Citrix acquires AppDNA - Here's my initial take

Citrix has announced the acquisition of AppDNA, in what has been one of the worst kept secrets of synergy this week. The acquisition itself is interesting, because AppDNA's AppTitude technology was considered to have a limited lifespan.


Citrix has announced the acquisition of AppDNA, in what has been one of the worst kept secrets of synergy this week. The acquisition itself is interesting, because AppDNA's AppTitude technology was considered to have a limited lifespan. Since their core product is related to migrations from XP to 7, it stands to reason that AppDNA as it is today would have little to no purpose after 2014 in a post-XP world (assuming they didn't change their product offering). 

So why would Citrix want to buy a company for two years? There is still a large amount of companies out there deploying Windows 7. There are even some organizations (foolishly) waiting for Windows 8. Leading up to the announcement in the keynote, Citrix CEO Mark Templeton talked about helping with transitions and reducing the pain of change and adaptation. AppDNA's solution, combined with the recently announced virtual desktop assessment tool released in a partnership with Lakeside Software, now gives customers a definitive path to move away from XP. They now allow you to plan all aspects of your XP to Windows 7 migration in a predictable, reliable way. It establishes a trend started by Quest Software with their partnership with LWL and recent acquisition of ChangeBase.

So what about VMware?

It looks like VMware is now left in the dark when it comes to this trend, although they could choose to jump on this train with a similar product like Flexera. Odds are, though, that VMware would rather focus on moving users from XP to something more SaaS oriented. When both Citrix and Quest are betting on Windows past 2014, though, it would be foolish of VMware to ignore the idea. It's not like Citrix and Quest made these acquisitions without talking to customers and assessing their willingness to move away from Windows entirely.

Stay tuned for more and for an video with AppDNA that I'll shoot later in the day.


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I think it will be interesting to see how this pans out. I would dare to say that Quest is very well known as a 'migration company' where Citrix is completely new to this arena and I think Citrix will find out it is a different ballgame.

For the record, Quest did not 'partner' with LWL, We acquired the source code so it is 100% Quest property - hence why we (can) provide VDI Assessment for free.

FD: I work for Quest.


Here's where I see that these products can help beyond migration:

- Image changes - if you are making changes to your SOE/base image, e.g. runtimes change, what's the impact on your applications

- Internal applications - test those applications as they're updated to ensure they behave well and are compatible with your SOE/image

- Virtualizing applications - turn those apps into virtual application packages automatically


It is interesting for Citrix to (maybe) finally get serious about making apps work.  They used to have a huge problem getting apps to work in the TS, and tried to help the problem a little, but then stopped and declared the problem solved for PR reasons (even if it wasn't).

Migration will continue to be an issue, even with the "metro style" apps in the future.  Good move on Citrix's part.  I would just love for the information App DNA has acquired to become publicly available for all.  Probably doesn't happen, but Citrix hasn't yet said what they will do with the company.


I agree with you Gabe, but I think AppDna showed "something" more to Citrix about the product evolution / dev.

This is a very interesting move from Citrix and I wonder how Apptitude will be deliver among Citrix products, another 'free' feature for platinum edition ?

What will happen for existing customer who just purchased AppDna licenses ?


I agree with @Aaron Parker that there is more to App-DNA than a Windows 7 migration play. It's all about continuous improvement and evolution of application delivery. It just so happens that Windows 7 forces a major effort to put all apps (and the preferred methods of deploying them) under the microscope.

In framing the AppSense / App-DNA partnership, we actually spoke with a number of joint customers. We were surprised to find in 100% of cases, they were introduced to App-DNA in the context of Windows 7 migration, but once they gained experience with it, they baked it into their ongoing application deployment lifecycle. Whenever the business requests a new app, step one is running it through App-DNA to determine the best way to deploy (e.g., XenApp vs. App-V vs. MSI).

Today, Windows 7 is the catalyst, but there will always pressure to evolve desktop and application delivery. Windows 8 brings news questions. For example, is a given app touch-capable / "Metro-ready?" or is deployment limited to certain devices. And as cloud-based applications become more real, it becomes yet another potential delivery option that IT teams will needs to assess. As the proverb says, change is the only constant.


FYI - I have learned that Citrix for the time being intends to more or less leave AppDNA and AppTitude alone. There are no public plans to bundle it in with anything or to repackage it as something else.

Also of interest here is that the Lakeside solution will actually take the inventory it creates of applications and feed that into AppTitude, so there's even the relationship between the two products. It's a shame the Lakeside thing and the relationship didn't get mentioned in the keynote, but that was a BUSY keynote.


Citrix's interest here is purely around desktop virtualization. The approach at Quest is much broader - we are looking at assessment in the context of physical and virtual deployment modes. Virtualization is not a panacea for all desktops and Quest has a range of solutions that cover physical as well virtual Windows desktops. Our emerging strategy will show we have a much broader approach covering every type of desktop and device and deployment.

FD: I run PM at Quest


I'm not impressed. I have worked with the appdna stuff and it needs tremendous effort to make it work in a normal large enterprise security environment. At the end you are finished with the migration when appdna environment works. :-)


Can someone count how many layers of BS we now have in the desktop virtualiation stack? Things are NOT getting simpler, more manageable, etc.  We're back to Square One.  Keep us customers thinking we need all this garbage,


Maybe the big players are finally get serious about making apps work.  Citrix used to be a PITA in the TS and Apps died. Now this looks like a play to test them better before deployment. It would be interesting to see the products mashed with Dashworks from Juriba to plan the deployment better.

AppTitude does have legs beyond Windows migration as there is certainly a lot more of that to come. The key though is in visualization if and when that actually becomes the norm.

But as a tool, AppTitude only helps with migrations, hence the challenge for Citrix is how to obtain value post migration and make the product 'sticky'.

Shame they didnt acquire it earlier though when they clearly could have for much less money and personally, I think Changebase offers a better solution


AppTitude is not just for P2V migrations.  Any streaming (sequencing) or packaging of apps for distribution (via SCCM) or even manual installation can benefit from characterizing the apps beforehand.