[NEOCUG] Re: Jim Kenzig's Citrix iForum 2003 Review Part 2 of 2 The Sponsors 13 pages LONG!

  • From: Tom Brandes <Tom.Brandes@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'NEOCUG@xxxxxxxxxxxxx'" <NEOCUG@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 16:27:57 -0500

Nice job.
2 Questions.  1) Do you feel Citrix's strategy of licensing everything on a
concurrent user basis is equitable?  2) Have you tried the demo software
that was distributed at iForum - conferencing Mgr and Password Mgr in

Tom Brandes 
Enterprise Relationship Manager 
CiTR!X Systems, Inc. 
(440) 286-6778

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Kenzig http://thethin.net [mailto:jimkenz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2003 10:10 PM
To: thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; neocug@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [NEOCUG] Jim Kenzig's Citrix iForum 2003 Review Part 2 of 2 The
Sponsors 13 pages LONG!

Hi All,
To appreciate this, it took me about a week of working on this every evening
to get it finished. It isn't easy giving a review and your opinions on 40+
companies but somehow I accomplished it. I hope that you find this at least
a little bit useful and you can endure all of my comments. If nothing else
it has the links to each of the vendors so you can check them out for
yourself. And most of all I hope people don't take too much offense at my
comments, but I call them as I see them.

This review is also posted online on my site OndemandAccess.com at:

I am thinking maybe even a third review is in order reviewing just Citrix's
products, booths and presentations.  It may happen if the mood strikes me.

Jim Kenzig
CEO The Kenzig Group

Citrix iForum 2003 Vendor and Product Review Part 2 of 2

First a few comments:
You can call iForum 2003 the event with the additional dot Oh in it.  There
were few "new" products at the show since last year.  Save for the new
exhibitors, all of the products shown were the "next release" of a product
with a few "enhancements" or simply the same product with a name change, for
example, the "Metaframe Access Suite" versus "Metaframe XP".

I find it discouraging that the Thin Computing industry has stagnated so
badly over the last year. I saw no real innovation like I did last year.  I
suspect the stagnation comes from the fact that the vendors probably did not
sell too much of their product in 2003 because every business was strapped
for cash this year during the recession.

Before I get too far into this review I want to address one of the Server
Based Computing software industry's biggest faux pas,  "per user licensing".
I get a bad taste in my mouth just typing that..."per user licensing"
..blech. I really can't understand why IT managers are putting up with this
idiocy and actually buying products that license with this method for their
Terminal Servers.

Somebody must be putting out the money or we wouldn't be seeing so much of
it cropping up.  One vendor in particular at iForum made you sit through a
presentation to get a giveaway, I'll not name it, but I came in on the tale
end of one of the sessions just in time to catch the question and answer
portion. A gentleman raised his hand and said, "This looks great, how much?"
The salesman responded $39 per user! I thought to myself, these people are
absolutely nuts, I have 1000 users and it will be a very cold day in hell
before I pay $39,000 for just one utility...any utility, I don't care what
it does. I could buy a very good firewall, and an additional fifty thin
clients for that amount. I couldn't find the door fast enough after hearing
that, freebie or not. And does Microsoft really think I am going to pay
$100,000 (that's educational pricing folks) to upgrade my Terminal Servers
to Office 2003 from 2000? All I can say is wise up vendors!! The days of the
software cash cow are over.  Set a cost per server or per CPU if you want us
to buy your software for a Server Based Computing Environment.  If a company
has a lot of users, they still are going to have to have a LOT of
servers....so they will have to buy more of your product.  And did you ever
stop to think that if you have a lower price you might sell even more of
your product?  My breaking price point for any utility (I am not talking the
OS here) is about $1500 per server. After that with 10 servers in my farm,
no utility is worth it for me.  I laud the vendors that "get it" and sell
their software on a per server basis.  You are my heroes.

