I'm posting from Citrix's analyst event today. Mark Templeton, CEO of Citrix, presented a very interesting vision of where the market is going and a bit about what his company is planning to do to address the market's changing requirements. He spoke at much greater depth than I'm allowed to present here. Too bad. I was impressed with much of what I heard here today. I guess you're going to be forced to wait until they announce things to learn more.
First, the good Mr. Templeton reviewed the history of computing starting with mainframe computing and then rolled forward directly to distributed computing using PCs, client/server computing architectures connected to industry standard systems and then went on to focus analyst's attention on where Citrix came into the story.
While I enjoyed his review of the history of computing, he left out an era completely in which I played a part while at DEC. He left out the impact of minicomputers on distributed computing and how that market transformed into the midrange systems of today. He also didn't touch on the fact that most organizational datacenters could be seen as computer museums that include some representation from the following eras: the mainframe, the minicomputer/midrange systems, the industry standard system and now, the world of increasingly virtualized servers and clients.
That being said, his vision is a good one. He focused on how organizations are facing stresses in the area of globalized markets, capital shortages, the energy crisis, an IT spending recession and a changing approaches to staffing. He then went on to point out that organizations would do much better if they transformed from thinking about their IT infrastructure and the whole concept of a "datacenter." He suggests taking a few pages from other areas of technology that are highly scalable, highly reliable and offer high levels of performance - satellite media delivery. His suggestion is that organizations focus on delivery of applications to the end user and application management.
The "best practices" that he suggested can be summed up in four words: centralize, separate, simplify and optimize. This means the organization would do much better if it considered ways to centralize such things as data storage, application processing and management. He would suggest than it would then be possible to separate the experience the user has from the underlying technology that supports that experience. Then, he would suggest, it is possible to simplify the structure that is providing that user experience. This would, of course, reduce an organization's overall cost of doing business, not just its cost of information technology. Optimizing the environment would also be easier with a simplified environment.
It's not at all surprising that Mr. Templeton then went on to show that Citrix's current product portfolio was an ideal set of tools to support the implementation of this vision.
Do you agree with his vision? Has your organization developed a similar set of thoughts?