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The Citrix Delivery Center - What does that mean? Print E-mail
Written by at Friday, 30 May 2008

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In the past weeks and months Citrix has been in the news due to a number of company takeovers and new products. A peak was reached in February 2008, when yet another re-naming of the Citrix Presentation Server "Citrix XenApp" and the new strategy of "Citrix Delivery Center" were announced.


Numerous articles and descriptions concerning this new strategy and corresponding solutions and products can be found in various places on the Internet – one of them the Citrix Website. The objective of this article is to consolidate the multitude of information in one place from the perspective of a technology enthusiast and to provide an overview of the significance of this strategy for current and future developments on the IT market, to understand what the individual components of the strategy are responsible for and how they inter-relate.


VISION

Dealing with this topic more closely, the first thing to discover is an approach by means of the products is almost impossible – while four or five years ago it was not problem to get in the picture by means of a representation of the "Metaframe" functionalities and to distinguish it from possible competitors, this is no longer possible due to the great number of products alone (on a Citrix scale – of course not comparable to Microsoft or IBM. But they should not concern us here…). For outsiders as well as for some partners it seems that some of the in-house products are even positioned against each other. How then can this topic be dealt with and this "product dilemma" be solved? Like this: Starting with the strategy and the vision that lies behind it.


So what is this vision about? To answer this question it is best to look a few years back in the past and examine what was the focus at that time up to ca. four/five years ago – any user, any machine, any connection. All that was necessary to achieve this objective was to install all applications at a central point and then, "server-based", provide it to the users. This approach made it possible to reduce the administrative expense to a high degree and increase user satisfaction. This was the case if the users were of the kind that primarily accessed normal Windows applications and more or less had a permanent connection. However, there was more – e.g. Web applications, offline users or applications that could not be operated together with other applications. While these topics were negligible at first because the advantages of server-based computing represented an enormous step forward, they became the focus especially in the past few years and months in the course of more and more accelerated optimization and consolidation efforts. Functions were included in the existing products (e.g. application isolation or streaming in the presentation server) and other products were added (e.g. Access Gateway or NetScaler for access to and optimization of internal (Web) resources). New products were developed for new requirements – at first glance a help; however, taking a closer look the familiar problems, such as time-consuming software care or complex structures, were merely shifted from the terminals to the data center. The further this was taken, the more the data center became a highly complex and therefore rigid structure that made it more and more difficult to react flexibly. Malicious rumors even spoke of mechanization for the sake of technology – IT as an end in itself.

Of course, this perspective is as naïve and superficial as the treatment of the developments in the lines above. Still, there is a there is also a grain of truth in it. And yet, what is the connection between this naïve representation and the current Citrix strategy? Quite a lot – because it was the ideas laid out here (admittedly very, very briefly) that resulted in rethinking the strategy. Not products or features were to be the main point; the focus should rather be on what really counts – users and their required applications. This is certainly an ideal situation, claimed by various manufacturers to varying degrees; but with regard to Citrix it truly seems as if somebody there actually cared …thinking the strategy. Not products or features were to be the main point; the focus should rather be on what really counts – users and their required applications. This is certainly an ideal situation, claimed by various manufacturers to varying degrees; but with regard to Citrix it truly seems as if somebody there actually cared …


Download and read the full article with 20 pages as PDF


Comments


Great work Nico!!!!! Awesome paper
Written by Guest on 2008-05-31 14:23:27
Thomas, thanks for putting this out there and a big thanks to Nico for writing this awesome paper.  
 
This is the best paper that lays out the vision and strategy around why and how the Citrix Delivery Center came into being. Great work!!!! 
 
Cheers 
Michael Keen 
Sr Solutions Architect 
Alliance Technologies 
c1tr1xguru98@gmail.com 
www.brianmadden.com/blog/michaelkeen


EinGast
Written by Gast on 2009-08-24 09:07:46
Ein sehr guter Artikel. Hat mir sehr geholfen einen ersten Überblick über die Produkte sowie die Idee die dahintersteckt zu bekommen! Weiter so :-)


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