I am sure after saying the above I will get a hundred emails from mom and
pop shops that only have 10 users.  All I can say is, the truth of the
matter is, and this is a shame, software vendors these days have little to
no interest in your market share.  The price points on software have left
the mom and pop shops with few if any options. Enough said, on to the

The Sponsors
I think there were probably more sponsors at this year's iForum than in
previous years. There was something like 48 booths not including 4 small and
1 large kiosks that Citrix had.  There were 6 platinum sponsors, Dell, HP,
Microsoft, Neoware, Softricity and Wyse. Platinum sponsors paid $75,000 (or
~$30 per attendee) for a good size piece of the floor. There were 7 gold
sponsors, AMD, Appsense, IBM, Immarsat, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and Qnetix
Uniprint(formerly Charon Systems)(as a side note I'm scratching my head
because I can't understand how they can spend this much for an event with
only 2600 possible leads at best and refuse to shell out only $1000 for an
entire years worth of ads on my websites which receive millions of page
views monthly from 10's of thousands of users, but that's another story.).
The Gold sponsors booths were not a whole lot bigger than the Silver
sponsors yet they paid an addition $27,500 more than a silver. Cost for a
Gold sponsor was $45,000(~$18 per attendee) versus $17,500 (~$7 per
attendee)for a Silver.  I truly wonder if the Gold sponsors feel like they
got their money's worth or not for their additional $27.5k. There were 20
Silver sponsors and the rest were exhibitors, which there were 15 of, who
paid $7500 (~$3 per attendee) for a very tiny table.  It is interesting to
note that it was the "exhibitors" tables that displayed some of the most
exciting and new innovative products at the show. MANY people did not bother
to go over and take a look at them and missed some of the best products at
the show in my opinion.

I tried getting to every booth and talking to someone about their product.
Those that I could not talk to, I at least picked up a brochure from.  In
the reviews I will tell you what I know about each product(and if I really
don't know anything about them, I'll admit that and refer you to their web
site). I will rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, 5 being the most useful
in my opinion and 1 being the least useful with 3 being no opinion either
way. For lack of a better fair way to review the products, I have chosen to
do the review in alphabetical order by sponsor name.

Accenture Exhibitor Rating: 3 Stars *** no opinion either way
http://www.accenture.com This was one of those booths that I was not able to
get over to.  Accenture is a service provider that does Consulting, business
solutions and Outsourcing to the industry. Check out their website at the
link above.

Advanced Micro Devices Gold Sponsor Rating: 3 Stars (no opinion) ***
http://www.amd.com/ Why a processor vendor was at this show is beyond me.
They must have had an extra $45,000 lying around that they couldn't figure
out what to do with. If anyone else can give me a reason why they needed to
be at this show bring it on.

AppSense Gold Sponsor Rating: 4 Stars **** http://www.appsense.com/ This UK
based company, which is a real force across the pond, has had a hard time
breaking into the US market.  I am not sure why that is because they are an
ISV that offers a full line of very good Server based computing products.
The company has been around since 1999 and until only recently has started
to gain respect in the US.

Appsense has what they call a "Performance Suite" of products to enhance and
optimize your Terminal Servers.  The Suite consists of four products,
Performance Manager, Application Manager, Optimizer, and a Server Based

Performance manager controls processor and memory usage. It dynamically
manages the levels of processor and memory allocated to individual users on
each server, allowing servers to deliver up to 100% more users at peak load.

Application Manager is the original Appsense product that locks down servers
and desktops and prevents the use of unauthorized applications such as
hacking tools, games, unlicensed software and animations.  It is basically
"appsec on steroids". This product was the first desktop lockdown tool for
SBC and still remains in my opinion to be the best.

Appsense Optimizer is a utility to boost performance and capacity of your
servers. It optimizes your virtual memory and enables you to increase the
number of users per server.  Of course if you can have more users on a
server, you save money because you do not need as many servers.

