2006 year in review

The past several years I've always put together a bullet list of the big events of the year. (Here's a look at 2005, 2004, and 2003).

The past several years I've always put together a bullet list of the big events of the year. (Here's a look at 2005, 2004, and 2003). This year I've decided to organize this year-end review by topic instead of by month.

In my mind, 2006 will be remembered for two things in the application delivery industry:

  • Citrix opens up.
  • We (as an industry), shifted from pure "server-based computing" focus to a more accurate "application delivery" focus.

Let's start with Citrix opening up. For years, the popular opinion about Citrix is that they had a great product, but that they didn't really know how to interact with the community. 2006 changed that. In July, Citrix formerly launched their CTP program, a Microsoft MVP-like program that gives experts in the community unprecedented access to Citrix employees, strategies, and tech support programs. There were three CTP meetings in 2006, and Citrix is definitely listening to this small, but vocal, group.

The other big change from Citrix is that they started blogging and they launched the site CitrixCommunity.com. It's been great to have a centralized place for Citrix employees to share their thoughts and ideas, and it's great that Citrix is now giving their folks the freedom to talk about the future.

The other major event of 2006 was that the entire industry is starting to "get" the importance of "application delivery" versus pure "server-based computing." SBC has always been just one way to delivery applications to users, and with the popularity of terminal server and Presentation Server, people in this industry got too focused on the SBC technologies. In the meantime technologies such as application streaming and virtual desktop infrastructures have emerged as alternative methods for providing access to applications.

The good news is that rather than "SBC vs. Streaming vs. VDI," everyone (including Citrix) is realizing that no one technology is good for all scenarios, so we (as an industry) need to focus on application delivery in general, and that will then include discreet technologies like SBC, streaming, and VDI.


2006 was also the busiest year to date for acquisitions in our industry.

In May, Microsoft announced two back-to-back acquisitions with SSL-VPN vendor Whale Communications followed the next day by Softricity.

Citrix bought application performance management vendor Reflectent in May, WAN optimization application vendor Orbital Data in August, and disk-block and OS streaming vendor Ardence in December.

2006 was a big year for us, too

A lot happened at The Brian Madden Company in 2006. We held our second BriForum in the US in April, and we held our first European BriForum in Germany in October. And then of course there was Rick and my "Drive 2006" tour where we drove an RV upand down the west coast, meeting with partners and community members and ultimately delivering a message to Microsoft and Citrix.

Some of our raw statistics for 2006

  • We did 16 podcasts and published 94 original articles. We published zero articles that were just links.
  • We had 34,536 new posts to our forum.
  • We had 1.3 million unique human visitors who visited the site 2.3 million times. We served almost 6 million pages to humans. (These numbers are according to Google analytics, so we know they're real and not from some little log file analysis tool that counts every "hit" as a visit. )
  • Our two web servers pumped out over 10.3 terabytes of data to web visitors. (This number was achieved by totaling the byte counts in the IIS log files over the year.) By the way, we're averaging about 35GB of traffic per weekday, and our log files alone are between 400 and 500MB PER DAY!

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Indeed a memorable year. I would add a few items to the list:
Microsoft "Longhorn" Terminal Services - not released yet but already making an impact. Microsoft went public with the Longhorn feature list, and provided a beta for us to play with.
Microsoft released Vista with RDP 6 and RDP 6 for XP and Windows 2003.
Microsoft Terminal Services group started blogging.
This year was also memorable for Ericom:
We released PowerTerm WebConnect version 5.5 which represented a huge step forward in terms of features and functionality.
We introduced the first ever SBC Appliance.
We announced partnerships with RTO, triCerat, AEP Networks and Passlogix. We also achieved RSA Secured Certification, became a Juniper J-Partner Preferred Tier Security Partner and and CheckPoint OPSEC Partner.
PowerTerm WebConnect client is bundled into Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.
Ericom sponsored two BriForums, and I got to present in one.
We have been working very hard on the next version of PowerTerm WebConnect, also a big step forward, and will be releasing it very soon.
In my opinion 2007 may be even more memorable:
Microsoft may release "Longhorn" Terminal Services, arguably the biggest step forward for Terminal Services since NT4.
VDI may become mainstream.
Citrix will release a CPS update more than 2 years after CPS 4.0
And on a personal note: I will be presenting in BriForum 2007.
A new thing also from 2006 : the free CPS Developer edition license.
I guess the community was waiting for a long time to get such a license, and it was created in 2006...
Thats really great Dan but has Ericom actually sold anything???
Yes 2006 has been a good year in terms of sales as well. Certainly not at the Citrix level yet but we're working on it