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Citrix Systems announced today that it is acquiring, raising the competitive bar on other cloud infrastructure services such as those from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it does signal that the market for cloud computing services is starting to heat up.

With its CloudStack product, is designed to help customers manage online services in a secure and scalable manner. The company said that the services can be deployed 50 times faster and at one-fifth the cost of other solutions.

“The product line is not a traditional enterprise server virtualization platform with cloud management layered on top,” Citrix noted in a release.  “It is a powerful, hypervisor-agnostic solution designed from the ground up to help providers build clouds the way the world’s largest and most successful public clouds are built – simple, automated, elastic, scalable and efficient.”

Citrix, with a market value of $14.3 billion, fell three percent on the news. In today’s release, Citrix said that the transition from the PC Era to the Cloud Era will result in a new market estimated at $13 billion by the end of 2013.

“This market will feature thousands of providers of all shapes and sizes, offering a vast array of new cloud services ranging from business, infrastructure and development offerings, to consumer, mobile and gaming services,” Citrix said.

This isn’t Citrix’s first bet on cloud computing technologies. In 2007, it bought virtualization company XenSource for $500 million.

Bloomberg News has more details on the deal, quoting a Citrix executive who says the buy is “a swing at the next generation of cloud,”

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