Amazon announces VPC with support for Citrix C3

What is Amazon Web Services?

Since early 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has provided companies of all sizes with an infrastructure web services platform in the cloud. With AWS customers can requisition compute power, storage, and other services-gaining access to a suite of elastic IT infrastructure services as your business demands them. In AWS, customers pay only for what they use with no up-front commitments. The Amazon Web Services cloud is distributed, secure and resilient, providing reliability and massive scale. AWS includes a number of services such as EC2, S3, SimpleDB and others. Today AWS is making available their limited public beta for their Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

What is EC2?

Amazon EC2’s simple web service interface allows customers to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides companies with complete control of the computing resources and lets customers run on Amazon’s computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing companies to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing payment only for capacity used. EC2 is a key building block for VPC.

What is VPC?

Amazon is announcing a limited public beta of their Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). For the last three years, AWS has provided companies of all sizes with on-demand, highly elastic and highly reliable technology resources in the cloud. As more and more enterprises leverage the cloud, they want a simple, seamless way to migrate their large and complex IT infrastructures to AWS, and to use the security and management controls that their IT teams already know. Amazon VPC aims to address this need —to allow any company to seamlessly connect their existing resources to the AWS cloud as if it were a part of their own datacenter. To read the press release follow this link.

Using Amazon VPC, AWS customers can create an isolated set of AWS resources that they then access via an industry-standard encrypted IPsec Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection. Using API calls, users create their isolated network and then launch customer-addressed Amazon EC2 instances into that network. Users then create a secure VPN to bridge those AWS resources to their existing IT infrastructure. Cloud traffic bound for the Internet routes over the VPN where it is examined by the customer’s existing security and networking technologies before heading to the public Internet. With Amazon VPC, customers can access their resources running in the AWS cloud as if these assets were running within their existing IT infrastructure.

What is Citrix’s involvement?

Amazon is a top tier strategic partner for Citrix in the Cloud market. Over time, Amazon VPC will enable all our enterprise customers to seamlessly expand their Citrix infrastructures, starting today with XenApp, by adding highly secure and reliable on-demand resources from AWS as a natural extension of their current on-premises Citrix based applications. Citrix will be included in AMZN’s VPC press release on August 26 with a quote from Frank Artale. Other companies quotes are Intuit, Computer Associates and Eli Lilly.

What solutions or product scenarios are we launching with VPC today?

At launch we are starting with two simple use case scenarios. Over time these will be expanded upon. Use Case #1: “XA farm expansion – cloud data” includes a blueprint for customers that want to create another XA Farm in the cloud, with the datastore and license server hosted in the cloud also. Use Case #2: “XA farm expansion – premise data” includes blueprint for customers that want to expand the existing XA Farm from premise, into the cloud, using the datastore and license server at premise (Headquarters Datacenter).

Do we have an exclusive cloud relationship with Amazon?

No. While Amazon is the leader in the cloud space and thus provides us with a most important relationship, our partnership with them is not exclusive. Citrix is actively partnering with many other leading cloud vendors, hosting providers and IaaS vendors.

Is Amazon selling Citrix solutions?

No. While Amazon and Citrix endorse and promote each other’s offerings, there is not a reselling relationship. Citrix customers need to bring their existing licenses to AWS, leaving our channel empowered to add value as their usually do.

Prior to today’s announcement, did we already have a relationship with Amazon?

Yes. EC2 is built on opensource Xen. In addition, Amazon is a large NetScaler customer. Our partnership was officially launched on 5/6/9, when Citrix and Amazon announced the Citrix C3 Lab (press release: http://citrix.com/English/NE/news/news.asp?newsID=1690164 ). The Citrix C3 Lab was launched to run in EC2 (vs. VPC) and enables companies of all sizes to get started using Citrix technologies quickly in the Amazon EC2 environment. Since then, Citrix has been one of only nine “Amazon Featured Partners”. Here is a link to our partnership: http://aws.amazon.com/solutions/featured-partners/citrix/ . Today’s announcement expands our alliance from EC2 into VPC.

Where can I learn more about the new Citrix scenarios for VPC?

The Citrix Community Website, has a dedicated section to our solutions in Amazon Web Services: http://community.citrix.com/display/cdn/Citrix+C3+Lab

What does this announcement mean to a Citrix customer?

Customers can more easily expand their Citrix environment into the Amazon cloud. Starting today, a Citrix customer can use the newly launched AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) within VPC (in addition to the already available Citrix C3 Lab AMIs within EC2), in conjunction with the blueprints, which provide technical guidance. Customers will need to bring their own licenses to use these AMIs for production, even though they should realize that VPC is currently in beta form by Amazon. To learn more about Amazon’s limited public beta for VPC, customers will need to visit http://aws.amazon.com/vpc/.