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Citrix acquires Sanbolic, strengthens its bid for the software-defined datacenter

With this week's purchase of Sanbolic, Citrix has started off the new year with a bang. This acquisition demonstrates that Citrix is not ready to give up the fight for the software defined datacenter to Microsoft, VMware or any other player trying to gain dominance in this sector.

Sanbolic is a provider of a scale-out, software defined storage that can utilize storage resources in both the physical and virtual world. Sanbolic has a slight jump on other vendors in this space (e.g. VMware VSAN, Nutanix, Scale Computing, etc.) as they can aggregate both local SAN resources as well as cloud (AWS) resources. Sanbolic has been in the storage business for over 13 years and its product runs on Linux and Windows, as well as in KVM, Xen, and Hyper-V environments. It can also run as a VSA on vSphere.

This acquisition opens up more questions than it answers; will Citrix keep Sanbolic hypervisor agnostic or will it focus it on Citrix’s hypervisor of choice, Xen? Is this an opening to allow Citrix to gain leverage in the fast growing KVM market? How will Citrix integrate Sanbolic with its other products; will NetScaler gain the ability to provide storage? Does Citrix have a franchise hyperconvergence appliance in the wings, a la VMware EVO:Rails? Will Citrix integrate this offering into CloudPlatform? Most importantly, how soon will they be able to leverage this acquisition into validated products?

The one question this acquisition does answer is how serious Citrix is about playing in the software defined datacenter game. That game just got a lot more interesting with Citrix adding storage to its portfolio.


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