The Server based toolkit contains 12 very useful tools including Desktop
Manager, Lockdown manager, Print Manager, Time Zone Manager, Status Manager,
Com Port Manager, Task Manager, Shadow Manager, Zip Manager, Connection
Manager, ToolKit Manager and Drive Manager.  Just about every tool an SBC
admin needs is in this kit. For a description of each tool and to download a
trial of the kit see:

Aurema - Exhibitor Sponsor Rating: Five Stars *****
Brochure: http://www.aurema.com/press/resources/ARMTech_4pCitrix_FINAL.pdf
Whitepaper: Optimizing Metaframe Servers with Armtech

Aurema had one of the tiny exhibitor booths and was hidden off on the side
of the floor. If you found them and had a chance to talk to them, you were a
fortunate person indeed as this product was one of the true gems of the show
amongst newcomers.

From their recent press release because I can't say it better: "Aurema is a
comprehensive, proven solution for the allocation, management and control of
operating system resources, including CPU and Real and Virtual Memory,
ARMTech for Citrix MetaFrame works with Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server
software to extend the system management capabilities of the Microsoft(r)
Windows(r) 2000 and Windows Server(tm) 2003 Terminal Server operating
systems. The combination of Citrix and ARMTech solutions provides previously
unattainable levels of server utilization, application availability, user
responsiveness, and overall quality of service to Terminal Server

Many people thought that Aurema was a new company but they have been around
a long time since 1986 and if you have been in IT for a while and have ever
used Siemens, SGI, VMS or Solaris CPU tools than you unknowingly have used
their products.  They also have versions of their product for Solaris, Linux
and of course Windows.

I was given a private demonstration of their products back in July of this
year and they presented at our Citrix Users Group. Here is a copy of their
http://thethin.net/neocug/armtech.ppt   I must say out of all of the
different optimization products out there, the fact that Aurema has probably
been around longer than any of them and has perfected their product to suit
their customers needs over many years, it gives them a definitive edge.  The
programs ability to throttle an applications cpu usage on a per user basis
is one thing that made the product very appealing to me. You really need to
download a demo copy of this software and run it to see all of the scads of
features it offers. A 30 day evaluation copy can be obtained from

Autonomy, Inc. Exhibitor Rating: 3 Stars *** no opinion either way
http://www.autonomy.com/ Another one of those booths that were just a tiny
coffee table that I just didn't get to. Near as I can figure from their
literature they are a content aggregation company. From their website
"Autonomy provides a range of highly scalable Connectors that automatically
aggregate more than 200 different content formats, from the most
comprehensive range of repositories."  I wish I had more time to talk to
these people because I see potential uses for the Library I work for.

Check Point Software Exhibitor  Rating: 2 Stars http://www.checkpoint.com/
Checkpoint makes firewalls of course as most people know, but they are not
my first choice when it comes to a firewall.  Cisco Pix, followed by
Watchguard are far and above in my book.

CLI  Computer Lab International Silver Sponsor Rating: 3 stars no opinion
http://www.computerlab.com/ These people are yet another thin client vendor.
I didn't visit their booth and can offer really no information about them
one way or another. I hadn't heard of them before iForum, so I guess at
least they got their name
recognized.   Visit their web site.

Dell Platinum Sponsor Rating: 4 stars ****
They sell computers at low prices, don't make a thin client (don't you get
it Dell?) and if HP wasn't around I guess I would have to buy from them.
Next year you should take the $75 grand and use it to develop a thin client.

EMC Silver sponsor  Rating: 3 stars *** no opinion http://www.emc.com/ I
don't know what they do, didn't visit their booth and their website
currently isn't working. Do I have the wrong link? I think they do something
with storage.

