With the acquisition of Cloud.com, there came not only fantastic people with amazing technology, but something much more important that the money of our competitors can’t buy – the experience of knowing what it takes to partner with the world’s biggest service providers to deliver cloud capability at massive scale.

As the move from Server Virtualization 1.0 to true cloud computing gathers momentum, not only are we better placed than our competition today through a combination of that invaluable experience and the Citrix CloudStack, Citrix XenServer and Citrix NetScaler technologies, but we are at the forefront of the industry, helping shape future innovations, while, as always, maintaining our 100% commitment to openness and open standards.

It’s fairly obvious, once you’ve helped customers build some very large multi-tenant cloud infrastructures, that the traditional approaches to networking in a virtualized data center don’t really lend themselves to the kind of deployments needed to achieve the security, flexibility and interoperability of real clouds.

Firstly, there’s scale – usually the first thing to break due to current Layer 2 VLAN size limitations, then there’s the overlapping IP address problem, inherent Spanning Tree complexity, geographically dispersed data center requirements for Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity, on-demand capacity expansion, the list goes on and on – all waiting to place extra operational burden on network administrators and leading to a far-from-seamless experience for the most important people of all – the end users.

Enter VxLAN – the Virtual eXtensible Local Area Network – a newly proposed IETF Internet-Draft aimed directly at addressing some of the inherent challenges of cloud networking by providing a robust mechanism to “stretch” Layer 2 networks courtesy of an overlay scheme atop a Layer 3 network construct.

Despite being announced today at VMware’s global customer event (which seems to have confused many people into believing this is a stand-alone VMware effort) the draft of the standard has been collaborated on by a cross-vendor group of extremely talented engineers, including our very own Mike Bursell, and with additional representation from VMware, Cisco, Arista, Broadcom and Red Hat.

We believe that VxLAN will prove to be an important and fundamental cornerstone to meet the demands of next generation cloud networking and our early involvement with the draft of this standard, combined with the work of our talented people and an absolute commitment to openness in driving future technology standards, positions us perfectly to help shape the future of cloud computing.

With the recent announcement of the inclusion of Open vSwitch as the preferred network stack for Citrix XenServer 6.0 and the recent arrival of the Citrix NetScaler Cloud Bridge product, the work on VxLAN opens up yet more exciting possibilities and helps strengthen our product roadmaps to further cement our position as the leader in delivering real cloud platforms for our customers at the scale they need for today, tomorrow and the future.

Christian Reilly
Chief Cloud Architect
Citrix Systems