Last week we demonstrated the capabilities of our CloudPlatform product to over 1300 people live on our Cloud 101 Master Class. On these webinars not only do we do live demos of a complete installation and configuration of a basic CloudPlatform zone, we also answer hundreds of questions on the fly to help people get up and running with the technology. We had a number of questions that came up time and time again so I thought I would take some time to answer the top questions from our Master Class.

Is this session recorded?

Probably the most asked question on any webinar out there today, particularly ones that cover such a large amount of technology in a relatively short amount of time. Yes, we record all of our Master Classes whether they are on CloudPlatform, XenServer or NetScaler; and we make them available on CitrixTV. You can find the recording from our CloudPlatform 101 class here:

What’s the difference between CloudPlatform and CloudStack?

Sometimes, with these two products, it seems that their names are used interchangeably. So what’s the difference?

Back in April 2012, Citrix announced the first building block of its aggressive cloud platform strategy by submitting its market-leading open source CloudStack platform to the Apache Software Foundation, home of the world’s most successful open source projects. While Citrix is still a contributor to the CloudStack project, it is entirely open source and managed by the Apache Foundation.

Citrix CloudPlatform is the first commercially supported cloud orchestration system based on Apache CloudStack. It designed to ensure organizations can build production cloud environments on an open source platform designed for economics, elasticity and scale – complete with commercial engagement and support from Citrix. Along with premium support offering, CloudPlatform also includes entitlement to XenServer Advanced allowing customers to take advantage of advanced features included in the hypervisor level.

Can I migrate for CloudStack to CloudPlatform?

At this time there is no upgrade path from Apache CloudStack to the current release of Citrix CloudPlatform. While  CloudStack and  CloudPlatform both share the same open source base platform, they have different releases cycles. These differing release cycles mean faster development times but also create a situation where the two code bases will naturally diverge and converge again from release to release. In order to present the shortest path to a commercially supported solution, it is recommended that users who are interested in a commercial engagement with Citrix begin their evaluation with Citrix CloudPlatform 90 day trial.

Can multiple hypervisors be mixed in a CloudPlatform cloud?

Of course! Citrix’s view is that the future of cloud will be all about openness, so we’ve designed CloudPlatform to support as many hypervisors as possible. While all hosts in a cluster (also known as farm or pool in server virtualization terms) must be virtualized on the same hypervisor, you can mix multiple clusters with different hypervisors into a pod or zone. Today  we support XenServer, KVM, OVM and vSphere.

What are the options for storage?

With CloudPlatform there are two types of storage, primary and secondary. Primary storage is where the VMs live while secondary storage is where your templates are hosted. Primary storage support varies depending on the hypervisor you are using to build your cloud environment but typically includes local, iSCSI, Fiber and NFS.  For secondary storage we support NFS or OpenStack Swift.

How do I get started?

Yes, believe it or not, after a few hours on one of our Master Classes people were ready to dive into the product themselves. For those of you who are ready to start evaluating the CloudPlatform solution we have a free trial and lots of documentation to get you started:

  1. Download the CloudPlatform 90 day trial
  2. Read our product documentation including Trial Installation Guide, Release Notes, Developer’s Guide
  3. Find all the resources from our CloudPlatform Master Class

As I mentioned, there were hundreds of questions asked on last week’s webinar and I’ve only covered off a few in this post. If you are interested in attending a future Cloud Master Class so you can ask questions of your own, register now for one of our upcoming sessions.

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