Is there any viable alternative to Citrix MetaFrame?

Gabe and I just finished a new version of our server-based computing software roundup. After looking at the feature matrix, it seems like there are a lot of pretty good alternatives to Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server for a fraction of the cost.

Gabe and I just finished a new version of our server-based computing software roundup. After looking at the feature matrix, it seems like there are a lot of pretty good alternatives to Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server for a fraction of the cost. This leads to one question: If these other products are so good, then why isn’t anyone using them?

Sure, a lot of people are using pure Terminal Server, but I think the fact of the matter is that in today’s world, Terminal Server just doesn’t have enough out-of-the-box features for most people. I mean I’ve seen some really big pure-TS environments, but those environments are few and far between.

As for the other products, I’ve heard anecdotal stories about customers using them, but it seems to me that the current market is about 90% Citrix, 5% pure Terminal Server, and 5% everybody else combined.

This begs the question, “If these other products are so good, then why aren’t people buying them?” Of course I don’t have a solid answer, but my gut feeling is:

  1. People have already invested in Citrix.
  2. People worry about the supportability / longevity of the smaller vendors.

A Current Investment in Citrix
Let’s face it. Citrix owns the Windows server-based computing market. They’ve owned it since it was invented, and they’re going to own it for a long time.

Citrix has done a really good job of converting all their customers to subscription-based licensing. They’ve also done of good job of introducing volume and enterprise licensing programs. This helps bolster the fact that most current Citrix customers simply have too much invested into Citrix to switch to another platform.

Who will support the alternative solutions?
Apart from trying to get their names out there, the second tier vendors have to convince customers that they’ll actually be in business long enough to fulfill their product’s support requirements.

Let’s take Tarantella, for example. My personal opinion is that Tarantella’s Secure Global Desktop, Terminal Server Edition is the most feature rich of the “second tier” server-based computing software products. They offer the most important functionality that Citrix offers at only $60 (compared to $250 - $350 for Citrix). So why is no one buying Tarantella? I think people are worried about the company. Consider this:

  • Tarantella’s revenues for their past quarter were less than $3M. Unfortunately, their expenses for that same quarter were $6M. They’re spending twice as much money as they’re making.
  • Tarantella is a public company, and their stock price is currently around $1.50 per share and trading on the Pink Sheets market.
  • Tarantella recently dropped the price of their main product that competes with Citrix MetaFrame to $60 per user. While this certainly spurred some sales, it also made other companies nervous.
  • Tarantella also has some challenges with their brand in the Windows server-based computing space. They're historically known as a spin-off of SCO and as a company that makes UNIX products. They bought New Moon to extend themselves into the Windows space, but unfortunately they chose to kill the New Moon brand (which was far too early in my mind). People still don’t think of “Tarantella” as a competitor to Citrix and they forget that they bought New Moon. (On a side note, people who worked for New Moon are probably really upset that Tarantella bought them.)

So that leaves DAT and Jetro. DAT has never been serious in this space. Their product is very weak, and in fact is has not been upgraded in over a year. Jetro is an Israeli company with a very small US presence. I only know of one small Jetro distributor in the US.

All this leads to Terminal Server. TS is both taking market share from Citrix and creating new markets, however, both of these are small today. I still think that once the Bear Paw stuff comes out that will change the game, but people will still use Citrix in the enterprise space for a long long time.

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This message was originally posted by Ulrich Stamm on August 25, 2004

On Pubforum in Paris we said "Citrix Products are great, but the company isn't" ;-)

Citrix is well known, their products are really good and 90% are using them.
The've become a multi-product company, ok, but who cares? Some other products
(for example password manager) are existing on the market.....

Tarantella and others do not have many installations.

I've been on a tarantella roadshow. I really good product, but
no references in germany, and a very poor marketing machine.

We've offered some forums at our www.dcug.de ( German Citrix User Group )
but for over 6 weeks noone answered.... now ... since they have problems,
they asked for our board to deal with....

Citrix is very similar to Microsoft. On their business they are very
powerful on the market an other products are lost in the dark....

