Cisco Fills ACE Hole With Citrix NetScaler

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe’s Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

ACE isn’t so ace any more for Cisco, so Citrix is brought in to fill the hole

Having recently announced it wouldn’t be creating new iterations of its load balancing kit, Cisco has filled that void by partnering with Citrix and pushing its NetScaler technology.

The pair have been close partners since last year, when they announced a strategic agreement to push each other’s products to customers. That friendship has been further strengthened at Citrix Synergy 2012 in Barcelona today, as they announced various ways in which their product sets would be combined and pushed at customers.

After gushing over each other during this morning’s keynote, they announced three core areas where they would work side by side: mobile, cloud and networking.

Citrix NetScaler to the rescue?

Cisco said that whilst it would continue to support and build features into its load balancing technology, known as Application Control Engine (ACE), it would not be creating additional versions. It is, in reality, being phased out. When customers ask for network optimisation in that area, Cisco will point them to Citrix’s NetScaler lineup of appliances.

Citrix believes it does a far better job in that space than anyone else anyway, so matching up with the networking giant was the right choice. “Cisco is the number one brand for intelligent network… that starts at layer 0 through layer 4,” said Mark Templeton, CEO of Citrix.

“Above layer 4, they don’t have the market strength that we do… That’s the basis for our partnership. I think the complement there is very powerful.”

But the partnership goes deeper than just marketing each others’ products. Their research and development teams will also be working on joint technologies, which should see the light of day in the next two years.

“We will have a phase 2 and 3 of our partnership that will extend how we integrate application delivery as one of the networking services along with the rest of services that Cisco offers. We will have joint projects eventually,” Padmasree Warrior (pictured), CTO of Cisco, told TechWeekEurope.

She confirmed Cisco would not be forming any other partnerships in that space. Elsewhere in the network optimisation space, Cisco will continue to produce products, such as WAN optimisation offerings.

As for other new technologies, Cisco recently told TechWeekEurope that it was working on better zero-day malware-catching kit, but it is in its embryonic stages right now.

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