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Citrix Cloud Clout

I like Citrix. Maybe it's because its executives and PR folks have been so nice to me. Or maybe it is because it pretty much invented desktop virtualization over 22 years ago. And you thought virtualization was new. Fact: IBM invented virtualization for mainframes in the '70s.

Citrix may not rule server virtualization as VMware does, but I'd venture to say it still dominates desktops and apps. Now it wants to deliver virtual desktops not just from in-house servers, but out-of-house clouds. That was the message given at the company's recent Synergy conference, which packs in thousands every year.

Citrix is in the process of buying App-DNA, which assesses how ready you are to move to either virtual desktops or newer versions of Windows (such as Windows 7).

Citrix, on a bit of a spending spree, also picked up RingCube. Its business is focused on creating "personal vDisks" for end users that hold data, personalization settings and apps.

On the cloud front, Citrix bought ShareFile which lets you keep your stuff in the cloud -- much like SkyDrive and other services.

Finally, Citrix is pushing out tools to help IT manage how data is stored and accessed on the cloud.

Am I too kind to Citrix or has this pioneer not be given enough credit? You tell me at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/28/2011 at 1:18 PM


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Reader Comments:

Sat, Oct 29, 2011 Tom

Jere, not quite. Burroughs developed virtualized memory. IBM, through a strategic aquisition, virtualized the mainframe OS into LPars. However, you are right in one respect, it was in the 60's (1968 to be exact) when the S/360 mainframe was upgraded to include virtualization in the currently identified form of OS virtualization.

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 Old Trout Melbourne

So, let me get this straight - just when the IT industry has finally defined a workable set of standards for the universal app (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript), it's a good time for organisations to invest large amounts of money in making sure that they never get to benefit from this shift and instead have to purchase large amounts of server hardware or incur unnecessary cloud charges? As an exception for legacy solutions, fine, but please get your architectural hat on and start pushing towards apps that don't need this in the first place!

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 Dan Iowa

Uh... Can we just get rid of the term "virtualization". I mean if we're going to start citing mainframes as examples of our goal, let's stop dancing around the issue. Let's just say it. Citrix wants to get into the "Mainframe" application business. They practically invented the "Mainframe" application business about 22 years ago. Now they want to provide a way for you to connect to mainframes with dumb terminals. :-)

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 Jere Wilson Connecticut

Doug -It is a common fallacy that IBM created virtualization. Actually, Burroughs (now Unisys) created virtualization with their MCP mainframe operating system back in the 60's.

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