Emergent Online Silver Sponsor Rating: 5 Stars ***** http://www.go-eol.com
When it comes to solutions for Citrix, Emergent Online has a product or
solution for every customer.  I'll try not to be biased because I partner
with them on my websites and they sponsored my trip to iForum this year but
I can honestly say that Emergent is the best solutions provider out there
when it comes to Citrix. And Citrix thinks so also, Emergent has continually
been recognized as the Top Citrix Platinum Partner in the US since 1999. At
the library I work for we use all but a few of their programs. Emergent was
recently awarded a readers choice award from Windows .Net magazine for best
Application Solutions Provider.  And Emergent is one of my Heroes of
software for Terminal Services as all of their products are licensed and
priced very reasonably on a Per Server basis.  Their line of products is
appropriately named Thinssentials because they are essential tools for any
Citrix Admin. Their customer support site 99Point9.com at
http://www.99point9.com/ also offers all of their utilities for download and
evaluation copies of each product are available.  As far as I know it is the
only web site where you can purchase tokens for Citrix support (incidents)
that you can use when you need them as opposed to  purchasing a lengthy
support contract. Emergent Online is also a Citrix Authorized Learning
Center. They also offer a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery service
to their customers.

The Thinssential line of products includes, EOL Universal Printer, Eol
AppPortal (an alternative way to deliver applications via an outlook style
toolbar), EOL Profile Sweeper, EOL Desktop Manager, EOL SetPassword, EOL
Time Zones and my favority EOL Watchdog Service, a utility that watches and
deletes orphaned printers and resets the spooler and IMA services as well as
schedules a reboot of your servers for you.

EOL Universal Printer recently released 3.0 version now includes Network
Printing, Page Streaming, 2400 DPI and the kicker is that no software on the
client is required. Their Desktop Manager product a new version 3 that now
features Application Permissions settings.  The administration console for
Desktop manager allows control of registry settings, environment variables,
policies, scripts, color schemes and wallpapers  by user, group, IP Address,
or client name.

ESRI Exhibitor Rating: 3 Stars no opinion http://www.esri.com/index.html
This company makes GIS (Graphics Information Systems?) and mapping software
like Argis and Arcview.  I don't know much about them or know why they were
at the show other than to showcase that their software works on MF. Visit
their website above for more info.

Expand Networks Exhibitor Rating: Four Stars ****  http://www.expand.com
Expand Networks sells a hardware device that connects to your network to
give your network more capacity and speed up transfers. Check out the
product demo video that is linked on the bottom right of their home page.
This is pretty impressive if you need to boost your network speed without
paying your ISP more money.

HP Platinum Sponsor Rating: Five Stars *****
Well what can I say, I love everything about HP. (except for their
marketing) They recently announced 2 new thin clients in addition to the one
that they announced about 2 months ago in their T5000 series. See
The T5700, which retails for $519, is a Windows Embedded XP thin client with
legacy ports that uses a 733mhz or 1 GHz Transmeta Processor. It comes
standard with a 192 megabyte flash card upgradeable to 256 Meg.  The unit is
managed using Altiris Deployment Solution, my favorite management software
that I have been using for over 3 years. Altiris allows complete control
over the client including the ability to shadow the unit, push out software
changes and reimage it.  The t5500, which retails for $379 is a Windows CE.
Net client with a 733 MHz transmeta processor and the t5300, also CE .Net,
which retails for $349 has a 533 MHz transmeta processor. Both have a 32 MB
flash but the 5500 has 128 Meg of memory versus the 5300 that has only 64
meg.  The 5500 also has all legacy ports while the 5300 only has 4 USB
ports.  In my opinion if you are going to go with one of the HP CE clients,
it makes sense to spend the extra $50 a client and get the 5500. It is also
worthwhile to note that HP is not OEM'ing their clients anymore, all of
these were built and designed by HP.  I've had the T5700 to evaluate for
about 3 weeks and I can tell you it is a very solid product. No moving
parts, it runs on 12 volts and uses a brick for power. I also like the fact
that it has legacy ports and of course that it is managed by Altiris. It is
my pick for best thin client at the show.

