Fallout from Citrix and VMware privatizations - Alternatives

Where do we go from here? Fallout from Citrix and VMware privatizations

Written by: Peter von Oven,

Digital Workspace Consultant, Subject Matter Expert and author of (2024) “Learning VMware Workstation Pro” New York: Apress

As we enter 2024, I am again, whether jokingly or not, hearing people ask if this year will finally be the year of VDI. My answer to this question is not to make VDI that square peg and then subsequently try and make it fit that round hole, but instead to look at how to deliver the right end user experience, on whatever device, and from wherever the user happens to be at the time. At the end of the day all users care about is being able to get their job done quickly and efficiently.

Above all else this needs to be done cost effectively. VDI, in itself, is one way to deliver a particular use case, but ultimately it all boils down to putting applications into the hands of the workforce, however that is done, and whichever technology delivers it. Whether that is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, on or off premises, session-based desktops, or simply just delivering the applications (application virtualization).

Having said that, now is the time to also look at who delivers virtual desktop alternative solutions given the turbulence around the “big-two” vendors.

Typically, when we think about end user computing, whatever technology form that takes, the first solutions that spring to mind are from Citrix, VMware, and more recently Microsoft with AVD. Don’t get me wrong, these are all excellent solutions, and I have based most of my career on working with Citrix and VMware. However, the world is changing especially given the recent change of ownership of both Citrix (now Tibco Software) and VMware (now Broadcom) selling the EUC business to PE company KKR. KKR also own Parallels and more recently acquired Awingu.  So that will be interesting to see how that plays out.

With these changes comes updated partner programs, new licensing models and, of course, higher costs. Broadcom have scrapped the perpetual license model in favour of a subscription-based model and along with that more than 50 products have been removed as standalone products and are now bundled with other solutions. This just makes the solution more expensive and starts to fill the shelves with shelfware! Time to look at Nutanix, Scale Computing, Virtuozzo, or Zadaraperhaps? Maybe even some of the open-source solutions such as Proxmox offer credible alternatives.

With this uncertainty, customers and partners alike should take this opportunity to look at the broader market of VDI alternative software solutions for delivering the end user experience. After all, if this was your mortgage you would be looking for the best deal across a range of lenders.

So, I have been doing exactly that. Looking at the alternative solutions for delivering the end user experience.  In my conversations with partners and customers, what I have been hearing, time and time again, especially from those customers in education, public sector and local government where budgets are nearly non-existent, was Inuvika and OVD Enterprise. So, I took some of those headline questions that are usually asked of a solution and looked at how Inuvika OVD Enterprise stacks up against the likes of Citrix and VMware and believe that partners and customers need to add it to their list of credible alternative solutions. The product delivers Windows and Linux apps and desktops on a Linux platform, so also avoids a lot of Microsoft licensing…no escaping those RDS Cals though.

Now is the time for partners and customers alike, who are looking to deploy or renew their end user computing solution, to take a look at alternative solutions away from those big name vendors. While the future of Citrix and VMware is in a state of flux, stability in both the vendor and their solution is key requirements for customers.

For partners the future is also somewhat hazy with vendors dropping or changing their partner programs. Whether that be changing the goals to become accredited or hiking the revenue targets beyond the reach of some of the specialised partners who focus more on the services.

For end user customers, costs are spiralling. I’ve spoken to a lot of customers who are being forced to change as they simply can no longer afford the licensing costs. Or worst case scenario, they are willing to continue without support.

All well and good until something goes wrong.

Courtesy of  StreetInsider