Without being specific about revenue streams, Dhawan says that the XenDesktop VDI product line has had "thousands of per cent of growth" in the past year, which can only mean it is starting from a truly miniscule number because XenDesktop has not even tickled the top line at Citrix yet.
But the company is optimistic. Dhawan says there are thousands of XenDesktop pilot projects going on right now, and hundreds of former pilots have reached what he characterized as a large-scale deployment, serving up virtual desktops to thousands of users. Citrix has closed one XenDesktop VDI deal for 40,000 seats and another one for 125,000 seats recently.
"A change in desktop computing is coming in 2010," Dhawan says confidently, and part of the reason why Citrix is so confident is Microsoft Windows 7, which will launch on October 22 and will presumably be disrupting IT budgets late this year and all through next year.
The consensus at Citrix is that the company has worked out the kinks and issues with virtual desktops by merging XenDesktop and XenApp, and that by getting XenClient into the field next year, when the Windows upgrade cycle starts, IT managers will ask it to do something different because they'll have the bean counters breathing down their necks to cut costs.
It doesn't hurt that Citrix has more than 230,000 customers using XenApp and its predecessor, Presentation Server, and that these customers are using the code to feed applications to around 100 million end users. By merging XenDesktop and XenApp into XenDesktop, Citrix is trying to give those XenApp and Presentation Server customers an upgrade path that also includes a variety of PC virtualization methods as part of the package. There are a lot of seats at stake, and at a few hundred bucks a pop, the addressable market that Citrix is chasing in its own customer base could account for a few tens of billions of dollars in sales.
The upgraded XenDesktop 4 with XenApp 5 integrated comes in three editions. The standard edition, which costs $75 per named user, is for small-scale implementations where all you want to do is serve up desktops over the network using VDI and making use of the HDX tweaks Citrix has created to make use of the local graphics and peripherals in whatever client you use to display the centralized, virtualized PC image running over the network from corporate servers.
XenDesktop 4 enterprise edition, which costs $225 per named user, adds XenApp and the FlexCast features to stream applications in a variety of ways. XenDesktop platinum edition, which costs $350 per named user, adds management and security features as well as a license to WANScaler that formerly known as Branch Repeater, a cache for wide area networking that can significantly boost the performance of virtualized PCs and applications served up from the data center and, more importantly, make the end user experience seem more a local PC than the typical VDI setup does.
To help encourage customers to upgrade from Presentation Server and XenApp to XenDesktop 4, Citrix is giving a two-for-one deal to XenApp shops between now and June 30, 2010. Under that deal, customers with XenApp concurrent seatscan pay $95 to get two XenDesktop 4 named user seats. That is a two-to-one rate of concurrency, which by the way is half the rate for the XenApp and Presentation Server base, which has a four-to-one ratio, according to Dhawan.
Prior to Monday's launch, XenDesktop was based on concurrent users, and depending on the features, the price ranged from $75 to $395 per seat. XenApp 5 costs $350 per concurrent user for advanced edition, $50 for enterprise edition, and $600 for platinum edition.
For companies with lots of named users but relatively small numbers of concurrent users, XenApp 5 will probably be cheaper than the XenDesktop 4 package. But at companies with a two-to-one concurrency rate, it won't make any sense to do anything but buy XenDesktop and maybe start fiddling around with PC virtualization.
This is, of course, the intent of the pricing and packaging announced by Citrix. ®
....people have been floating the idea that web apps will kill the adoption of Citrix technology (and MS terminal services) for years now. So, why is it that web apps have not taken off as some might predict?
I'm sure there are many reasons, but as I write I can think of two - cost and usability. First, coverting a desktop app to its web app equivalent can have a development cost higher then purchasing Citrix technology. I'm sure that Citrix know this, and so set their pricing accordingly. Second, desktop apps are often 'feature rich' when compared to their web app equivalent - as a simple example, would you prefer to use Outlook 2003/2007 or Outlook Web Access on a regular basis?
The fact remains that there are currently 100 million Citrix users worlwide and growing, so the adoption of web apps over citrix technology is well and truly not happening anytime soon.
You could always use ManageSoft for the non-web enabled apps.
The original point of Citrix was to remove the need for sneakernet, and the possibly large associated costs.
Man, you must have a huge Citrix farm and probably several silos!
how does this combo compares to Sun's and VMware's VDI?
I know Sun's combination of Secure Global Desktop, Sun Ray Server Software and VirtualBox (or ESX) let's you do most of this stuff, working with windows, linux and solaris machines, only leaving aside offline work and app provisioning... same with VMware's ESX, View, vCenter together with Thinapp for provisioning and even it's combination with Sun's SRSS (http://blogs.zdnet.com/virtualization/?p=435)... what are the differences?.. what's new?