Citrix Licenses Performance Technology from RTO and Aurema!

Another rumor first reported on BrianMadden.com is turning out to be true.

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.

RTO TScale

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 ARMTech

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.

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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 5, 2004
If we had to wait for Citrix to develop this, it would be another ten years and only half as good. this was long overdue. Now the question is: when will it be included in their product...
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This message was originally posted by JK on October 5, 2004
Another question is how configurable will this be?
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This message was originally posted by jernstrom.org on October 4, 2004
I'm glad that the niche ISV are eaten up by Citrix. At least Citrix is doing something right now, and not buying some crazy ass portal technology that noone wants. This will add value into their core product MetaFrame.
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This message was originally posted by CP on October 5, 2004
Does citrix not develop products anymore? It seesms that their product development is leaning more towards, "hey- this stuff makes our stuff work better, so we'll buy it. And then of course we'll rename it." This goes back all the way to Resource Manager, which they licensed from lakesidesoftware. Why not take a listen to their customers once in a while and actually proactively work to better the shortcomings in their product? It seems to me that since citrix would be the only folks with the source code, that they would be better able to address the things that all these third parties have built their companies on.
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 5, 2004
Doesn't matter to me if Citrix developes the technology or purchasing the company that created it. As long as they continue to make the necassary updates MPS we need as Citrix Admins to perform our job more efficently.
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 6, 2004
Surely with the backing of Citrix why would anyone want to buy AppSense? Surely the best technolgy won!!
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This message was originally posted by xs4citrix on October 5, 2004
When browsing through the helpfiles on MPS 4.0 (codename colerado) in the techlab at iforum the word "technical Preview" appeared, so i think we can expect to download one sone.
As for me, i am impressed with all the new stuff in there, and can't wait to play with it.
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 6, 2004
Yaaaawwwwwnnn
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This message was originally posted by Tom Howarth on October 7, 2004
there is one major reason as to why Citrix licensed TScale and Aurema and that is Price. AppSense would have been a much more expensive option. as to best technology, it is horses for courses. Appsense does some things better TScale does others, also, AppSense is a one stop shop,
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This message was originally posted by John Byrne on October 8, 2004
I doubt if we will see this in the initial release of MPS 4. Also, it is being billed as a minimal solution, requring an "upgrade" to get the real benefits.

Simplify Resources does more already today and certainly costs less to implement.

JB
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This message was originally posted by CMan on October 8, 2004
Mr Tricerat, you may have superior products, but its a shame you dont have consultants who understand how they work. Maybe less cynicism, and more inhouse training!!
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This message was originally posted by another iForum Attendee on October 7, 2004
Citrix explained that the Aurema stuff dynamically prioritizes various users so it can do everything thread clamping can do, but without the clamping so the system runs a 100% all the time wihthout wasting any CPU.

I saw a demo by Aurema the show and this is certainly what their product did. Their product also apparently manages memory by user and it does both physical and virtual memory.

Brian, do you know how of the Aurema product will be availlable from Citrix and when?
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This message was originally posted by iForum Attendee on October 7, 2004
Well done Brian, you have not let us down, as ever you are consistently inaccurate.
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This message was originally posted by Stephen Voisey, Communications Manager, AppSense on October 7, 2004
Hi Brian, fellow readers, now its general knowledge and reading some of the comments on here, I think it is only fair we put forward some facts.

Firstly, the existing AppSense Performance Suite and the just announced AppSense Management Suite (www.appsense.com) is not one product, its four and is a broad solution which addresses many issues which directly or indirectly affect performance. The performance features announced by Citrix make up about 20% of our solution.

For example, if an executable virus or hacker enters your enterprise, the last thing you’re going to be worried about is CPU load. This is exactly what we mean by Optimal System Management; the ability to keep system running at their peak load, because they are automatically secured, optimized and simpler to manage.

While addressing CPU and Memory is important, the Citrix offering is still missing our patented Thread Throttling technology, which will stop a single user from consuming 100% of the processor when they are running an intensive or crashed application. We also have the unique ability to limit the amount of memory a user is allowed to take. All of which is fully configurable, allowing system performance to be tuned to your exact build specification.

And while the Citrix platform is important to us, many customers pick our solution for different platforms and for many different needs, such as optimizing and securing their virtual machines, web servers, e-mail servers and middleware platforms.

All the best,

Stephen Voisey
Communications Manager
AppSense
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This message was originally posted by Ted on October 7, 2004
Aurema and RTO may have the better tech, but Appsense had the best Booth Babes!
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 8, 2004
John, why are you surfing these pages trolling for clients. I am losing respect for you company by the minute.
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This message was originally posted by Cypry on October 10, 2004
Quote: "Citrix explained that the Aurema stuff dynamically prioritizes various users so it can do everything thread clamping can do, but without the clamping so the system runs a 100% all the time wihthout wasting any CPU. I saw a demo by Aurema the show and this is certainly what their product did."

