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Xen.org Project Launches New Open Cloud Initiative

Introduction of Xen Cloud Platform Will Accelerate Customer Adoption of Open Enterprise-Class Cloud Infrastructures

SAN FRANCISCO » 8/31/2009 » Xen.org, the home of the open source Xen hypervisor, today formally announced the Xen® Cloud Platform (XCP) initiative – a powerful new community-led effort to build on the growing leadership of the Xen hypervisor in today’s cloud, and deliver a secure and proven open source infrastructure platform for the federated cloud services of tomorrow. The Xen Cloud Platform will accelerate the use of cloud infrastructure for enterprise customers by providing open source virtual infrastructure technology that makes it easy for service providers to deliver secure, customizable, multi-tenant cloud services that work seamlessly with the virtualized application workloads customers are already running in their internal datacenters and private clouds, without locking them into any particular vendor.

“The Xen Cloud Platform raises the bar – going beyond the hypervisor to deliver a complete run-time virtual infrastructure platform product that virtualizes storage, server and network resources,” said Mark Bowker, analyst, ESG. “This announcement aligns the Xen community around a common compatible product, increasing the opportunity for value-added offerings from all ISVs, while promising to run VMs from any hypervisor.”

The low cost and rapid development benefits of the open source model, coupled with its proven security, performance and customizability, made Xen the hypervisor of choice for many cloud computing pioneers. The widespread adoption of Xen in today’s most successful commercial cloud offerings led the community to formalize the Xen Cloud Platform to further accelerate this growth in an open, non-proprietary way. This initiative enables open source contributors and consumers to come together around a more focused effort to deliver a complete Xen-based infrastructure product that supports a wide variety of current and future cloud scenarios.

“The Xen Project has played a seminal role in enabling the creation and rapid adoption of virtualization,” said Ian Pratt, creator of Xen and founder of Xen.org. “Today Xen is already the most widely used hypervisor in the service provider market and the community will be able to build on this momentum to develop a complete, open source, cloud-optimized Xen virtual infrastructure platform. Our goal is to empower providers to offer a rich set of services that will catalyze cloud adoption by the enterprise in a way that’s open, accessible and non-proprietary.”

A key focus of the XCP initiative will be to provide technology that permits easy interoperability between internal enterprise “private clouds” and leading external cloud platforms like Amazon EC2,  Rackspace Cloud Servers and GoGrid. The Xen Cloud Platform will accelerate the development of a wide variety of key technologies and standards that address this need in an open, non-proprietary way, including:

Broad interoperability across disparate virtualization platforms – Through standards such as the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) Open Virtualization Format (OVF), virtual appliances will be packaged in a hypervisor-independent format for easy transport between internal and external clouds with no proprietary vendor lock-in.
Support for new and existing applications – Existing applications currently running in enterprise datacenters will be enabled to run in Xen-based cloud platforms without modification. This flexibility will allow users to choose where each application should run based on business needs rather than limitations of the technology or proprietary requirements of their current virtualization or cloud vendor.
Federated computing capacity – With federated private and public clouds, the process of moving application workloads between virtual datacenters and disparate cloud service providers will be simplified.
Standardized virtualization management – Support for DMTF standards will allow complete open management of virtual infrastructures.
Rich virtual networking capabilities – A powerful open virtual switch will make it easy for cloud providers to add sophisticated network service offerings, including per-tenant network management, intrusion detection, firewalling, routing, and load balancing.
Cloud-scale virtual storage infrastructures – Advanced storage features required by enterprise workloads will enable virtual machines and their physical storage to be widely separated without disrupting application performance.

“Rackspace is very excited about the direction and scope of the Xen Cloud Platform,” said Lew Moorman, president and chief strategy officer, Rackspace. “We have built our Cloud Servers offering on the Xen platform and are experiencing strong customer interest in this new model of hosting. The cloud will not only reduce the cost of computing but also provide instantaneous access enabling customers to improve the speed of business. It is very exciting and encouraging to see Xen.org put the full weight of the community behind the development of a cloud platform.”

The Xen Cloud Platform will address the needs of cloud providers by combining the isolation and multi-tenancy capabilities of the Xen hypervisor with enhanced security, storage and network virtualization technologies to offer a rich set of virtual infrastructure cloud services.  The platform will also address user requirements for security, availability, performance and isolation across both private and public clouds. The project will not attempt to develop new, independent management and orchestration offerings since this is an area with existing rich offerings and active ongoing development in the community, including open source options from the Eucalyptus Project and OpenNebula.org, as well as solutions from cloud provider and commercial virtualization vendors.

