Citrix Scoops Up Virtual Storage Vendor Sanbolic

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Citrix purchased Sanbolic today, a company that provides virtual storage optimization services, filling in a missing piece in its virtualization product portfolio with the acquisition.

It’s worth noting that Sanbolic plays nicely with Citrix desktop virtualization technology and considered Citrix a strong partner before the agreement, so the deal makes sense in that context.

The company did not provide a purchase price.

Sanbolic brings a unique set of capabilities to Citrix including the ability to create software-defined pools of storage and distribute the storage in the most efficient manner across a network, even in cases where the nodes are widely geographically disbursed.

Virtualization technologies expert Dan Kusnetzky, author of the book, Virtualization: A Manager’s Guide and principal at Kusnetzky Group, LLC, says that Sanbolic is able to distribute data based on usage to the most logical devices, which allows companies to mix and match older and newer storage technologies.

“Heavily used files migrate to the fastest disk for best performance, while less used files move to slower media,” Kusnetzky explained.

Citrix had all of the virtualization pieces including application, network and process virtualization before this purchase. The only piece they were missing was virtual storage, which they provided mostly through partnerships with storage vendors like NetApps and EMC. This acquisition gives Citrix a complete portfolio, and according to Kusnetzky, this makes them one of a handful of companies offering a soup-to-nuts virtualization portfolio.

“Storage virtualization was the one piece they were missing,” Kusnetzky told TechCrunch. “By acquiring Sanbolic, they have fleshed out their virtualization portfolio and have an entry in every virtualization category I track. Only a handful of companies do: Microsoft, IBM, HP — and now Citrix,” he said.

Kusnetzky says, this is a good deal for both companies. Sanbolic gives Citrix this highly complex capability without having to put out the engineering effort — simply by writing a check. By contrast, Sanbolic gets access to Citrix’s resources and its worldwide sales clout. From that perspective, it’s a good deal for both companies.

The storage market is evolving rapidly as we move from spinning disks to flash and solid state drives. “That requires different optimization and management tools and Sanbolic has them,” Kusnetzky said.

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