Atlantis Computing, Citrix form strategic alliance around hyper-converged

The two companies have been long-time partners around VDI, but this extension of their relationship makes a very low cost hyper-converged offering, which combines Atlantis’ hyper-converged infrastructure with the full Xen stack, available to any certified Citrix partner.


David Cumberworth, Atlantis’ VP of Worldwide Sales.

LAS VEGAS – At Citrix Synergy here, software-defined storage vendor Atlantis Computing announced an extension of its relationship with Citrix. The companies, which have worked together around VDI for years, will now combine the Citrix Workspace Suite software stack running on Citrix XenServer with Atlantis HyperScale all-flash hyperconverged appliances and Atlantis USX software-defined storage solutions. The alliance will reduce the infrastructure costs to as low as $USD 125 for a virtual desktop, and will make the solution broadly available to the whole Citrix partner channel.

Atlantis is a long-time player in the VDI space. In 2006, they focused on VDI with Atlantis ILIO, a storage virtualization layer in RAM, which made RAM very fast and reduced its volatility. In 2014 they introduced USX, their next generation product, which could pool any kind of storage, and which led to the decision in 2015 to repurpose this technology as Atlantis Hyperscale, an all-flash hyper-converged appliance.

“We did a lot of work at Citrix from our inception in VDI,” said David Cumberworth, Atlantis’ VP of Worldwide Sales. “I came from Citrix, where I ran enterprise sales, and the two companies have always had a good joint field level relationship. When I was at Citrix, the challenge in selling VDI then was a high price point and weaker user experience than a PC. Atlantis’ value proposition then was selling a virtual desktop at a better price point and offering better performance.”

Cumberworth described the new announcement as an evolution of the partnership between the two companies.

“Before, our relationship enabled Citrix partners and customers to use our USX technology to boost performance,” he said. “Now, with this extended relationship, any Citrix-certified partner can sell this Citrix and Atlantis Hyperscale solution together to give the best possible price point. Citrix channel partners can go to their distributor and buy a SKU, which can be applied across a range of reference architectures across multiple hardware OEMs.”

The joint solution includes the complete Citrix Workspace Suite which includes Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp running on Citrix XenServer, along with the Atlantis HyperScale infrastructure. The solution can be deployed as a hyper-converged appliance or as software for existing infrastructure with any hardware.

“The hardware agility play is important to partners,” Cumberworth said. “We are selling an underlying XenServer hypervisor and platform, and we let the partner choose whatever OEM vendor they want – HPE, Cisco Lenovo Dell, IBM SuperMicro, and now Fujitsu, through an OEM relationship with them which we are just announcing now. This hardware agility allows partners choice in their OEM vendor, because they don’t want to break those established relationships.”

Cumberworth said that being an all-Xen stack should also make the solution attractive to Citrix partners.

“We are the only production hyper-converged vendor that is an all-Citrix stack,” he said. Atlantis USX is also the first software-defined storage platform to be certified on the hardware compatibility list for Citrix XenServer 7.0.

Last, and likely not least, the price point is also extremely attractive.

“The starting point for our part of the solution is $86,” Cumberworth said. That’s for a hosted, shared desktop, while a virtual desktop starts at $125. “That’s under half the price of the solution Nutanix just announced with Citrix.”

Cumberworth said that while this new Citrix relationship does not profoundly change the way they go to market with their platform, it does significantly expand their reach.

“This is an extremely strategic relationship for us,” he said. “We are a relatively small business. We have a developed channel, and the bulk of our partners are Citrix partners, but our channel is still one-fiftieth the size of the Citrix channel. We are also strong in the enterprise, where Citrix’s channel isn’t as strong as their direct presence, and we think this can really help Citrix partners in that space.

The Citrix and Atlantis hyperconverged solution will be available through certified Citrix partners in Q3 2016