 It is a shame that HP doesn't seem to have a very good marketing plan
behind it. When asked to sponsor thethin.net I received a reply that my
website simply did not fit in with HP's direction. Hmm a targeted web
location that receives over 2.5 million page views a month from thousands of
high level IT people who use thin clients and Server based computing, doesn'
t meet their target audience. I wonder whom they are trying to sell these
units to.  Oh well. You spend $45k for a 2 day show to 2600 people but you
can't drop $1000 to advertise for an entire year on the premiere thin client
computing web site on the Internet? Carly ought to flog their marketing
department for that one.  : ) Sorry I couldn't resist the rant.  So much for
my only beef with HP.

The HP blade
You can get an in depth review white paper from IDC on the emerging blade
market that is worth taking a look at from
The HP blade is managed by Altiris software. Altiris is set up so that if a
blade has to removed it and replaced it can detect what slot the blade was
in and when the new blade is inserted retrieve the appropriate image and
reimage the drive on the new blade and have it up and running in a matter of
minutes. The average price of the HP blade is around $1750. See
Blade servers are the next logical step for all data centers to be taking.
Another company called Clearcube has introduced Blade Clients....imagine a
world where all the computing power is back in the data center.  Pure

Hitachi Silver Sponsor Rating: Four Stars ****
Hitachi introduced a new Wireless Tablet PC called the VisionPlate at the
show.  The tablet uses a Transmeta 667 MHz processor running Linux or
Windows XP Embedded. It is 802.11 a, b and g compliant. The battery life of
3.7 hours with a charge time just as long is a drawback to this item. You
can get a hi capacity battery that last 7.5 hours but it takes 4 and half to
5 and half hours to get a full charge.  The unit is targeted for industry
and you can get a rubberized sleeve to fit around it to absorb the impact of
a possible drop. It is a sleek looking device and would prove useful in an
industrial or hospital environment.

IBM Gold Sponsor Rating: 4 Stars ****
Big blue announced its On Demand Operating Environment. IBM's blade servers
with a $2800 chassis and $2000 per blade average are the things to look at.
Managed by IBM's proprietary Director package these devices are real
workhorses.  I prefer the HP blades though because they are managed by
Altiris which our organization has standardized on for management. See
http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/eserver/bladecenter/index.html for more info.
Other than that I love IBM servers they rarely break down and run forever.
Thethin.net has been running on 3 IBM eServers for over 3 years nonstop.

IGEL Silver Sponsor 3 Stars *** no opinion either way  http://www.igel.com/
This Germany based company makes an impressive array of various thin
clients. While I have never used these clients or have been able to demo
them personally,  I have been given a short demonstration of what they can
do.  I believe all of their clients use a proprietary Embedded Flash Linux.
The unit I looked at ran a Mozilla browser and Igel had created a rather
nice control panel interface for locking down the desktop and functionality
of the browser that impressed me.  The company also offers 2 windows based
thin clients.

Inmarsat Ltd. Gold Sponsor Rating: 3 no opinion either way
http://www.inmarsat.com/ Inmarsat is a global satellite Internet solutions
provider. They are the one of the companies authorized to provision Iraq
with Internet service.  I don' t know a whole lot about this company but
they spent a whole lot of money at this show as a Gold Sponsor to get their
name out.

Maxspeed Silver Sponsor Rating 4 Stars **** http://www.maxspeed.com/
Maxspeed introduced two new clients at the show, a notebook and a thin
client. A cool marketing tactic was to let show attendees take one of the
notebooks, called the Maxspeed Maxbook 810,
http://www.maxspeed.com/products/products.aspx?ID=119  back to their rooms
to test drive.  The units had a wireless aircard from Sprint so attendees
could connect to the Internet. The unit was a small and lightweight 2.9
pounds and runs on Windows XP Embedded.  The demos at the show did not have
built in wireless cards but I was told that the newer versions would. The
unit has a powerful 933 MHz processor with a 256 Meg flash drive. Built in
modem and Ethernet ports are included. A drawback in my book is that the
unit does not contain any legacy ports only 2 USB ports. The addition of a
Firewire port is appealing though

They also announced the Maxterm 8400 at the show.
http://www.maxspeed.com/products/products.aspx?ID=128  I didn't get to look
at this device unfortunately.  It is an XP embedded 800 MHz unit with legacy
ports and 128 meg flash drive upgradeable to 512 meg.  Maxspeed uses their
own proprietary Remote Management Software package to manage both units.

