Time for their customers to review the market.
Citrix is to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners and Evergreen Coast Capital in a deal worth $16.5bn. The move will see Citrix taken into private ownership and combined with Tibco, another firm already in Vista's portfolio. Under the terms of the agreement announced today, Citrix shareholders will receive $104 per share, a …
Monday 31st January 2022 16:01 GMT TonyJ
Monday 31st January 2022 16:10 GMT AMBxx
Monday 31st January 2022 16:20 GMT TonyJ
I've worked with them a lot over the years albeit last time was last year.
As it's been for any number of years, it's been tricky to pitch where they sit and it feels that everything you can do with Citrix you can do much cheaper with other products/natively within e.g. Windows Server.
The one ever-outstanding product of course was NetScaler. They got in early when they bought that product line and they're still an outstanding product but for most places a la everything Citrix, they are crazily expensive and gain more complexity with every release.
They lost their way with virtualisation - XenServer was always a good offering but lacked a lot of Enterprise features that customers were used to having, even in free products. They broke some interesting ground about 6/7 years ago with XenClient - I loved that. A bare metal hypervisor for laptops/desktops and switching between them with keyboard combos. Much more graceful than any type-2 hypervisors and great for those of us working with different customers.
It's felt like their decline has been a very long and slow one but I suspect we will soon see more redundancies and chunks of IP being sold off.
Monday 31st January 2022 19:30 GMT Nate Amsden
As a Netscaler customer for just over 10 years now I can say I still miss the JAVA management UI, it was so much faster/easier. Citrix kept saying give the HTML interface a shot you'll love it. VMware said similar when they ditched .NET for web based. Both cases end result was a disaster(in Netscaler's case it just drove me to the command line for 95%+ of my config). Even VMware's HTML5 stuff doesn't hold a candle to the performance and reliability of their old stuff(I say that as a Linux on the desktop user since 1996ish).
But back to Citrix, Netscaler has gotten tons of new features but you don't have to use them, or even pay for them. I've been running "standard" license for a decade. We did purchase an advanced license many years ago to leverage their SureConnect feature but we never got the configuration tuned quite right so it never got used. Then our application code base changed radically and to use SureConnect at that point needed some app changes which the devs didn't have time to do.
My production Netscaler config is down to about 2200 lines, looking at an old backup it was 5300 lines back when I ran netscaler 9.3 in Jan 2015. Lots of things retired since.
I used F5 BigIP prior to Netscaler for about 8 years liked that too. Though when I changed to Netscaler in 2011(new company ground up build) I did like that it had built in VPN support which we used, DNS protocol aware, and MySQL protocol aware (none of which were available on BigIP when I last used it in 2010 their SSL VPN was at the time a separate product Firepass). I did/do miss the priority groups(?) on BigIP though those were useful in some situations. We ditched Citrix VPN(though I still use it daily) due to bad quality in the Mac VPN client, I had a case open for 18 months and then they finally admitted it was a design issue on the client side no ETA for a fix so we changed to Pulse Secure to make mac users happy).
From a Citrix app hosting standpoint in 2011 I purchased XenApp essentials if I recall the name right, basically full XenApp stack, single server, 5 user license, and very cheap. It was for the operations team to run stuff. Worked amazingly well over the years though Citrix killed that product edition I think around 2013, I kept using it till about 2019 or 2020. Running vSphere .NET client over XenApp worked like a dream when we were thousands of miles away from the data center(I could even do stuff from my phone over VPN with the XenApp on android on my Galaxy Note 3 with the stylus for targeting things, wasn't pretty but it worked). Also used it for Netscaler management as well. I'd probably still have XenApp running now but I dismantled my windows domain a while back and realized at that point it seemed XenApp wasn't going to work in a domain-less environment, so I nuked it.
Monday 31st January 2022 20:30 GMT Anonymous Coward
Thanks for the info
Good to hear from those at the coal face once in a while. I parted ways with the Citrix solutions some time ago, as they made less and less sense as the deployments we were working on became less windows-centric.
While they essentially wrote windows terminal services for microsoft, they lost the game to virtualization and containers in their later years, and the other verticals they tried to play in suffered the drag of the rest of the business. Still they had a great run, and outlasted plenty of heavyweights in the valley. I wish them the best(still have a few old friends that I think still work there), but I am not sure the "go private" route will lead to the same outcome for them as it did for Dell back in the day. Glad to be wrong on that one though.
