Today at the O’Reilly Velocity conference, Citrix announced it has made a strategic investment in Cotendo. Cotendo is a fairly recent (2009) entrant in the content delivery network (CDN) marketplace, focusing specifically on providing a set of advanced services for accelerating and optimizing the highly dynamic, highly customized and highly personalized mobile and web applications that increasingly dominate the application landscape.

Today application delivery controllers (ADCs) like NetScaler and CDNs are pretty much been “two ships that pass in the night”. They each do their thing. They generally don’t get in each other’s way. But they don’t necessarily help each other out either.

Citrix and Cotendo believe that the pending wave of mobile applications provides a real need to change this. All this dynamism, customization and personalization require the applications to communicate all the way back the data center far more frequently than a traditional “browse-oriented” static application. Pushing content to the edge is a good start. Now, the network links between the data center and the CDN — the first and middle mile links in CDN parlance — become much more important.

Last month at Synergy, we announced NetScaler Cloud Gateway and NetScaler Cloud Bridge, two products that we believe will be key to making it easier for enterprises to  connect datacenters to the cloud. We, and Cotendo, believe their is a similar opportunity to use NetScaler technology to better connect the enterprise datacenter to the CDN. Done right, this can not only make mobile apps using a CDN run even faster, but it can also make them more secure, and make their use of that first and middle mile network more efficient as well. And since, almost by definition, modern mobile and web apps all run through an ADC, the ADC is the most natural device to use as the basis for this connectivity. We’ve talked about NetScaler providing a services delivery fabric. In essence what we’re doing here is extending this fabric not just from the datacenter to cloud, but from the datacenter to CDN as well.