Another rumor first reported on BrianMadden.com is turning out to be true.
In the first major announcement of Citrix iForum Global 2004, Citrix and RTO Software announced that Citrix has licensed RTO’s Virtual Memory Management optimization technology. This technology is the core component of RTO’s TScale product, and it will be built-in to some future version of Citrix MetaFrame.
Also, Citrix and Aurema announced that Citrix has licensed Aurema’s processor workload management technology. This technology makes up the core of Aurema’s ARMTech for Citrix MetaFrame and will be incorporated into some future version of Citrix MetaFrame.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with RTO TScale, it’s a software product that costs somewhere north of USD $1000 per server that optimizes the way Terminal Server or Citrix applications use virtual memory. In many cases, the effect of using TScale can increase the number of users you can get on a server by 20-40%.
In addition to the memory optimization, RTO TScale provides process shaping and registry compression. However, this current licensing agreement is only for memory optimization technology. (Citrix doesn’t need the process shaping from RTO since they’re licensing similar technology from Aurema.)
Aurema has been around for a long time. They’re actually the folks who are responsible for Microsoft’s System Resource Manager product that’s included with Windows Server 2003. (Although they’re quick to point out that that product is watered down and based on old technology, so it’s not really indicative of what they can do.)
Aurema’s technology is a bit different than some of the other CPU performance management products (like those from RTO, triCerat, or AppSense). Instead of merely clamping down on or lowering the priority of processes that consume too much processor time, Aurema’s technology allows applications to access the full CPU and only steps in when CPU resources are in short supply. This has the effect of making CPU utilization INCREASE when you install their technology, but this increased usage allows you to get more users on a server.
What does this announcement mean for these three companies?
For RTO and Aurema, this really legitimizes their technology as a best of breed and will help to convince their customers that they made the right decision. RTO and Aurema will both work with Citrix to develop the new code, so existing customers should have a very smooth transition.
In addition to RTO, Aurema, and Citrix, this announcement will also affect some of the smaller third-party software vendors that make add-on products for the Terminal Server and Citrix space. Most notably is AppSense. AppSense’s Performance Suite contains products that compete with both Aurema and RTO, and Citrix’s decision to license technology from companies other than AppSense is definitely a blow to them.
Of course Citrix claims that they went for best of bread technology. However, it’s important to note that Aurema and RTO have key patents (here) in their respective technologies, and that’s certainly something that Citrix considered when deciding which technologies to pursue.
For Citrix, this will allow them to continue to add features and value to their MetaFrame Presentation Server product above and beyond what other third-party vendors offer or what Microsoft might release. Ron Oglesby and I suggested that Citrix should make a move like this way back in April. We thought is was a good idea then, and we think it's a great idea now.