Microsoft Platinum Sponsor Rating: 5 Stars http://www.microsoft.com Without
Microsoft Terminal Services, Citrix or none of these other products at the
show would exist. MS continues to improve Terminal Services in each product
release. Bill Gates is my hero.

Neoware Systems Platinum Sponsor  Rating: 3 Stars http://www.neoware.com/
Wow I guess they are trying to compete with Wyse in spending $75k to be a
platinum sponsor.  When they advertised on my sites this past year it seemed
like a hardship for them to come up with a few hundred dollars.  I guess
they were saving it all for this years iForum. : ) Neoware has their own
management software for their clients that is pretty decent called ez Remote
Manager. Neoware also has a product called TeemTalk which is a "green
screen" terminal emulation software. And a product called ThinPC to turn a
PC into a thin client.  Neoware is not in my top three choices for Thin
Clients. Nothing against their hardware,  I suspect it is probably due to
their better than thou attitude. Just one of those salesman vibes I guess
that I can't shake off...too bad since they do have good products.

Netmotion Wireless Exhibitor Rating: Five Stars *****
Small table...big product! This product I read a review on last year in
Network Magazine. A hospital wanted to use wireless devices only they had
wire mesh walls and would lose the signal in every room. Netmotion is a
utility to maintain wireless connectivity and solve this hospitals problem.
Mobility, the product name,  provides a continuous, secure connection
between mobile clients and enterprise applications-no matter what networks
mobile workers use or traverse. If you have wireless connectivity issues
this is the product for you.

OpenNetwork Silver Sponsor Rating: 3 stars *** no opinion
http://www.opennetwork.com Identity management software, never used it or
tested it, see the press
release: http://www.opennetwork.com/news/press/2003/2003-10-13_citrix.php

Oracle Silver Sponsor Rating: 3 Stars no opinion http://www.oracle.com/ The
database people...no one bothered with their booth and they wasted $17.5k I
went to the booth a few times and there and couldn't even find someone to
talk to.

Pearl Software Inc. Exhibitor Rating: 4 Stars **** http://www.pearlsw.com/
This company has some great solutions at a decent price point for Internet
Monitoring and Filtering Solutions to help organizations adhere to CIPA

Qnetix Uniprint Gold Sponsor Rating: 2 Stars ** http://www.uniprint.net/ The
first universal printer driver, I don't know what happened to this company.
Maybe the name change from Charon Systems has something to do with it. They
used to be nice. I visited their booth twice but they wouldn't talk to me. I
guess they thought I was working for the enemy.  2 stars for the attitude.

Radware Silver Sponsor Rating: 3 Stars *** no opinion
http://www.radware.com/ Radware is a maker of security hardware devices.

RTO Software Silver Sponsor Rating: Five stars ***** http://www.rtosoft.com/
Makers of the ever famous Tscale product RTO announced version 3.0 of the
software at iForum. TScale is the first and only product in the marketplace
that combines Application Optimization with Application Shaping in one easy
to install and easy to administer product. The optimization provided by
Tscale allows you to get 30% or more users on a server.  From their press
"Application Shaping consists of two features that can be applied separately
or together to control rogue applications. Affinity allows an administrator
to specify which of the CPU's in a multi-CPU server an application should
run on, allowing the administrator to limit the damage of a badly behaved
application. Priority allows the administrator to direct the CPU to service
other applications running on that CPU before giving more resource to the
rogue application. Together these features can give an administrator much
greater control over application performance, markedly improving the
performance of the server." Tscale is licensed on a Per Server basis (One of
Kenzig's Heroes) and is essential if you are having applications that are
consuming too much CPU.

