Citrix: We're dodging the cloud bullet

Citrix: We're dodging the cloud bullet

Summary: The Citrix CTO has said the virtualisation player is successfully transitioning its business to the cloud.


With more and more applications delivered through the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, application and hardware virtualisation player Citrix has said that it is not faced with cloud-driven obsolescence. In fact, its CTO says cloud is driving demand for its offerings.

"Like all companies in the technology space, Citrix has to keep up with a changing market, and historically, we have done a very good job of that," Sheng Liang, CTO Cloud Platforms Group at Citrix and founder of, told ZDNet.

"Citrix used to be a 100 percent Windows desktop-focused business as recently as seven or eight years ago, but we have managed to pretty much grow two businesses out of nothing, our SaaS business (GoToMeeting and our ShareFile business) and our networking business, to become major market leaders."

Unsurprisingly, the growth of these two new businesses was outstripping the growth of the vendor's core virtualisation business, Liang said.

"The good thing is that the move to cloud has almost been a happy surprise, because our core business continues to grow," he said. "We are not in the situation like some of the PC hardware businesses, where there has clearly been a decline in the shipments of desktop PCs.

"Part of the reason in the declining shipment of these desktop PCs is that people have started to run desktops and apps in their datacentres, and are starting to access those desktops and apps through a thin client, a tablet, or a MacBook.

"In a sense, Citrix is benefiting greatly from the shift to cloud."

Liang said that to stay relevant, Citrix has gone about making a number of targeted acquisitions of companies already playing in the cloud and mobility spaces; in particular, the purchase of his company, In this way, Citrix is better able to bring new products, such as XenMobile, to market.

"We are very well capitalising on two of the biggest growth areas in enterprise computing: Back-end cloud services powered by our cloud platform, and the front-end mobile work style powered by XenMobile," he said.

Topics: Cloud, Virtualization

Tim Lohman

About Tim Lohman

Tim has written about the technology sector since the mid 2000s. He covers innovation across the business, education and government sectors.

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  • Citrix

    I've been treaty impressed and somewhat disappointed with Citrix myself. At work we use Citrix for desktop virtualization and remote access. Even though I have several physical machines (desktops, laptops) I find myself using them mostly as thin clients to connect to a single, Citrix Xen Desktop running Windows 7. That way no matter where I happen to be, I'm working on the same machine, configured the way I want. And remote access is great. Bandwidth utilization is minimal (I once worked two, full 8 hour days remotely on a metered cell connection and only gobbled up some 400 Mb of data) and the user experience is almost as good as if you were working on the physical machine.

    Sadly, I wish I could say the same for Citrix support of Windows 8, and Windows RT specifically. I've got a Surface RT tablet, and the Citrix client has proven to be much buggier than the Android client I used on my ASUS Transformer and far less full-featured than the regular Windows x86 client. There's no sound, so ability to map local drives (you can't drag documents from your Xen desktop to your RT machine) and double-clicks are consistently interpreted as four clicks in certain situations. Take a look at the reviews for the Citrix receiver in the Windows Store and you'll see what I mean. Users generally rate it very poorly. This is basically the sole reason I'm considering replacing my Surface RT with a machine that runs ordinary Windows. A very expensive proposition I wish I didn't have to contemplate.