July 12, 2011 – Citrix Systems plans to expand its open source role in cloud computing platforms with the announced acquisition of software infrastructure provider Cloud.com.

Cloud.com provides open design cloud server infrastructure offerings, such as CloudStack and XenServer. In a news release on the deal, Citrix touted Cloud.com’s CloudStack deployment product line as a linchpin in its open enterprise server virtualization offerings. However, Citrix stated it will continue to support OpenStack, the open source infrastructure as a service platform started by Rackspace and NASA.

William McKnight, president of McKnight Consulting Group, says the acquisition continues a trend he sees “as companies continue to … work around security and availability challenges for the accelerated time-to-market and operational expensing of the cloud.”

“Citrix had committed to OpenStack, and now it acquires a founding member of OpenStack, Cloud.com. Citrix has long been a strong player in virtualizing the enterprise and efficiently managing the cloud, like Cloud.com does, is an extension of that function,” McKnight says.

Financial details of the deal for Cloud.com, which is final, were not disclosed. Cloud.com CEO Sheng Liang will continue to lead the CloudStack product line, reporting to Sameer Dholakia, general manager of Citrix’s newly formed Cloud Platforms product group.

The acquisition is among a handful by Citrix in the virtualization space in the past year. In May, it unveiled a new suite of cloud connection products, and has recently acquired software virtualization provider VMLogix and European SaaS market provider Netviewer AG.