Citrix Spreads New Wares at User Conference

Reporter's Notebook: At the Citrix iForum in Orlando, the company announces a batch of new technologies.

Citrix Systems loaded up users at its iForum conference with a Wal-Mart-sized grocery cart full of new technologies to investigate.

In addition to its new Dynamic Desktop initiative, which includes a now-available Desktop Broker option for existing Presentation Server installations and the promise of more flexibility in 2007, Citrix also announced a new global load balancing product specific to Presentation Server.

The new Global Load Balancing for Presentation Server offering extends the NetScaler global load balancing for Web applications to the Citrix client/server environment.

The new version brings greater business continuity to multi-site installations of Presentation Server by automatically redirecting users to a specified alternate Presentation Server site, without requiring any action from the end user.

The new appliance-based offering, which starts at $27,499, represents the initial integration of the technology Citrix acquired with NetScaler into its other product lines.

Citrix will leverage that and other acquired technologies even further next year to keep growing the company beyond its goal of $1 billion by broadening its charter to deliver applications to users no matter what the endpoint is and deliver them faster and more securely.

Citrix boldly declared that goal in the dark days of 2002 during the dot-bomb.

Now, with the company on track to achieve that goal by years end, it has set even more aggressive financial goals for itself over the next few years, according to Greg Smith, senior director of product marketing in the Citrix Application Networking Group in San Jose, Calif.

/zimages/3/28571.gifTo read more about Citrixs Dynamic Desktop initiative, click here.

To go even further, Citrix will build out its product offerings internally—creating product suites built on multiple, complementary technology components—and it will continue to acquire more companies.

On the integration side, for example, Smith said that Citrix in the first half of 2007 will integrate the Teros Web application firewall into the NetScaler appliance.

It will be a module for the NetScaler application switch that will apply the same management, policy infrastructure and same reporting in the NetScaler appliance to the Web application firewall.

The growth strategy emphasizes "application intelligence" and acquisitions of smaller players in high growth markets, according to Wes Wasson, vice president of marketing and product strategy at Citrix.

"In between the user and the apps you have networking issues, security, management issues. As we think about whats core to Citrix and what should be in our portfolio, there will be application networking products such as those from the NetScaler and Orbital Data acquisitions; application security such as the application firewall; and then application management and visibility, like EdgeSight," he said.

The strategy allows Citrix to avoid competing with well-entrenched application behemoths like Microsoft and Oracle, and it avoids direct competition with networking infrastructure players such as Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks in mature markets.

Toward that end, Wasson said that the acquisition of Reflectent with its end-user response time monitoring is just the beginning of Citrix reach into application visibility.

With all of the different point products Citrix has acquired in the last couple of years, the company will now focus on filling the grocery cart full of more product suites designed to solve broader problems by leveraging integration of those point products, according to Murli Thirumali, group vice president and general manager of the Advanced Solutions Group in San Jose, Calif.

"The new charter for the company is solutions. You can expect in the future we will address other business problems in a more holistic way like we are with Project Kent," said Thirumali, speaking of the workforce continuity project Citrix also launched at the iForum conference.

/zimages/3/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.