Regards,
Ulrich Stamm
Deutsche Citrix User Group
http://www.dcug.de
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This message was originally posted by dw on September 2, 2004
As in all upstart companies, Citrix went through a growing stage. Right now, there is an unprecedented focus on product quality and customer satisfaction. From the executive staff all the way down, there is a vision for everyone to take responsibility and to be accountable.
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on September 18, 2004
citris is no better than microsoft or any other monopolistic company. once they own a piece of the market, they want to own the whole world. they have outrageously highly piced licensing schemas and are behaving like just every other giant. see the "you cant rent this room/space for giving citrix trainling classes case"-incident....

https://www.brianmadden.com/content/content.asp?id=218

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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on September 22, 2004
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This message was originally posted by Propero Propero on September 23, 2004
www.propero.net Propero is product that is a great alternative to the headlong rush towards anonymity that Citrix offers. It is also backed by IBM and has a focus on using this type of software across the enterprise, rather than for remote access. How many Citrix licences are being used? How many major organisations are using Citrix for a small numbers of users? Much of that is used for remote access. We are guilty of pandering to monopolistic companies, come on be brave!!!
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This message was originally posted by Matthias on September 27, 2004
We had Tarantella's sales guy there early this year and we talked about Canaveral IQ. That product is simply out of date. No farm-publishing and you have to have IIS on every box. Talk about security...
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 7, 2004
Backed by IBM maybe, but LOST every single deal going head to head with Citrix! Whose credibility takes a hit here, Citrix, Propero or IBM? On Demand with limited SMB propriarity solution, methinks not!
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This message was originally posted by moremhz on October 8, 2004
Citrix is at the head of the class in Enterprise environments but the current iteration of TS is giving it a run for the money. The main issue is- what is the application? Both Citrix and TS are overkill for many applications they're used for. Who's at fault? Poor marketing by the alternative solution companies. WinBridge and Go-Global, for instance, do a great job of web-enabling applications for SMB customers. It all depends on what the client requires and what the salesperson is selling.
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 13, 2004
We are seriously evaluating Tarantella TSE. It's pretty good. Your servers are part of a team which serves a similar purpose as a farm. Only one server needs a web server, that's to both launch applications and to administer the system, you only need to publish the launchpad and relay ports to the web 80 and 443. There is room for much improvement which they seem to be doing in future versions. The more like there EE product it becomes at the same price as TSE the better! But a very good base product at the price. Hoblink looks great, but at the price does not beat Tarantella.
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 14, 2004

GO-Global for Windows from www.graphon.com
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This message was originally posted by Propero Propero on October 25, 2004
The anonymous visitor that commented on Propero is seriously devoid ( that means without) of any facts nor credibility. There have been many wins for Propero which have mainly been in competition with Citrix- the lumbering giant of the industry.

Get some facts.....
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This message was originally posted by Martyn F on November 5, 2004
I have to say that this product is excellent. We have been using since its first incarnation and are still very pleased. The chap above who said you need IIS on every box is talking crap - although you do need one IIS server.
We currently run 8 load-balanced servers with no issues and excellent stability.
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This message was originally posted by Paul H on November 4, 2004
I have been running the final Beta of SGD v4 for a couple of weeks now and I think they may have answered the person who said it would be great if they got some of the features from the EE product into SGD, they have and it is good, very good. I am under NDA so can't go into the feature list but I suspect Mr Madden may well be able to soon. Any comments Brian?
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This message was originally posted by MartinW on November 7, 2004
What about GENUIT's ThinWorx application (http://www.genuitcorp.com/)? We are an SME planning an application server farm and Citrix is too expensive. I read a bit about it on a TechRepublic article, and am yet to download a trial. Has anybody here used it?
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This message was originally posted by psims on December 8, 2004
We also looked at Tarantella v4. I only saw a slight improvement over 2.1, esp with the single port relay. Some of the things about EE I was referring to are its ability to connect to databases other than MS SQL, and your web server does not have to be IIS. We also worry about scalability with TSE.

As to propero -- I would love some facts but I don't see any good info on how it compares as a solution with Tarantella (or Citrix).

