The VAR Guy's Interop 2011 visit so far has been heavy on the HP, but while the company may be commanding the biggest presence at the event, it's not the only player in town. Citrix CEO Mark Templeton kicked off Day Two by providing the Interop Expo opening Keynote speech, during which he focused on a world of connected devices and the future of cloud in the upcoming years. Read on and learn how the virtualization company sees computing evolving over the next 10 years ...

Templeton first described his trip to Las Vegas: During the flight he used his laptop to connect to in-flight Wi-Fi, which was connected to private cloud that hosted his VM in Citrix's data center, which in turn was connected to his own "public" cloud apps including Dropbox. His point: We're living in a world where we are always connected, always on, (nearly) always anywhere.

What does the cloud era mean for the IT industry? For Templeton, the answer was simple: consumerization of IT and BYOC (bring your own computer). Templeton is convinced it's the future. "Consumerization of IT will force -- that's the key word here -- more change over the next 10 years than any other trend we're seeing," he said, noting also that consumer capabilities are innovating and changing the way IT technology evolves. In just a year, he added, the iPad has changed everything.

We've covered Citrix's BYOC ethos in the past (which includes the BYO-3 theory, that everyone will carry a phone, tablet and computer), but Templeton brought a little something extra to the table. It was more than BYOC, it was...
  • BYO apps - e.g. Dropbox and Evernote
  • BYO network - using 3G networks instead of Wi-Fi
  • BYO identity - personalization based on user access
  • BYO compute - using your own computing device to access all of the above
How does the data center support those needs? Laid out end to end linearly, Templeton said it flows from the BYO-3 to a universal client (such as Citrix Receiver), which connects to the "front door," which connects to a data center and VM, which then connects to the "back door" of the data center, which includes various other clouds. This scenario creates, essentially, an "infinite" data center -- as long as there is a public or utility cloud connected at the data center's back door.

Such a scenario also means a myriad web cloud services must be supported to bring all that rich media downstream, he said. How does a company do that? "Don't fight it, feature it," Templeton said, right before unveiling the Citrix NetScaler SDX application delivery control appliance. NetScaler SDX (based on Xen) provides delivery of virtual desktops, SaaS, compute, desktops, voice and rich media. Templeton called it the "first service delivery control for the ... Cloud Era." Part of NetScaler SDX is built on the AppFlow delivery platform, which is open standards-based. Citrix is looking for ease of adoption and interoperability.

Citrix certainly has put a lot of thought and effort into this plan, and being (mainly) a virtualization company, it will be interesting to see if NetScaler SDX's adoption becomes pronounced, or whether other key players in the industry will develop similar products as tablet proliferation continues.

The VAR Guy's bet? Virtualization partners should start their engines and networking partners should start to get creative.

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