Citrix scales to the Net

Citrix Systems Inc., which transitioned from a software-only developer into a hardware and software provider for application delivery, has released its first product since acquiring Net6 and NetScaler last year.

The NetScaler 12000 appliance is designed for large-scale Web applications as well as small-to-medium size business applications.

The company, whose flagship product Presentation Server (formerly Metaframe), was augmented by acquisitions of ExpertCity Inc., a Web-based desktop access developer, and Net6, which gave Citrix secure socket layer virtual private networking (SSL VPN). Last year, Citrix rounded its portfolio with NetScaler, which also brought high profile customers such as Ebay, Google and Amazon.com.

Avi Bitterman, vice-president of sales for Insite Computer Group Inc., a Citrix gold partner since 1994, believes Citrix’s acquisition strategy enabled his own company to profit.

Bitterman said Citrix margins are between 15 and 20 per cent, but added that about 99 per cent of the customers who buy NetScaler need more help from the reseller.

“At the end of the day there are more margins to be made with professional services,” he said.

David Wright, area VP for Citrix Canada, said Netscaler fortifies many functions. “Netscaler is a purpose-filled box that does three or four things really well. It can do load balancing, encryption. If you run it with certificates on the server side you can off-load that to NetScaler. It goes out and takes pages commonly loaded by users and keeps them in its own memory so you do not have to work the servers over-and-over again to access the same information,” Wright said.

Greg Smith, director of product marketing for Citrix, said the 12000 is capable of handling 275,000 Web requests per second, including encrypted applications.

“That is certainly a driver for increased performance needs,” Smith said of browser-based applications.

“Some of the software as a service share many of those characteristics you see now. In short we are seeing greater richness and complexity of Web applications. There are a variety of content types and largely what this drives is increase demands on the application infrastructure.”

One customer, the Florida Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office, a state agency that supports networks of more than 4,600 volunteers used between 20 and 30 distributed servers to manage case loads. With Citrix Presentation Server, the agency today can handle the same workflow, but with just four servers.

Wright said of Citrix Canada’s 175 authorized partners, only a small percentage will carry NetScaler.

“They nailed this market,” Bitterman said.

The Net6 and NetScaler acquisitions solved Citrix’ security concerns and enables the company to gain more than 5,000 customers it didn’t have before.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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