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Citrix moves into SaaS management

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Citrix is moving into application management as part of the company's continued shift away from merely delivering virtualized Windows apps.

With a new software package named the CloudPortal Business Manager 2.0, the company hopes to woo enterprises to the mythical (and expensive) lands of consolidated app management.

The software was announced on Wednesday. It lets administrators track service usage, set rules for user activation and service provisioning, view their cloud estate, and define workflow rules for user activation across software services.

It works across an unlimited number of applications, and is described by Citrix as being "a single cloud interface for delivering anything as a service (XaaS)". This is a misnomer as it in fact not capable of working directly with, say, Amazon Web Services, but is instead designed to hook into technologies that have already been packaged up into as-a-service packages.

In other words, it can't let you directly manage VMs being controlled via your Eucalyptus private cloud, but it could let you manage an application formed of multiple Eucalyptus components.

"We're not trying to create a service package of 1,000 applications, nor are we just trying to sit on one [infrastructure]," Citrix's veep for cloud platform marketing Tom McCafferty told The Register. Instead, Citrix has designed the Business Manager to be a promiscuous, agnostic bit of kit that will interface with suitable APIs and suck all of the relevant admin options into a single Citrix control panel.

The software is part of the company's push to get its free and open (CloudStack), and paid-for and closed (Cloud Platform) technologies into more enterprises as it heads into a cloudy future.

"I think things like cloud platform and cloud business manager are the evolution of Citrix as a business," McCafferty said.

It sees the company go after its typical prey – large enterprises with too many apps and not enough expertise to manage them all effectively – and the prices reflect this: a basic version of the software costs $35,000 for a one year license, and can manage two services at once, while the full-fat enterprise versions costs $275,000 plus support for a perpetual license. ®

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