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Reign of the Cash Cow: Citrix Covers Many Bases with XenApp 6

It's not all that often that the fresh rev of a true cash cow hits the market, so Citrix's unveiling of XenApp 6 definitely packs new product punch. The former Citrix MetaFrame Server and Citrix Presentation Server has come a long way from its days as an application hosting solution, and is now a well-honed engine that drives application centralization in the data center, and serves those apps up to both physical and virtual desktops.

Just how big a cash cow is XenApp for Citrix? In order to get a more meaningful perspective, first understand the fact that Citrix made a profitable $1.16 billion in 2009. Then consider the quote that president and CEO Mark Templeton gave me recently when I interviewed him for a Citrix profile to appear in the upcoming April-May issue of Virtualization Review: "We can tell you that of the one-point-six billion, about one-point-one billion was XenApp-related, which means licenses, license updates, and technical services that are associated with it, so it's a huge product line."

Now that's a cash cow.

In addition to offering seamless integration with Microsoft technologies such as App-V and Windows Server 2008 R2, XenApp6 also shares technology with, and is available as part of, a suite with XenDesktop 4, Citrix's up-and-coming virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) product. For example, the two products share the company's enhanced HDX adaptive technology, which includes the Citrix ICA protocol, and drives real time media applications such as voice and CD-quality audio.

Citrix is so eager to offer the combined clout of XenDesktop and XenApp in the increasingly lucrative desktop virtualization market that it is running a promotion wherein XenApp customers can trade up their existing licenses for twice the number of XenDesktop 4 user licenses. It looks like the plan is to go head-hunting for VMware's VDI competitor, View 4, in a big way.

Other new XenApp 6 capabilities include AppCenter, a new management console designed to make it easy for IT to centrally manage all applications enterprise-wide from a single source, and enhanced enterprise scalability, which Citrix says "has been verified to scale up to more than 100,000 concurrent users in a single farm, giving customers unprecedented levels of cost savings and data center efficiency."

XenApp 6 will be available for download March 24 as a free upgrade to all XenApp customers with current Subscription Advantage agreements. Pricing for new XenApp 6 licenses starts at $350 per concurrent user. Pricing for XenDesktop 4, which now includes XenApp 6, is $225 per user, or per device.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 03/16/2010 at 12:48 PM


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