Is marketing inherently manipulative, superficial, annoying and therefore evil? Do software marketing departments communicate the opportunities and advantages of their products in a honest way? Does it help to engage in FUD tactics against competitors?
At Virtualization.com we honestly don’t know… but we do think that when you are the market leader (hello, VMWare!), it doesn’t really strengthen your case when you point so much attention towards your once-great-partner Citrix. So why did Jeff Jennings at VMware mail the two messages below to his sales partners? This only seems to create the unwanted impression Citrix/XenServer is a real threat to VMware…
Let’s bear in mind these arguments were ‘only’ intended as marketing speak towards VMware sales partners.
Yesterday, Citrix announced the immediate availability of XenDesktop, a collection of technologies intended to provide a virtualized desktop experience. This competitive flash summarizes what was announced, explores specific claims that may cause confusion, and provides guidance for VMware sales professionals and partners.
XenDesktop: What Can it Really Do, and How Much Does it Really Cost?
Citrix has widely promoted the concept of application streaming, and the idea that XenDesktop offers a “new PC at each log on”. This message has created confusion, because to achieve a “new PC at each log on”, multiple products must be integrated. Evidence of this confusion is also in the press. The Register recently published Citrix’s XenDesktop can fly you to the moon, an article about misleading product claims by Citrix. Brian Madden also examines Citrix XenDesktop pricing and competition with Citrix’s own XenApp (Presentation Server) products in his blog entry Citrix XenDesktop pricing is out-of-whack. One of the main value propositions of a virtual desktop is that all your applications work in a VDI environment. By bundling XenApp (Presentation Server) into their desktop solution, Citrix is making customers use XenApp (Presentation Server) for application deployment which doesn’t work for many applications. In addition, customers will have to pay the additional CAPEX and management costs for XenApp (Presentation Server). At a minimum, this includes server and storage hardware, and a Windows Server license for each XenApp server. Furthermore, customers may need to buy a Terminal Services CAL for each user.
XenDesktop: Complex, Poorly Integrated, Built on a Platform That Has an Uncertain Future
Citrix XenDesktop software is complex, consisting of different disparate components bundled together. The underlying XenServer virtualization platform is also unproven in enterprise environments. Both Citrix and Microsoft have stated that Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor will replace XenServer. Customers who deploy XenDesktop will use a virtualization platform that has an uncertain future. Several customers who have evaluated XenDesktop failed to deploy the complicated solution. Citrix’s XenDesktop keynote demonstration at their user conference, Synergy, didn’t even work.
VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is Built on a Proven Platform and is Easy to Deploy
In contrast to Citrix XenDesktop, customers that deploy VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) gain all the robustness and proven enterprise capabilities of the industry leading VMware Virtual Infrastructure (VI3) platform. VMware VDI is mature and much simpler to deploy than XenDesktop. XenDesktop deployments have up to eight different wizards, applications, and management consoles; VMware VDI uses two. Partners can have VMware VDI installed and working on their first customer visit, while XenDesktop can take days to get even a simple system deployed.
We encourage VMware partners to clearly articulate how the virtualization platform is a strategic technology underlying virtual desktop deployments. Citrix’s claims about product features, such as whether XenDesktop includes application streaming or virtualization capabilities, and claims of disk storage savings without noting significant restrictions, should not go unchallenged.
Vice President, Desktop Products and Solutions VMware
(As reported on May 27, 2008 by Brian Madden)
In Febrary 2008, Jeff Jennings alreay gave a list of reasons that tried to clarify the competitive advantage of VMware. Among them there’s a very interesting point about partnership between Microsoft and Citrix.
“The new items are a collection of loosely connected pieces thrown together to look like a coherent virtualization plan. Microsoft is still talking vision….
Microsoft’s announcement introduces new conflicts into the Microsoft-Citrix business partnership and begs the question “When will Microsoft dump Citrix and take all of the business for itself?” Is this just a partnership of convenience for Microsoft until it ships its own product?…Tell your prospects that are considering Citrix, that MSFT will soon cut Citrix out of the loop…and Citrix is allowing it to happen…
…New Conflict #1: Microsoft System Center or Citrix XenServer for Management…This declaration hits at the heart of Citrix’s stated business model for virtualization – to generate revenue from the management of Windows VMs with Citrix XenCenter. System Center and XenCenter are clearly competitors…
…New Conflict #2: Calista acquisition creates more direct competition with Citrix SpeedScreen (ICA)..This acquisition strikes at Citrix’s core business since ICA is Citrix’s key differentiator and competes with RDP..”