The Xen Cloud Platform will combine the mobility and openness attributes of the Xen virtualization platform with innovative storage, security and network virtualization technologies already under development as part of Xen.org. As a result, the new platform will not only address cloud provider requirements around security and isolation, but will also meet next-generation user requirements for security, availability, performance, isolation and manage between on-premise and off-premise infrastructures.

Xen.org Advisory Board Members Voice Support
Xen.org advisory board members such as Citrix, HP, Intel, Novell and Oracle have already voiced their support for the XCP initiative:

“As a Xen.org advisory board member and frequent contributor, Citrix fully supports this expansion in scope for the Xen community,” said Peter Levine, senior vice president and general manager, Datacenter and Cloud Division, Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:  CTXS). “Starting with the core Xen platform five years ago, the Xen Client Initiative (XCI) in 2008 and now the Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) initiative, the open source value proposition of reliability, security, scalability and unbeatable economics now extends from the desktop to the datacenter and cloud. Citrix is excited to contribute to this project and looks forward to working with all the beneficiaries – service providers, businesses and consumers of cloud-based resources alike – to provide cloud services that are open, interoperable and free from proprietary vendor lock in.”

“Organizations are turning increasingly to virtualization to help them reduce operating costs,” said Nick van der Zweep, director of Virtualization and Insight Software at HP.  “With the Xen Cloud Platform, customers will be able to leverage HP infrastructure and enable open source virtualization for clients, clouds, and servers. This will provide a platform for innovation, facilitating an infrastructure that provides organizations with increased flexibility and improved levels of service while reducing costs.”

“Extending the capability of Xen.org with the Xen Cloud Platform initiative builds on the great foundation that we have in place today for creating and building solid capabilities for enterprise class clouds,” said Doug Fisher, vice president and general manager, Systems Software Division, Intel. “This is an important step in unlocking innovation across all disciplines of cloud computing.”

“As an active member of the Xen open source project, Novell is excited to participate in the Xen Cloud Platform initiative,” said Carlos Montero-Luque, vice president of business and product management for Open Platform Solutions at Novell. “Novell is committed to an open source model that thrives on the support and contributions of a strong community. Creating a stable, well-defined public API for Xen will help drive its rapid adoption inside the enterprise and in clouds.”

“Oracle continues to provide leadership and contributions to Xen.org, and is committed to the broad availability of a complete open source virtualization platform, independent of any OS,” said Wim Coekaerts, vice president of Linux engineering, Oracle Corporation. “Aligning the community around a single compatible code base will maximize the benefits of open source virtual infrastructure for customers, and simplify the federation of private and public clouds.”

For a list of additional supporting quotes from Xen community supporters, please see the end of this announcement.

Today’s announcement builds on Xen.org’s leadership in the virtualization community.  In 2008, Xen.org expanded its charter and community effort with the addition of the Xen Client Initiative (XCI), which led the community to offer the first complete embeddable client hypervisor ready for consumption by ISVs and OEMs. The success of the XCI model, combined with strong demand in cloud computing and demand from key service providers, has now led the community to further expand the Xen.org charter to include the new Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) initiative to accelerate open source development of a complete cloud-optimized virtual infrastructure product. These expansions have driven a renewed commitment to Xen with more than 250 leading companies regularly contributing to the projects and contributions jumping over 110 percent year over year. This continued investment has enabled Xen.org to continue to accelerate the pace of innovation in the core of the datacenter, on client devices and now into the cloud.

About The Xen Project and Xen.org
Xen.org is the home of the open source Xen hypervisor, a fast, secure industry standard code base for operating system virtualization. Founded and led by Ian Pratt, the community benefits from the contributions of senior engineers from leading hardware, software, and security vendors. Xen.org is run for the benefit of the community by the Xen Project Advisory Board, which is drawn from leading contributors to the project. For more information, visit www.xen.org.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclosure
This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release, including without limitation statements made by representatives of contributors to Xen.org, do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Investors in contributors to Xen.org are cautioned that statements in this press release, which are not strictly historical statements, involve risks that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the demand for cloud services, the uncertainty inherent in developing cutting-edge technology, the failure to coordinate and manage contributions to Xen.org, competition from alternative cloud infrastructure providers, the voluntary nature of contributions to Xen.org, the level of resources made available to Xen.org by contributors to Xen.org as well as other risks detailed in any public statements or filings by Xen.org or any contributor to Xen.org. Neither Xen.org nor any contributor to Xen.org assumes any obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.

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Xen® is a trademark of Citrix Systems, Inc.  and/or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries.  All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Supporting Quotes
AMD – “AMD congratulates the Xen community for launching the Xen Cloud Platform and providing the industry options for IaaS deployments,” said Earl Stahl, vice president of software development, AMD. “We believe that choice and interoperability are key in continuing to build cost-effective and enterprise-ready cloud computing and virtualization technology. We applaud Xen.org on its commitment to flexibility and openness and look forward to continuing our work with the Xen Project to help bring more economical and scalable cloud technology to the enterprise.”