Monday 31st January 2022 18:28 GMT Jay 2
For reasons I'm not entirely sure of we've moving away from VDI on VMware via VMware Horizon and onto VDI on rack-mounted PCs via Citrix. Somewhat annoying as I found VMware Horizon to be a much better product (and having suffered from using Citrix before).
There's still a bit of Tibco RV around too, but hopefully that will be going soon.
Meanwhile I agree with other commentators, as soon as software ends up in the hands of vulture capitalists, there's only one way it's going to go: prices go up, product goes to shit.
Monday 31st January 2022 19:19 GMT Anonymous Coward
Cue employees parachuting from the flaming wreckage
Ah yes, a VC buyout. Shave costs by halving the workforce and tripling workloads for the unlucky ones remaining. Weasel out of any unvested stock grants. Change pensions to be against basic instead of ote. Goodbye expenses; even a train to London will require VP approval. And the redundancy is now statutory minimum because of “challenging times”. Bye bye Citrix, your time passed 10 years ago well done lasting this long. Anyone with real skills will be at a hyperscaler in 6 months.
A love letter from a still bitter employee who went through all this sh!t before - look out for all the internal mail offering corporate handjobs about how “we don’t have to report a balance sheet to Wall Street so can make strategic investments” aka “hahaha we earn all the profits they won’t get diluted to the worker scummers now as we just killed the share scheme”.
Did I tell you I’ve been through this ;)
Good luck Citrix customers, if you didn’t feel like you were a just a renewals prospect before just wait until that audit clause is invoked…
..and good luck partners, why should you be allowed a margin when Citrix can do the renewals themselves .
Anon.. because ;)
Tuesday 1st February 2022 10:01 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: Cue employees parachuting from the flaming wreckage
You forgot to wave goodbye to product development too - it'll be just enough to keep the maintenance stream coming in. Oh, and about that maintenance stream? Customers, say hello to three year renewals with the prices hiking year on year. And for anyone left in the company, don't forget to say hello to the "shared service centre" model (possibly on your way out of the company, if you're in finance, support, HR...)
PS AC sounds almost like we might have worked together...
Tuesday 1st February 2022 08:21 GMT Mayday
Tuesday 1st February 2022 09:40 GMT CanIRetireNowPlease?
Citrix Metaframe was one of the first things I got involved in when I started in IT. We used to deliver a small set of applications to users and it worked great (as long as you didn't want to print). Over the years it got more and more complicated, more and more expensive and the marketing became increasingly impenetrable as they tried to dress the hotch potch up as a unified set of offerings. Honestly, try looking at their product list and see if you can work out what they are actually selling. Every other word is cloud.
I lost patience with them in the end as the poor salesmen went to more and more extreme lengths to try to justify the value proposition. We're implementing AppsAnywhere at present which seems to do what we need it to do, far more simply and inexpensively.
I know that a lot of HEIs (I work in education) use Citrix extensively and if you (can afford to) buy into and support the ecosystem it seems to deliver a great outcome. For me though, Citrix used to be fun but it got fat and greedy.
Thursday 3rd February 2022 19:32 GMT J. Cook
Citrix lost us as a customer effectively over a series of events:
A simple big-fix update for their netscaler product (delivered as a VM) required us to completely re-implement one of the remote access features that it used, even though all the settings were the same, the process didn't change, or anything. This happened a few times. In addition, there were updates at such a rapid cadence that environmental stability became a concern with upper management. (We spent more time applying critical bugfixes and updates to the appliance than the appliance had actual run time!)
It also didn't have anything in the way of automatic log pruning or having a way to add space to it (since it was a VM!) so when it ran out of space every month and a half, we'd have to hop on the VM's console and manually prune out all the old logs, because the partition where the logs were held also held the management UI and whatever magic the system used to function.
Their support group also lied to us when they told us that we could set up a reverse proxy for wireless authentication, and was so absolutely glued to their script and troubleshooting for it when we proved without a shadow of a doubt that the configuration we set up failed to work (and refusing to escalate it to a higher level of support) that our vendor spent nearly a day arguing with them over the phone and finally left to blow off steam as the same configuration on an F5 would have taken 15 minutes tops.
Ultimately, we ended up offloading the remote access portions of the Netscaler to a Pulse Secure appliance (I've stated previously- we tried the rest and went back to the best for our use case) and the load balancing functionality to an F5, and haven't looked back.