I just saw that a company called NetSilica is offering an appliance that is sort of like “Presentation Server in a Box.” It adds application publishing, seamless windows, and SSL-VPN access into your environment. What’s interesting to me about this is that the applications still run on your back-end terminal servers. NetSilica is just adding the access to the applications.
The idea of “Citrix as an appliance” is not a new concept. Mark Templeton mentioned that Citrix was exploring appliances at iForum in October 2004, and since then they’ve released the Access Gateway, a CSG/WI-like appliance. Also, Propalms (the owner of the old New Moon / Tarantella stuff) is exploring an entry-level server “appliance” that combines Terminal Server, Propalms, and all the TS CALs and Microsoft licenses you need to start using server-based computing. But this NetSilica thing is the first time I’ve seen a true Presentation Server-like appliance that adds capabilities to existing terminal servers.
At $15,000 for 100 concurrent users, this NetSilica appliance isn’t dirt cheap, although it’s cheaper than Presentation Server and of course it includes the SSL VPN hardware. The prices drop as you buy more user packs, and one appliance can physically support 5000 concurrent sessions.
I wonder if Citrix would release a Presentation Server appliance? It could be a snap-in software module for their existing appliances, just like the direction they’re moving with the SSL-VPN or Web Interface.