Carpathia –  “Carpathia has been working to take advantage of the capabilities the Xen platform provides to deliver Carpathia InstantOn™, our enterprise cloud computing platform,” said Jon Greaves, CTO of Carpathia Hosting, a leading provider of hosting services for enterprise and Federal customers. “Our ability to take the foundation provided by Xen and extend it to deliver unique services is helping accelerate adoption of cloud solutions for enterprise and Federal customers. The Xen Cloud Platform will further enhance this foundation with a set of technologies purposely built to support the demands of our customers.”

Cloudera – “The Xen hypervisor has been widely used in enterprise data centers because of its clean hardware abstraction for elastic, scalable distributed systems,” said Mike Olson, CEO of Cloudera. “That has made it a good foundation for our customers doing large-scale data analysis using the Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop. The Xen Cloud Platform initiative is a great next step in making an open source cloud platform for the enterprise a reality.”

Dell – “Dell and Citrix are committed to accelerate cloud computing by providing innovations in IT infrastructure,” said Andy Rhodes, head of Data Center Solutions Marketing, Dell. “Together we are helping customers use virtualization in every area of IT – from the desktop to the datacenter and into the cloud. The Xen Cloud Platform will provide business model flexibility and a fresh approach for delivering IT as an infrastructure service.”

Eucalyptus Systems, Inc. – “Eucalyptus provides open source private cloud software that will be easily combined with the Xen Cloud Platform to allow anyone to implement an ‘Infrastructure-as-a-Service’ cloud,” said Dr. Rich Wolski, CTO and co-founder of Eucalyptus Systems, Inc. “The rich feature set added to the Xen platform makes it suitable for enterprises and service providers as a key enabling technology for building on-premise clouds.”

Fujitsu – “Fujitsu highly appreciates the openness of Xen and has been contributing to the Xen community over the years,” said Chiseki Sagawa, president of the SOP Strategy and Development Office at Fujitsu. “We welcome the new Xen Cloud Platform which will be a great value for us to enhance our Trusted-Service Platform for cloud computing services.”

GoGrid – “GoGrid delivered the world’s first cloud supporting the instantiation of both Linux and Windows and we did it using the Xen hypervisor,” said John Keagy, GoGrid CEO. “We are still the only cloud supporting Windows 2008 and Xen continues to meet all of our needs. The Xen Cloud Platform will deliver an exciting tool for the enablement of both public and private clouds and the resulting interoperability will help accelerate the adoption of cloud infrastructure.”

HyperStratus – “An open source-based complete cloud offering is a huge benefit to all participants in the cloud ecosystem – enterprises, software vendors, and cloud providers,” said Bernard Golden, CEO, HyperStratus. “The vision of bridging an internal Xen-based cloud to public cloud providers enables cost-effective scaling while increasing choice and flexibility.”

Juniper Networks – “Juniper is committed to delivering a Cloud Computing Infrastructure that is based on an open, standards-based network architecture with the flexibility to support fully converged and virtualized data center environments,” said David Yen, executive vice president and general manager, Data Center Business Group at Juniper Networks. “Xen.org shares the same commitment toward open standards and the Xen Cloud Platform will speed innovation, integration and interoperability so customers can maximize the potential of cloud computing.”

NetApp – “Working closely with the industry’s leading IT vendors, NetApp provides enterprise customers and service providers with the solutions and infrastructure needed to enable the cloud, such as secure multi-tenancy, transparent data motion, service automation, storage efficiency, and integrated data protection,” said Patrick Rogers, vice president of Solutions Marketing for NetApp. “NetApp is committed to bringing the same level of capabilities to the open source Xen Cloud Platform.”

SoftLayer – “SoftLayer has relied on Xen to make great strides in providing customers a dynamic, manageable and cost effective cloud infrastructure that offers a rich set of enterprise services,” said Sean Charnock, vice president of business development  at SoftLayer. “Formalizing the already progressing work of the community into the XCP will provide a solid springboard for innovation in cloud computing and only speed the rate we can leverage our expertise in on-demand data center services to provide cutting edge cloud computing.”

VA Linux Japan – “As experts in solving problems in the areas of open source operating systems and virtualization technology, VA Linux Japan will work with the Xen.org community to promote and enhance the activities of the Xen Cloud Platform,” said Iehisa “Ike” Nakamura, president and CEO, VA Linux Japan. “Backed by our technical skills, expertise and considerable experience in all areas of software development, we are committed to supporting the development of the open source based cloud development services in Japan.”


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