Citrix integrates Netscaler with VMware's network virtualization platform

Citrix Systems will use its NetScaler Control Center for VMware to manage NetScaler functionality within virtualized networks that use VMware's NSX platform.

Most of the time VMware and Citrix are tough competitors, but when it comes to managing next-generation data centers the two companies have found some common ground. They are partnering to allow administrators to programmatically add NetScaler application delivery functionality to hosted environments.

NSX was announced on Monday at VMware's VMworld user conference. It will deliver networking and security functionality in software, and in the process decouple management from the networking hardware.

Like server virtualization, VMware's approach to network virtualization lets data center operators treat their physical network as a pool of transport capacity that is used on-demand, it said. The aim is to offer better speed and agility, while reducing costs, according to VMware.

The goal with NetScaler is to make applications run better. The platform achieves this by using technologies such as compression, caching and load balancing. With the NSX integration IT staff won't have to bother with the complexities of network topology and configuration, and instead focus on using NetScaler to help applications run better, Citrix said.

VMware is also working with Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Networks on NSX. Security vendors Fortinet and McAfee are also backing the platform.

Management is a big theme at this year's VMworld event, which is held in San Francisco and ends on Thursday. As companies get more used to virtualizing and hosting applications, they are putting together more complex systems. That in turn puts higher demands on management platforms, which have to allow users to take better advantage of the programmability and scalability of the cloud.

In addition to NSX, VMware announced Virtual SAN, which creates centralized storage pools using virtualization. Armed with what VMware calls Storage Policy Based Management administrators will be able create storage policies with specific capabilities relating to performance and availability.

Citrix isn't announcing when NetScaler Control Center will become available or what it will cost. But a technology preview will be made available to current NetScaler users before the end of the third quarter, it said. VMware NSX is expected to become available sometime during the last three months of the year, while a public beta version of Virtual SAN will also be available before the end of September.

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