) to coexist with other Cisco network and security services, such as Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) and Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA). The companies also intend to integrate Cisco Nexus 1000V with Citrix XenServer to enable enterprise and service-provider customers to build clouds based in part on key open-source technology. Cisco will continue to fully support existing customers of its Application Control Engine (ACE) product line and will recommend Citrix NetScaler as an alternative to customers who want to deploy a next-generation ADC.

In the area of cloud orchestration, Cisco and Citrix intend to develop an integrated cloud solution for enterprise and service-provider deployments based on their respective portfolios, including the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), Cisco Nexus Series switching and Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) components, as well as Citrix CloudPlatform, powered by Apache CloudStack.

In the are of mobile work styles, the companies intend to develop "mobile workstyle and BYOD" solutions that give mobile users a unified way to securely access business apps, data, voice and collaboration services from any device, anywhere. The joint solution, when developed, will link Cisco collaboration technology, including tighter integration of the Cisco Jabber client, with the Citrix Receiver self-service mobile access client and Citrix CloudGateway for enterprise mobility management. The joint solution also will include Citrix ShareFile for cloud-based "follow-me data" services across a mix of user devices. Citrix also will incorporate Cisco MediaNet into Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp. To secure mobile workers, Cisco and Citrix will link Citrix Receiver, Citrix Access Gateway and CloudGateway with the Cisco secure access portfolio, including Cisco AnyConnect, Cisco ASA and the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE).

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