RSA Security Silver Sponsor Rating: 3 Stars *** no opinion
http://www.rsasecurity.com/ This company offers several identity management
and security id products. If I needed such a thing at my corporation, I
guess I would be more interested in them.

Saflink Silver Sponsor Rating: 3 Stars *** no opinion
http://www.saflink.com/ Biometrics, if I needed it I guess I would call

Secure Computing Corporation Silver Sponsor Rating: 3 Stars *** no opinion
http://www.securecomputing.com/ From their website, again I have no use for
this product, but someone must: "SafeWord(r) for Citrix(r) MetaFrame(r) adds
strong authentication to your Citrix deployments, positively identifying
users who access your MetaFrame applications. SafeWord for Citrix MetaFrame
delivers security through one-time passcode-generating hardware tokens. Only
the SafeWord server knows which passcode will allow the user to gain access.
This eliminates threats from outsiders stealing, copying, or reusing
passwords. "

Scalable Software Exhibitor Rating: 3 Stars *** no opinion
http://www.scalablesoftware.com/ License management and hardware and
software inventory software provider.

Sierra Wireless Silver Sponsor Rating: 5 Stars *****
http://www.sierrawireless.com/ Sierra basically manufactures wireless PC
cards for many Wireless telco's including Sprint and Verizon.  Good Stuff.

Softricity Platinum Sponsor Rating: 4 Stars http://www.softricity.com/ Brian
Madden started a rumor a few weeks back that Citrix might acquire this
company. I don't believe it. I do believe though that their application
streaming technology solution is so compelling that Citrix will develop it's
own form of application streaming.  If you want to know how it all works
see: http://www.softricity.com/products/sts.asp Besides if they keep
plunking down $75k to be a Platinum sponsor at iForum every year.....

Sophos Inc. Exhibitor  Rating 3 Stars *** no opinion http://www.sophos.com/
Yet another antivirus/antispam vendor.  They maintain a good virus hoax
database that I use often at http://www.sophos.com/virusinfo/hoaxes/   As
far as their product goes in an SBC environment I would choose McAffee or
Norton. (I guess that is an opinion isn't it)

Spotline Inc. Exhibitor  Rating 3 Stars *** no opinion
http://www.spotline.com/ Spotline is a manufacturer of thin clients. They
currently show 2 models on their website. I never heard of them before the
show but now I need to look at them.  They gave away cool hats. Check their
website above for more info.

Sprint Gold Sponsor Rating: 4 Stars ****
Sprint was at the show to sell their wireless aircard to attendees. I hope
they got their $45,000 worth, although I can't see how.

St. Bernard Software Exhibitor Rating: 3 Stars *** no opinion.
http://www.stbernard.com/ A provider of security solutions, I didn't get to
this booth and know little if nothing about their products so I will not
comment. Check out their website.

TeleVideo, Inc. Silver Sponsor  Rating: 4 Stars ****
http://www.televideo.com/ I like their MC3000 web tablet. We use the same
tablet at our library (only it is labeled WebDT) I am not to hip on their
other thin client solutions though.

Tenix Datagate Inc. Exhibitor Rating: 3 Stars *** no opinion
This company sells a device to segment off your network into
portions(network separations) to make it more secure.  If you know how to
set up a vlan and a firewall properly you shouldn't need this type of

TiGi Silver Sponsor Rating: 3 Stars *** http://www.tigicorp.com/ This
company sells a device that improves and speeds up the throughput to any
server or storage system.  It is basically a caching device. I really have
no opinion on this technology one way or the other.

