In the early days of virtualization most developers and IT Pro’s would not trust deploying production workloads in Virtual Machines. However, as soon as it was apparent how easy it was to test apps and configurations plus prototype new environments prior to production, virtualization became a defacto standard for test and dev environments. Over time virtualization improved in performance, robustness and management to the point where IT is now comfortable deploying a significant portion of production workloads on Virtualized platforms.

Move the clock forward to today and Cloud based Infrastructure as a Service ( IaaS ). Most companies are not ready to deploy their production environments to the Cloud, however every company spends a significant amount of time and resources for testing , evaluation and PoC’s prior to deployment in production on premise or at a Colo. It turns out that IaaS is a great platform for test, dev and evaluations even if it may be early for enterprise production environments. Zero capital, rapid deployment, temporary workloads and elastic capacity are all attributes of IaaS that map directly to test and dev environments.

Citrix has now established the Citrix C3 Lab with Amazon Web Services to enable; PoC’s, evaluations, demonstrations, testing, training and more. Pre-built Virtual Appliances available as AMI ( Amazon Machine Image ) templates are now available for XenApp, Citrix Secure Gateway and Access Gateway. In addition we are providing C3 ( Citrix Cloud Center ) Blueprints and a community site dedicated to provide ” How to ” descriptions, configuration guides, videos and forums to support the Lab. The time to build XenApp environments  can literally change from days to hours or even minutes utilizing C3 Labs. The expense of buying test servers for every new test or evaluation is changed from $ thousands up front to as low as 12.5 cents per hour. The time for racking, cabling and powering is  gone. The time to install Windows OS, then patches, then XenApp, then configure, then redo ( because you didn’t read the manual ) is eliminated. You can literally be up and running in a little as 15 minutes. More complex environments can also be built with multiple AMI’s networked together in almost unlimited configurations.

Going forward expect to see more C3 Blueprints, more Citrix products in AMI templates, and more suggested solutions to evaluate. We may also utilize the lab for tech previews or hosting research projects to gain customer insight and feedback. Stay tuned for more and give us some suggestions.

Saving significant time and money for test and dev just may be a leading indicator for how Clouds aew adopted into IT production environments later.