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GigaSpaces Citrix integration on top of OpenStack

posted Jul 19, 2011, 4:31 PM by Kuwon Kang

GigaSpaces Citrix integration on top of OpenStack

In my one of my previous posts (GigaSpaces OpenStack Explained) I made a reference to the joint work that we are doing with Citrix through the integration of our new PaaS API:

The specific integration with NetScaler (load balancer) and XenServer will be achieved through more open interfaces provided through the Citrix/Openstack contribution, which means that OpenStack users can use those intefaces to plug in any hypervisor or load balancer.

In this post I’d like to elaborate more specifically on the current and planned integration work.

GigaSpaces Citrix integration on top of OpenStack

The block diagram below describes the main layers that comprise the joint GigaSpaces/Citrix integration.

The OpenStack layers (marked in bold-green) enable making these integration points more open, as we will be using the OpenStack API for the Compute (NOVA) and Load-Balancer API instead of using the Citrix API directly.


OpenStack Compute (Nova)

The GigaSpaces integration with OpenStack Nova API is done through the previously announced JClouds provider contribution.

This integration enables you to run Citrix Xen VMs and manage the them through the Citrix Management console. Similarly, you can use this same integration to plug-in other VMs.

OpenStack Load Balancer

The OpenStack Load Balanacer API is a slight variation on the current Rackspace Load Balancer API. This integration follows the exact path as with the NOVA integration i.e. we will use the JClouds Load Balancer abstraction and plug-in an OpenStack load balancer provider as one of the providers' plug-ins.

This integration enables you to run the Citrix Netscaler load balancer through the OpenStack API, and thus enable you to leverage the performance and scaling benefit of Netscalaer while at the same time keeping an open interface to plug-in other load balancers.

Citrix certified version of OpenStack

OpenStack enables you to download the full source code of the project and build an Amazon like cloud infrastructure in your local environment. As with many other open-source offerings (Linux is a good example) – most enterprises don't have the skills or the time to go through the process of building their own cloud from the source. These organizations would need a pre-packaged version of OpenStack that comes with built-in support, production management tools etc.

The Citrix certified version of OpenStack is geared specifically for this purpose.

The solution will be comprised of two primary components: a Citrix-certified version of OpenStack and a cloud-optimized version of XenServer.

The product will be sold with Rackspace Cloud Builders, who will provide deployment services, training, and ongoing support for customer clouds.

Customers can get started building their clouds today with the Early Access Program. The program will provide access to the software (Citrix), a reference architecture and PowerEdge C server platforms (Dell), and services (RAX Cloud Builders) they need to begin building their cloud. However, as Open Cloud and OpenStack are about openness, customers can work with any group of providers/partners to build their cloud, and will be supported in the Early Access Program. The end result is open source technologies delivering a massively scalable cloud operating system.

Citrix OpenStack virtual appliance project

This video demonstrates the deployment and management of an OpenStack cloud, with the software packaged as a virtual appliance. This allows service providers to track, install, and upgrade their cloud as a single virtual machine image, avoiding the complexity of deploying directly from packages. The video shows a complete installation from bare metal to working cloud, using Citrix's packaged solution. It then goes on to show how the cloud can be scaled up to add new nodes in one click.