ThinPrint Silver Sponsor Rating: 5 Stars ***** http://www.thinprint.com/
What can I say? I love these guys. Yes ThinPrint are the corporate sponsors
of my website thethin.net but they are there by my choice, several other
vendors want that spot. They clearly have one of the best and most
innovative printing solutions for Server based computing. They support more
devices than any other vendor providing printing solutions for Citrix. Check
out Brian Madden's views on their software at

ThinPrint/Content Beamer  Exhibitor Rating: Five Stars *****
One of the coolest products at the show and it really had nothing to do with
Citrix. Content beamer is a simple product that regardless of display size,
operating system, installed applications, available memory, and type of
connection, Content Beamer delivers any content to any device. Imagine being
able to print a Word or PDF document from your Email on your Cell Phone or
PDA and you will immediately see the usefulness of this product. Printing is
achieved using infrared, Bluetooth or any fax machine.

triCerat Inc. Silver Sponsor Rating: 4 Stars **** http://www.tricerat.com/
Rename your product; add a few enhancements and a version number and you
have Simplify Printing 3.0, formerly Screwdrivers. I used to be so tight
with this company and up on what they were doing but I've been left out of
the loop by them for the last year or so.  They continue as a good standing
sponsor of my websites and I fully endorse their products. I just wish I
were more informed about them...they keep changing the name and version, I
just can't keep up. I hope to change this communication breakdown in the
coming year so that I can better inform you all of their product offerings.
See http://www.tricerat.com/?page=sdfxp  triCerat also announced a file
transfer utility called Simplify Data Transfer at the show

Verizon Wireless Gold Sponsor Rating: 3 Stars *** no opinion
If Sprint can spend $45k to be there to sell wireless Internet cards why not
Verizon? Did they get their moneys worth? It is interesting to note that
Sierra Wireless only a Silver Sponsor,  also at the show manufactures the
wireless cards for both Verizon and Sprint. Don't believe me? See:

Whole Security Silver Sponsor Rating: 2 not impressed...
http://www.wholesecurity.com/ Get a remote control car from Citrix and then
have to sit through this company's presentation to get the remote.  I
suspect a lot of people went home with a car without a remote.  They want
too much money for this product and they license it per user. A big faux pas
in Kenzig's book. I am not going to even spend my time here..want more info
read their recent press release at:

WM Software Silver Sponsor Rating: 4 Stars **** http://www.wmsoftware.com/
Another one of my favorite solutions providers. We use several of WM's
products at the library I work for.  WM is famous for it's Shutdown Plus
line of products that allow you to do rolling restarts of your servers
amongst other things.  They recently introduced a product called Relevos
that actually changes, on the fly, the amount of CPU allocation a user
receives, therefore optimizing the overall responsiveness of the server. I
also love their WMS Messenger instant messenger program. It is the least
expensive solution for an enterprise instant messaging program out there
that I know of.  WM offers some of the most reasonably priced and useful
solutions of almost any vendor I have found for SBC. This is one company
worth checking out.

WYSE Platinum Sponsor Sponsor Rating: 4 Stars ****  http://www.wyse.com/
This company invented thin clients. I used to fix Wyse 30's and 60's
terminals 9 years ago. Even then they were the largest seller of green
screens.  They continue to dominate the industry.  They have reinvented
themselves over the last few years into a hardware and a software company by
OEM'ing software utilities to sell with their hardware. Wyse announced that
their Rapport Software now works on PDA's. They are reselling RTO Tscale as
Expedian for sever Optimization. Still they are not my first choice for Thin
Clients.  I think HP could give Wyse a run for their money if they learned
how to market their Thin Clients.

Final Thoughts
The reader of this review needs to remember that these are MY opinions and
your mileage may very.  I can say that I have personally evaluated a good
portion of most of the vendor's products that were at the show.  I must also
confess that I have had dealings with at least half of these vendors as
sponsors of my web site at thethin.net.  My dealings with them tend to make
me privy to information about these companies that the common customer doesn
't come across. This allows me to form a better opinion of one vendor over
another as to how they do business.   I try to remain as unbiased as
possible when it comes to reporting on these vendors however I must admit I
do have my favorites.

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