[THIN] Article: Citrix Widens WAN Strategy

  • From: "Jim Kenzig http://ThinHelp.com" <jkenzig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 09:34:28 -0700 (PDT)

                Citrix Widens WAN Strategy         September 18, 2006        
http://www.byteandswitch.com/document.asp?doc_id=103878&print=true      As the 
boundary between Wide Area File Services (WAFS) and WAN optimization continues 
to blur, Citrix today took the wraps off new WAN offerings, providing a hint of 
things to come from its Microsoft partnership.
  The vendor, which recently teamed up with Microsoft to build combined 
WAFS/WAN devices, unveiled two new high-end WAN products built on technology 
from its million Orbital Data acquisition. (See Citrix Grabs Orbital Data and 
Cisco Announces Interoperabilities.)
  Last month Citrix and Microsoft announced a deal to develop a "new type of 
branch office appliance" combining its WANScaler technology with Microsoft's 
ISA Server and Windows Server 2003 R2. (See Intriguing Equation and Microsoft, 
Citrix Expand.)
  The WANScaler 8500 and 8800, launched today, are the first Citrix WAN 
optimization products with built-in disk storage, a technology likely to 
feature in the Microsoft partnership. By storing large amounts of data using a 
technique called delta-based compression, users don't need to send large chunks 
of data across the WAN.
  Citrix's previous high-end offering, the 6000, stored a limited amount of 
compressed data in its system memory, according to Greg Smith, the vendor's 
director of product marketing. But the 2U 8800 and 1U 8500 can store nearly 1 
Tbyte and 250 Gbytes respectively, compared to the 6000's 4 Gbytes.
  Although specifics have not been revealed, the combined product, which is 
slated to ship by the end of next year, is expected to include CIFS 
optimization from Citrix for file sharing, as well as Microsoft's Distributed 
File Server (DFS).
  But Citrix has got a big job on its hands to meet this deadline, warns Joe 
Skorupa, research director at analyst firm Gartner. "It's a lot of work to do 
in 15 months," he explains. "They have to move their current product, which is 
Linux-based, to Windows, and they have to add all these new features."
  The endgame, according to the analyst, is all about Microsoft's desire to 
head off Cisco, which recently beefed up its own WAN optimization story. (See 
Cisco Backs Into Optimization.) "Microsoft understands that they can't let 
Cisco take control of the branch," he says. He expects to see more Citrix-style 
deals from Microsoft.
  Ultimately, however, Skorupa warns that Microsoft will meet resistance 
amongst some users, even with partners on its side. "It's clearly not what the 
networking guys want," he says. "They are going to want to stay with a 
Linux-based machine -- part of it is security, part of it is familiarity," he 
explains, adding that server staff will likely be more receptive to Microsoft.
  Technology consolidation is certainly the name of the game in this corner of 
the market. Citrix's move for Orbital was the latest in a frenzy of 
acquisitions that are bringing WAN optimization and WAFS to a range of 
products. The list of acquirers includes Cisco, F5, Expand, Riverbed, Juniper, 
and Packeteer. (See Cisco Acts on Actona, Cisco Chomps FineGround, Packeteer 
Picks Tacit, Expand Snaps Up DiskSites, F5 Hits Accelerator, F5 Snaps Up Swan 
Labs, and Users Rally Round Remote Solutions.)
  In related WAN storage news, Packeteer is replacing its low-end 1200 and 1550 
optimization products with a new entry-level device, the PacketShaper 1400.
  This will offer "a very aggressive" price point for branch office users, 
according to Mark Urban, Packeteer's director of product marketing. Pricing for 
the basic 1400 starts at $1500, compared to $2150 for the 1200, he told Byte 
and Switch.
  A more advanced version of the 1U 1400 device, which comes with QOS control, 
costs $3500. Both versions of the product, like Citrix's WANScalers, are 
already available.
  Packeteer, which acquired file sharing specialist Tacit earlier this year, is 
also hard at work integrating WAFS and WAN, according to Urban. (See Packeteer 
Closes on Tacit, Sources: Packeteer Eyeing Tacit, and A Market of 
Contradiction.) "We will likely have some additional announcements in the next 
quarter about very aggressive implementation plans for the two types of 
technology," he says.
  ? James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch 

Jim Kenzig 
    Microsoft MVP - Terminal Services
  Provision Networks VIP
CEO The Kenzig Group
Blog: http://www.techblink.com

    Terminal Services Downloads: http://www.thinhelp.com


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