Citrix.com 404s mentions of F5 Networks

Recently-litigious Citrix sinks competitive FUD docs. Why might that be?

References to F5 Networks have vanished from Citrix’s web page, and The Register understands a possible lawsuit is the motivation for the deletions.

F5’s portfolio includes the BIG-IP application delivery controller, which competes with Citrix’s NetScaler. F5 has suggested BIG-IP can do a job improving the performance of Citrix’s Virtual Apps and Virtual desktops (known as XenApp and XenDesktop until a recent rebranding exercise.)

The Register understands that Citrix isn’t happy with the way F5 has promoted BIG-IP of late.

The disappeared documents appear to be competitive marketing assets that are critical of F5 or report case studies where Citrix displaced its rival. Others mention events at which Citrix positioned itself as superior to F5. Here’s a sample of one of the disappeared web pages, retrieved from a web cache. The full page offers readers the chance to download a document titled “Five Reasons Why Market Confidence in F5 is Declining.”

Screenshot of F5 FUD from Citrix.com retrieved from Google cache

One of the web pages Citrix has removed from Citrix.com. Click to enlarge

The matter appears not to have made it to court: the United States' Public Access to Court Electronic Records service contains no records we could find at the time of writing. The case could therefore be at "exchange of nasty letters stage" ahead of filings.

Whatever the state of the matter, 404ing the documents is probably futile as vendors collect rivals’ material so F5 probably has the docs already. And as we’ve shown above, caches hold some of them too.

The Register has asked both companies what’s up and will update this story if we receive a reply.

For now, we’re left to ponder Citrix’s increasingly litigious ways: in recent months the company sued small desktop virtualization player Workspot over patent problems and also sued networking company AVI.

The latter claim centred on AVI’s alleged false claims about Citrix’s NetScaler, so a suit against F5 has a very recent precedent. ®

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