Watch Out! Citrix Redefines the Cloud Broker

May 23, 2012

Last week I attended the Citrix Synergy conference in San Francisco, CA at the Moscone Center. As usual, Citrix announced many new products, feature sets and new acquisitions. A complete recap of the event and all of the announcements can be found here:

For me, the highlight of the conference was the announcement of the Citrix Cloud Portal.  Many of my colleagues around the beltway have been saying that they want to be a “Cloud Broker,” but what does this mean?  As far as I can tell from talking to my peers, a Cloud Broker allows the government to procure a multitude of public cloud services by utilizing a purchase order and a yet-to-be-developed portal.  While it sounds great, this model is unrealistic for two reasons:

  1.  This would mean that the reseller would basically need to have a relationship with every public IaaS, PaaS and SaaS provider out there.  Miss one and the entire concept falls apart.
  2. This concept does not take into account two very important items:  an agency’s private cloud and single sign-on functionality.  Unless the agency gives the reseller or integrator all of their username and password data, which I see as improbable at best, the Cloud Broker model turns into an ordering function and nothing more.

But Citrix really nailed it.  In their schema, the Cloud Portal resides within the agency’s firewall on top of their private cloud. It allows the agency IT department to be the Cloud Broker for their users. This new technology supports access to many of the leading public cloud providers (IaaS, SaaS and PaaS) that an agency would use including storage from providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS),, Dropbox or the new offering from Citrix, Sharefile. It also manages a complete single sign-on environment for all of these cloud services. But that’s not all.  Here are two additional reasons why I love this technology:

  1.  It even works with provisioned applications internal or external to an agency’s environment so it provides a storefront at the same time.
  2. It works with the ubiquitous Citrix Receiver – their ICA client which is available for every major mobile device out there – so now the user can access all of this from a tablet, empowering the mobile workforce.

This is truly great stuff from Citrix.  Thanks for reading and for more information on these new offerings, you can contact me at or at or follow me on twitter at @GTSI_CTO.

Jim Sweeney is the Chief Technology Officer for GTSI Corporation. Previously Jim served as manager of GTSI’s Virtualization and Cloud Computing Consulting Practice for the past four years.  Sweeney has more than 35 years’ experience in the development and integration of enterprise IT applications and technologies. Prior to joining GTSI, he held diverse positions with VA Linux Systems, Commodore Business Machines, and The Singer Company.

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