back to article Citrix snuffs Xen and NetScaler brands

Citrix has rebranded most of its stuff. As The Register foreshadowed in January 2018, the company’s swept aside some old brands, although not with the “Citrix Plus” scheme we reported at the time. Instead we’re getting “Citrix [ProductName].” XenServer, for example, will become “Citrix Hypervisor”. XenApp and XenDesktop will …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Generic names...

    ...for generic products. I guess that they aren't trying to convince people that there is something special about their product lines.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Generic names...

      But the name "Citrix ....." gives it all the brand kudos it needs </snark>

  2. TonyJ Silver badge

    So what's new?

    WinFrame -> MetaFrame -> Presentation Server -> XenApp

    And that's just for one product line.

    Nfuse -> NFuse Entperise -> Web Interface -> StoreFront

    For another.

    Just two examples.

    I wish they'd concentrate on what they're good at rather than this constant re-branding exercise they never seem to finish.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I wish they'd concentrate on what they're good at"

      Just to be clear though, for those of us who have used their products. What's your point? They are great at rebranding, this is kind of their thing. Software, not so much. They've been lucky that nobody could be arsed to properly challenge them all these years...

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        "... Software, not so much. They've been lucky that nobody could be arsed to properly challenge them all these years...."

        As I've already posted on here, that's a crock of shit.

        When done properly by people that understand the technology, Citrix can be a rock-solid environment. When thrown in half-assed, and managed like a traditional server estate with no care or thought to how it functions then you have issues.

        I suspect that the people like you, that complain it's poor fall into the category of "it's just another Windows server". Or, and I feel sorry for you if this is the case, you've been forced to use a system thrown in like the above and have a poor perception of it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Blame the software not the user...

          “I suspect that the people like you, that complain it's poor fall into the category of "it's just another Windows server”

          Ah another Citrix dinosaur. This argument was ok in 2001 (when Citrix and your skills were relevant) , now we have #dontblamethevictim. If Citrix doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work. Stop blaming anyone other than the software vendor.

          1. TonyJ Silver badge

            Re: Blame the software not the user...

            "...Ah another Citrix dinosaur. This argument was ok in 2001 (when Citrix and your skills were relevant) , now we have #dontblamethevictim. If Citrix doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work. Stop blaming anyone other than the software vendor...."

            Lol...sure ok.

            I'm so happy you know enough about me to know my full skillset.

            Citrix is amongst them for sure. It's why I'm currently leading the refresh of a legacy system for c21,000 users to bring them bang up to date. Guess there are some companies didn't get your memo.

            I'd love some [proper] citations please. "If Citrix doesn't work....". That's like saying if anything doesn't work, it MUST be the fault of whatever it is and that nothing else can be to blame. #Narrowmindedlknowitall

            Also if you took the time to read my posts, I've always stood by the main problem being the people doing the implementation and the support that are usually the problem. Sure, the wraparound tech needs to be up to the job, but done properly there are ways to work around those limitations.

            And, if you cared to read said earlier posts around Citrix, you'd see that I haven't always said they get it right - I've consistently, for example, said I see no large scale use cases for their VDI product, XenDesktop (as was), or for that matter any vendor's VDI.

            Morons like you, that seem to be able to grossly generalise and still show themselves as no-nothing idiots with facts based around something they might have seen/known almost twenty years ago make me smile.

            But hey...don't let facts hold you back.

            Thanks for the chuckle, anyway.

            1. MSabaro

              Re: Blame the software not the user...

              Right You are. Whether deploying Citrix or the VMware's alternatives, it is still several skill levels above that of the mere server line admins. Properly done AND supported, it requires a strong understanding of all the other elements within the environment as well as an understanding of how various applications work well beyond what anyone else in their IT department has to concerns themselves with.

          2. Shugyosha
            Gimp

            Re: Blame the software not the user...

            Not sure why you think Citrix is a dinosaur.