You need to be a bit careful here - from my understanding Citrix have licensed "limited" functionality from Aurema, so any demonstration that you've seen by Aurema is not necessarily going to be representative of the version of the product in MPS4.0. From what I've seen none of the Citrix functionality is going to give much in the way of configuration options. The CPU management is a simple on/off checkbox, so you'll have no way of giving priority to CPU for a specific user or application, or, excluding an application from being clamped completely (potentially problematic I might suggest). Similarly the RTO functionality lacks configuration options, although it does appear to allow applications to be excluded.
I think this lack of configurability is going to be a bit of an issue for the Citrix functionality in situations where administrators are looking to fine tune their environments and from that angle, I really don't think Appsense have too much to be concerned about in the short term. People who are really serious about addressing their performance issues are going to look to a product that they have some form of control over, rather than a "one size fits all" type solution such as the MPS4.0 functionality.
Aside from that MPS4.0 is still potentially 8 or 9 months away, so if you have performance issues today, can you really afford to wait that long to find out whether the new technology might help? Of course this also gives Appsense a fairly substantial time to add to their own functionality, and to solidify their value add over just pure Citrix.
I guess it's a little bit like the "why would you buy Citrix when you can just use Terminal Server" argument at the end of the day, and I think most people can relate to that............
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 8, 2004
It's all getting very bitchy on here. Why don't we just all have a group hug?
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 11, 2004
Is Aurema or RTO offering an upgrade path to the "sub-set" that will be included in the future release from Citrix? Personally, I would use the Appsense product based on what I have heard about the lack of functionality with T-Scale & Aurema.
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This message was originally posted by Brian Madden on October 14, 2004
So we won't have to pay more for this specific functionality per se, although who knows how much more these prices will end up being.
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This message was originally posted by Yet another iForum Attendee on October 13, 2004
How much more will we have to pay for the Aurema and tScale stuff in Metaframe do you think? More or less than it costs standalone now?
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 13, 2004
I've heard it's only going to be in XPe - so additional cost required- typical
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This message was originally posted by Yet another iForum Attendee on October 12, 2004
I guess that depends on what kind of functionality one is looking for. As I understand it, Aurema offers functionality to solve CPU contention issues very well, as well as memory stuff, but nothing else. In my book, that's quite enough to solve the problems in my organization. I don't need the other stuff that Appsense brings to the table, so why should I choose Appsense if Citrix believes Aurema is best of breed?

BTW Stephen Voisey, if you check carefully you will note that limiting available memory to a user is not limited to Appsense. Aurema can apparently do this just fine.

As I also understand from conversation with Aurema, Citrix has licensed most of what we could see of their technology. Having said that, what parts will be in future releases from Citrix, and if they will need to be paid for, is an open question.
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 18, 2004
I understand the argument that Aurema will not "waste" CPU cycles per se (ala the thread above) and allow 100% utilization but if an app spikes the CPU -bringing it to 100%, no matter what the allocation of resources to others is - then no more users can get on the box, thereby freezing and limiting (to zero) the total number of new users on the existing hardware - how can you therefore add capacity and optimize the performance of the existing infrastructure in general if nothing is being done to harness the problematic app in terms of overall CPU usage? Add new hardware? Isn't that part of the ROI justification we put together when considering licensing the software? I like the fact that Appsense throttles threads and allows more users to access the box via the freed CPU cycles available
Thanks
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This message was originally posted by Bernd Harzog - RTO CTO on October 22, 2004
Folks,

Several people have asked several different questions, and I will try to address them all.

1) Migration. The really cool thing for people using our memory optimization technology (current and future) is that since this is being lifted directly from TScale, there is no migration. If you use TScale today to optimize your applications, you keep those optimizations in place once you migrate to that future version of MetaFrame. The only thing that changes is that management of those optimizations can be done within the CMC. This is ONLY true for memory optimizations done by TScale not any other product!

Does TScale still exist? Yes, you can still buy TScale, and you now know that what you are buying is the endorsed, strategic technology

What is Citrix going to charge for this? My understanding is that it will be included in MPS. Now, I have no idea what pricing for that version will be when it comes out.

Once that version of MPS ships with the Aurema stuff in it, can I still use the CPU management featueres in TScale? Yes, you can. If what you have is a couple of rogue processes, and do not want to "rebalance" CPU utilization in the broad sense, the CPU management features in TScale will continue to be more appropriate than the Aurema features.

There is a bunch of more information on our web site at www.rtosoft.com

Cheers,

Bernd


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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 26, 2004
To quote a post above
BEGINQUOTE "I understand the argument that Aurema will not "waste" CPU cycles per se (ala the thread above) and allow 100% utilization but if an app spikes the CPU -bringing it to 100%, no matter what the allocation of resources to others is - then no more users can get on the box, thereby freezing and limiting (to zero) the total number of new users on the existing hardware -"ENDQUOTE

This is completely wrong. Aurema will not block new users once the box gets to 100%. the product will simply reprioritize processes to ensure that they all get a fair share. In essence, rogue processes that spike the CPU (unnecessarily) will get a bit less resources while other processes, which previously were being hammered, will get what they need to work.
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This message was originally posted by Paul H on November 4, 2004
All the theories above are great reading but I just want to say that I have Tscale on my Tarantella SGD servers and it works well. It does exactly what RTO claim it does and I am just going on a 20 day vacation without a care in world because my servers are working just fine. 8-)
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This message was originally posted by RB on December 10, 2004
When evaluating these companies for a very large project AppSense completely blew RTO and Aurema away...was not even close!
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