Atlantis Computing expands Citrix partnership, announces new one with Rancher Labs

The new Atlantis integration with Citrix brings its VDI infrastructure directly into Citrix management interfaces, while the new partnering with Rancher Labs integrates Atlantis’ management interface with theirs to better manage containers.


Bob Davis, Atlantis Computing’s CMO

Atlantis Computing has announced the further expansion of its relationship with long-time strategic partner Citrix, with the integration of Atlantis’ workspace infrastructure into the Citrix management suite. At the same time, Atlantis is leveraging its experience in workspace management to the similar process of container management, through a new partnership with container management vendor Rancher Labs.

Atlantis has been a player in the VDI space for over a decade, and a long-established partner of Citrix. Earlier this year, the two companies announced an extension of that partnership with the integration of the Citrix Workspace Suite software stack running on Citrix XenServer with Atlantis HyperScale all-flash hyperconverged appliances and USX software-defined storage solutions. The new announcement extends that relationship by simplifying management, combining infrastructure, applications and management into a single workspace platform-as-a-service.

“This extends our mutual drive towards continuing simplicity, by collapsing the entire stack of VDI environment with infrastructure and all the management,” said Bob Davis, Atlantis’ CMO. It interfaces our management interfaces into Citrix Desktop Director, Citrix Lifecycle Manager and Citrix Studio. The result is that an admin in Citrix can see what’s going on in storage. Today, you don’t have that. It also provides the promise of doing cloud based provisioning from Citrix lifecycle management.”

“There has been a disconnect between underlying infrastructure and VDI components, which has been a big inhibitor in desktop virtualization for a long time,” said Patrick Brennan, Senior Product Manager at Atlantis Computing. “This gets us closer to alleviating those issues. The integrations with Citrix Director provide end-to-end visibility from the endpoint down and fills that gap.”

Brennan said that this work also addresses the long-standing challenge in deployment with Citrix.

“This allows you to provision the entire Citrix stack, so all the complex Citrix infrastructure gets deployed automatically,” he said. The single pane management provides automated, dynamic workspace provisioning, monitoring and analytics-based reporting.

Davis said that this won’t solve all of the complexities of VDI deployment for partners, but it helps.

“There is still a heavy learning curve for partners, but this does help make it more and more straightforward,” he said. “Where there is mystery there is margin, but it would be better if we can simplify this to the point more partners can actually deliver it. I don’t think we are there yet, but this is still a nice addition to the portfolio for channel partners.

“These tools we are baking in will make it easier from a partner perspective to understand what resources are allocated,” Brennan stated. “Right now, it’s all guesswork as to how much compute storage or network are needed. This gives them the visibility they need to do that.”

The second part of the announcement will see Atlantis extend its unified infrastructure and application management platform to support containers through a partnership with Rancher Labs. The Atlantis management interface will be integrated with Rancher’s, in order to manage Docker containers in production, deploy applications and create non-persistent or persistent storage in any environment.

“As we worked on VDI, containers came up, and we realized that a container looks a lot like a non- persistent VDI instance,” Davis stated. “Both have a Gold Master, and you spin out clones for as many as you need. You then throw them away when done. The whole concept solving that problem in VDI was how we started.”

Integrating the Atlantis technology with Rancher brings high end storage features into containers by creating an automated, software-based platform with a rich set of data services, provisioning and management of compute, storage and containers.

“Containers haven’t solved the persistent storage problem, because doing so is all manual scripting,” Davis said. “Adapting our technology and integrating it with Rancher and applying it to a container environment brings with it data protection, snapshotting, and high availability architecture – things which are considered necessary in storage but which don’t exist in containers.”

Atlantis is also announcing a ‘container’ stack in their Community Edition software.

“Solving the issues of VDI and applying them to containers – that’s really interesting.” Davis said.