            I've been a Citrix (XenApp and later XenDesktop) specialist for 20 years. I've never been out of work and I continue to get hit up on at least a weekly basis by recruiters looking for Citrix skills. EDIT: I've literally just received a LinkedIn Recruiter connection request while writing this post. It will of course be trash, but it shows how misinformed the idea that Citrix skills aren't relevant is.

            I currently work for a Forbes Global 2000 company (and within that 2000, we're in double figures) with around 150,000 staff globally, and we're well underway moving EVERYONE to XenDesktop.

            So tell me again how the skills are irrelevant - <willywonka.jpg>

            The issues I see around 'Citrix' (usually people mean XA/XD when they say 'Citrix) are:

            1: There's a misconception that XA/XD reduces TCO. This is probably because Citrix used it as a selling point for MetaFrame in the early 2000s. Every time I see an article on here about Citrix, there'll always be a comment along the lines of "B.b.b.but we put in Citrix and it didn't reduce our costs!" It RARELY REDUCES COSTS. NOBODY PUTS IN CITRIX TO REDUCE COSTS.

            2. There is a perception that it simplifies the environment. Hmm... it depends. It CAN do, but as earlier posters have highlighted, you need a very well designed environment with good Citrix people. If you don't have these, you will not have a good experience. Any muppet can mount a XenDesktop ISO and click Next > Next > Next - and pretty soon 'Yay! We have a Citrix environment!'. This is both bad and good. It's bad because it adds to the poor perception of Citrix. It's good because it keeps me in a job when I'm brought in to fix these clusterfucks.

            3. Anything involved in the whole chain from client device to server is perceived as a Citrix problem. User's client is on a personal device riddled with malware? Citrix problem. User's network connection is a wet piece of string? Citrix problem. Citrix admins are asked to present an app that is a decade old, out of maintenance, was never written with virtualisation in mind, but it's business critical and no one will approve a business case to upgrade, even though it's highly unstable? Citrix problem.

            Why Citrix is still, if not more than ever, relevant; and why for example one of the world's largest companies like mine are continuing to adopt it:

            1. Security - everything is in the datacentre

            2. Flexibility - work wherever you want, connect from any device you like

            3. Business continuity - office has burned down? No worries, everyone can work from home and connect to their XenDesktop. Data centre has burned down? No worries, the XenDesktops are pooled across multiple sites and the data is replicated.

            Citrix of course has it's problems - having worked with it for so long there are plenty of things I've bitched about over the years; and it's certainly not the only way of achieving the benefits I've listed. But the idea that it's a legacy product is idiotic.

            (Fanboi icon because I'm bound to have some bias for something that's put food on my table for so long)

        2. MSabaro

          Correct. Deploying a terminal services (Remote Desktop Services) where users use a Server OS as a desktop in a multi-user scenario really pushes the typical server admin beyond their comfort zone. It requires a special understanding or the registry, file system and group policies. Then it got more complicated, we had to deal with profiles, then we virtualized it, then we introduced PVS into the picture, then came app layering and so on. Dont forget your web interface or Storefront, then NetScaler. Toss in Security for HIPPA, PPI, etc. Then you have to concern your self with Hardware and storage optimization. But wait, there's more, there's the whole VDI desktop option. Did I forget to mention that its ALWAYS your fault when something does not work right in a virtual desktop, due to LDAP, DNS, Exchange, File Services or the morons in the networking department who are of the mindset that their shiat don't stink.

    2. Adrian Harvey
      Headmaster

      It’s worse than that... the original product was OEM’d so it was also called WinCenter, NTrigue, or WinDD depending who you bought it off and which extensions were bundled. You might argue that these versions weren’t Ctirix’s... but Citrix bought their code back and combined them into Metaframe.

      And it was also named Metaframe XP for a while in the middle there.

      So:

      (WinFrame, WinDD, WinCenter, NTrigue) -> MetaFrame -> Metaframe XP -> Presentation Server -> XenApp -> Citrix Virtual Apps

      Which is why everyone seems to just call it “Citrix” even though that’s the company not the product. It’s the only invariant part of the name.

