onthenetOffice designs, builds, and hosts the most highly-customized cloud-based solutions. We develop individualized solutions for each of our customers that combine industry-best technologies with tailor-made add-ons and adjustments. onthenetOffice works closely with our partners—technology giants such as VMware, Microsoft, EMC, and Cisco—in the design and development process. onthenetOffice’s partnerships, in fact, are a key component to the quality and uniqueness of our hosted solutions. With our “Partner Focus” blog series we will attempt to better familiarize our readers with onthenetOffice’s major partners and the nature and extent of each partnership. Today’s post (the second in the series) will discuss Citrix, the multi-billion-dollar software company.
Casual technology users have probably only heard of one of Citrix’s products: the desktop-sharing collaboration software GoToMeeting. But most of Citrix’s other solutions relate to networking, cloud computing, and virtualization. The company recently announced $615 million in quarterly revenue, with more than half of its sales coming from its Desktop Solutions group that includes the virtualization products XenApp, XenDesktop, and VDI-in-a-Box. An independent survey also calculated that Citrix controls a respectable 15% of the total data center virtualization market. By any measure, the company plays a sizable role in the cloud, virtualization, and data center technology sectors.
Ex-IBM developer Ed Iacobucci founded Citrix in 1989. The company started by developing multi-user versions of operating systems and applications. For example, WinFrame (1995) allowed users to access Windows NT desktops and applications located on a centralized server. By shifting the processing burden away from end-user devices to a managed server, the multi-user product increased performance and oversight while lowering costs. Citrix also assisted Microsoft with the development of its Terminal Server products in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Citrix spent much of the next decade developing its existing products and acquiring smaller companies. Like many large technology corporations, it purchased promising start-ups as an alternative to investing heavily in research and development. Citrix would add new features to its own products this way (adapting them from the acquired products) or adopt the other companies’ solutions as its own.
As part of this strategy, Citrix acquired the desktop virtualization company Kaviza in 2011. Kaviza’s VDI-in-a-Box solution was an SMB-focused virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) alternative to Citrix’s XenDesktop. VDI-in-a-Box’s selling points were its simplicity, speedy deployment, and cost-efficiency. Timothy Pickett Morgan of The Register explained the appeal of Kaviza’s solution in technical terms: “Because PC images are stored on the servers, rather than the SAN [Storage Area Network], a big part of the expense of creating VDI back-ends is eliminated…The Kaviza setup also gets rid of connection brokers, load balancers, and management servers that the typical VDI setup – including Citrix’ own XenDesktop and VMware’s View – require. These extra pieces of backend hardware are what make a typical VDI installation cost between $1,200 and $2,000 per seat.”
onthenetOffice deploys all of our powerful and secure virtual desktops using Citrix’s VDI-in-a-Box. We leverage the desktop virtualization solution to provide our customers with a fully-functional and cost-efficient IT infrastructure in a matter of minutes. Like our partners at Citrix, we see VDI-in-a-Box as a means of putting enterprise-level IT resources and technology in the hands of SMBs. In collaboration with Citrix and other leading IT partners, onthenetOffice builds customized hosted solutions that match our clients’ exact IT requirements and preferences.