Citrix and the Pursuit of Transformative Success

“Transformation” is a weighted term in the IT industry. That’s partly due to its widespread use, to the point of being a bromide in all too many circumstances. At the same time, effective transformations do occur in Silicon Valley and other IT hotbeds. While the evolutionary effects sometimes don’t result in what people expect, other times they do deliver the goods. The transformation of Citrix Systems during the past year or so is one of the latter variety. Last week in Santa Clara, company executives, including CEO Kirill Tatarinov hosted an analyst meeting to discuss Citrix’s current state, its recent progress and future strategic plans. Let’s discuss that. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Why Citrix Is Better than VMware in Desktop Virtualization

I’m at a Citrix event this week and, as you would expect, Citrix is outspoken on the subject of its competitive advantages over VMware. It has a pretty impressive list. But, to be fair, you typically get these from any vendor who has claims like this. Several times I’ve actually seen lists like this that include the name of the company as an advantage which likely does actually make sense for firms like Intel, but never works for smaller companies (Citrix didn’t do this). As a result, I kind of take these things with a huge amount of skepticism both because the lists are biased and because they represent a period in time. On this last, for instance, firms often emulate each other and just because a product doesn’t have a feature when the chart was made doesn’t mean the firm hasn’t released it by the time you actually see the chart. As a result, I look for a sustaining advantage, what strategic advantage does the firm have to ensure it will remain in the lead when I actually deploy the offering. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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EMC & SDE: Canniabalize or Be Cannibalized
Sep07

EMC & SDE: Canniabalize or Be Cannibalized

Today’s the day Dell closes the $65-billion EMC acquisition (and Apple releases the iPhone 7), but while the mega-deal has been inching through the regulatory and shareholder approval process, it’s been business as usual for the storage giant, and increasingly, the usual business has involved alternatives to its bread and butter, disk drives. The enterprise storage giant has been pushing flash, AKA solid state drives (SSDs), software-defined storage (SDS), and now, stealing a page from its virtualization business, VMware, software-defined everything (SDE). Also referred to as SDX, SDI (software defined infrastructure) and software-defined environments (IBM’s nom de guerre), SDE is am umbrella term that describes how virtualization and abstracting workloads from the underlying hardware can be used to make IT infrastructures more flexible and agile. In a recent conversation with EMC’s Manuvir Das, SVP, Advanced Software Division, he told IT Trends & Analysis that the current evolution of IT is offering customers a couple of choices in pursuit of shrinking data centers, lower CAPEX and OPEX and the ability to leverage the cloud: some form of do it yourself versus an all-in-one solution, and hardware versus software lock-in (and that at the end of the day, there’s no getting away from software lock-in). With 14 years at Microsoft, including the development of Azure, the company’s public cloud offering, he should know a lot about software lock-in. “The reality is there is nothing beyond software lock in… there is no way a customer can live in a world where there is no lock in somewhere in the stack.” Lock-in is an ongoing concern. “We don’t want to trade a closed hardware world for a closed software world,” said Nick Lippis, ONUG co-founder and co-chairman, said in his opening presentation at the Open Networking User Group spring conference in May. “All too often, the vendors have the upper hand,” stated IDC in a recent report. High switching costs or other “vendor control points,” such as proprietary technology integrations or overly customized applications, can make it too much trouble for enterprise customers to discontinue using one vendor and switch to another. Das said the challenge with a DIY approach to a complete software-defined solution — “the holy grail of what a software defined data center would look like” — is that he sees “very few customers who have the remotest idea of how to do that.” This is not something you get just off the shelf, he added. Of those who have taken this approach, he has yet to meet anybody “with any degree of success.” Lack of success doesn’t appear to be an inhibitor to SDE/SDDC. Vendors fighting for their slice...

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Why the Citrix and Microsoft partnership is important

Citrix and Microsoft are not strangers to one another. On the contrary — they’ve been successfully working together for the past 10+ years. In fact, Citrix has been one of the few companies that’s been able to dance with what many technology companies consider to be the “black widow.” But the light has been dimming between the two companies in the past few years as Citrix has experienced some rocky times, and Microsoft has enriched a competing portfolio. As of late though, things have changed and the partnership is now reignited with recent announcements at Citrix Synergy 2016. You can read the press release and Brad Anderson’s blog to get the details, but there are a few important dynamics that stand out: To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Dell Wants To Make VDI More Accessible

While waiting for the (IT) world as we know it to change — Dell buys EMC (expected to close in the next 4-6 months) — it’s business as usual for the former, making things easier for the mass market. In this case, it’s making VDI more attactive to the SMB market, while bringing Lync and Skype to millions of Wyse thin clients, all announced at this week’s Citrix Summit. The announcements span a number of products and markets, Dan O’Farrell, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Dell Cloud Client-Computing, told IT Trends & Analysis. For the SMB market, the key is it’s now simpler to get started with VDI. “Instead of dipping the toe in the water, they can jump right in.” Dell already plays in the mid to large segments, but these announcements enable it to play in the small to mid markets, “allows us and our partners to address a broader market”, he said. “The easy scale out we now have, that’s the main news.” The company also unveiled Wyse ThinOS 8.2, which now offers Lync 2010, Lync 2013 and the Skype for Business client for Lync 2015 (UI mode) via the Citrix HDX RealTime Optimization Pack. It also released a new virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) appliance for Wyse – Citrix that  simplifies and merges the server, storage and networking components required to deploy a Citrix environment into an 2U module that starts small and provides scale-out capabilities for up to 5,000 users with Citrix XenDesktop. “With offerings like the Dell Appliance for Wyse – Citrix and ThinOS 8.2 for Wyse thin clients, Dell continues to expand the reach of desktop virtualization to small and medium-sized organizations that are starting small and scaling fast, up to 5,000 users with a single appliance architecture with Citrix XenDesktop,” said Calvin Hsu, VP Product Marketing, Windows App Delivery, Citrix, in a prepared statement. “These new solutions from Dell enable organizations to grow their business and reap the security and productivity benefits of Citrix VDI while controlling costs.” Last summer Dell targeted the Windows 10-based VDI market with a number of hardware and software announcements. At the time O’Farrell divided the market into two segments: those that really need VDI, for security and management requirements, and “others that are happy to discover it”, including healthcare, retail, finance, government and education. At the time, Dell was solidly in the lead in the thin and terminal client segment, with 29.7% share of shipments in Q1, followed by HP (25.3%) and NComputing (8.8%). More recent numbers paint a bleaker picture, with sales declining -6.7% year over year in the third quarter (HP with 26.9% market,...

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