  3. Leigh Brown

    spawned?

    "Others are happy that Citrix’s kit is no longer tied to the open-source hypervisor it spawned."

    Surely Cambridge University spawned said hypervisor, Citrix just bought XenSource.

  4. TonyJ Silver badge

    @Leigh...quite correct: https://www.cnet.com/news/citrix-to-buy-virtualization-company-xensource-for-500-million/

    XenServer always felt like one of their weaker products and I always wondered if it was down to the way they'd bought some of the IP.

    1. defiler Silver badge

      XenServer always felt like one of their weaker products

      At the same time, XenServer pushed VMware pretty hard for a free hypervisor, back in the day. They chucked in live migration between hosts, which everyone else wanted you to pay for, and you could remove snapshots without powering down the VM, which also kept it well clear of the bottom-end of the market.

      The problem I had with it is that it nevery actually removed those snapshots. The disk image ended up as some ugly Logical Volume chain, and once you hit 255 snapshots the whole damn thing stopped. The VM would still run (slowly), but it wouldn't snapshot again.

      And there are those who'd say "don't use snapshots for backups", but I had a very good system running based around Bacula, which did both file-level and VM-level backups. Wasn't the nicest for restoring, but it was cheap!

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        At the same time, XenServer pushed VMware pretty hard for a free hypervisor, back in the day. They chucked in live migration between hosts, which everyone else wanted you to pay for, and you could remove snapshots without powering down the VM, which also kept it well clear of the bottom-end of the market.

        The problem I had with it is that it nevery actually removed those snapshots. The disk image ended up as some ugly Logical Volume chain, and once you hit 255 snapshots the whole damn thing stopped. The VM would still run (slowly), but it wouldn't snapshot again.

        And there are those who'd say "don't use snapshots for backups", but I had a very good system running based around Bacula, which did both file-level and VM-level backups. Wasn't the nicest for restoring, but it was cheap!

        You make a fair point - with VMware's price gouging, XenServer was a viable alternative, even if you went down the paid route: I forget the exact pricing but certainly <10k got you most of the way to a VMware platform.

        It just so often felt less intuitive than the competition.

        Also...no problem with snapshot-based backups. The problem is when people take a snapshot thinking that that itself is a backup solution. Then another and so on, not realising they're now just writing to difference disks, and burning through their storage.

  5. Amos1

    And they are now changing their corporate name!

    To citrix.com in all lower case, of course.

  6. MSabaro

    Stupid Marketing Morons

    I could careless what they name the products this go around. What I care about is the fact that they changed the name yet AGAIN. This makes it difficult to discuss technical content with others, ie WANScaler --> CloudBridge --> SD-WAN, etc as well as search for topics on the web when troubleshooting a problem.

    Clearly the folks at Citrix are insecure about their product branding and feel the need to re-image themselves every couple of years. I can understand the XenMobile rebrand, somewhat, as the space is still evolving, but not everything.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Stupid Marketing Morons

      Indeed.

      WTF do I call the load balancing/application features of the Netscaler now? (and even then, we are moving back to the F5 appliances that the netscaler supplanted two managers ago, because we couldn't get the netscaler to play nicely with Cisco Prime ISE, even after getting citrix's highest tier support involved and spending two months on it.)

  7. astounded1

    Rebranding The Titanic

    Citrix's New "Immersive North Atlantic Experience"

    In other words - Aw, shucks, most of the stuff we make is going to be obsolete.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Several reasons

    There are several reasons you rebrand (yet again)

    1) Gives marketing something to do

    2) Provides sales guys with new PNs to sell to a client / instead of maintenance. Hey new revenue !

  9. Criggie

    Remember XCP-NG is a viable replacement for citrix xenserver. Has been developing since XS was 7.2 and now both are at version 7.6.

    https://xcp-ng.org/

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