Looking into GENUIT, anyone have any experience with them?
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We are a reseller/hosted applications provider and did our first install of thinworx for one of our customers. Customer purchased 35 seats of Thinworx and has been thrilled with the product.
The Thinworx application was an easy sell to the customer, offering the functionality of a Citrix implementation with the pricetag only slightly higher than Windows TerminalServer. The installation was smooth and tech support, when needed, was responsive and professional. That's the winning combination, allowing us to provide secure application access without great complexity or great cost. Deployment to multiple remote clients was equally simple.

-Kim Heraux
Data Systems Worldwide
Tel: 818.883.9800
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But it doesn't support seamless windows?
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Perhaps the posts here are out of date. But just to let everyone know, I had a call from the Sun Sales Rep. "If you are going to purchase citrix, evaluate Tarantella first," followed by "its better & cheaper," and Sun will integrate / support them. If you are running on a Solaris Sparc or X86 it makes a compelling push, because Sun will support you.
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I trust a sales rep about as far as I can throw them.

Jeff
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Don't blame you, sales people will always tell you THEIR story as if all was true. I urge people to always make their own informed decision.
In response to the THINWORX question, I was in contact with them (we are a small company that performs POS systems) and this product is quite in tune with citrix and tarantella at a fraction of the cost. I agree with Kim, when required, support has been excellent and even the development team was responsive to some of our requests. I would urge you to try out the thinworx software.
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You should have a look at these folks and their product "Konect 5.0". http:
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Have a look at this product - Konect - www.desktopsites.com
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ORIGINAL: Guest

Have a look at this product - Konect - www.desktopsites.com


WOW. Not only did they rip off the "4 pillars" marketing concept from Citrix but they even stole "Subscription Advantage" NICE!

Shawn
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The most simple, fast and affordable SBC software is GO GLOBAL.
It does the same of CITRIX, TS, TARANTELA, and you don't have to pay for TS licenses on the clients.
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Mr Anonymous Visitor,

In my 7 years of integrating Citrix projects 99% of these companies have had a return on their investment within 12 months. Your comments are very similar to people I have experienced in 2 continents who have :

a) installed it badly
b) not used all of the features or installed the wrong version
c) never got past the initial phase of thinking of a Citrix implementation as a capital expenditure

I think you should give Citrix credit where it is due, they created this market space and without them this techology would not exist. After all Gartner and Wall St are both telling Citrix that they have grossly underpriced their license prices but they refuse to increase them. If you still need convincng check out Citrix Access Essentials or Presentation Server 4.0.

Brendon - Australia
bthwaites@regal-it.com.au
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You guys need to check out Provision Networks www.provisionnetworks.com

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No TS licensing??  Sweet!!!  How can that be??  I like Citrix (concurrent licensing is fair).  Per device or per user licensing for TS is a bunch of BS.  We have 500 concurrent Citrix Licenses.  Only use like 200-250 during the day.  But we have to have 5,000 TS licenses because we have that many employees and they "May or May Not" need to access an app in Citrix.  What a waste of money.  Anything that can help me around this, I am all for it.
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Yeah, just like Novell and Linux can do the same as MSFT.  If Graphon were so great everyone would be using them, or their marketing (probably you) isn't so effective.
 
I have run the demo on Graphon's website, but just because you can run a Windows Application remotely doesn't mean you can do everything Citrix, Tarantella, HOB, Provision Networks.... can do.  Show me a side-by side feature comparison.
ORIGINAL: Guest

The most simple, fast and affordable SBC software is GO GLOBAL.
It does the same of CITRIX, TS, TARANTELA, and you don't have to pay for TS licenses on the clients.

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I made a little test situation with Graphon but wasn't so impressed. I am confinced that citrix is more powerfull and that Graphon needs more developing.
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The biggest drawback of goglobal is the lack of user enviroment protection like TS. Otherwise it's a cheap solution wich you could even host on Windows XP.
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Some of the flags M$ and Citrix show with their respective products are that the TCO goes down, but that's not a defacto truth. You always have to buy double licensing and that's a waste, because, if you are using Citrix only you don't need TS.

Your license cost a lot, you pay almost a half the price of a computer and still you have to pay for WinXP, Office, etc. If you have to replace a damage piece of the computer where are the savings?

You only pay for distribute app remotely and a comfortability, but maybe if you develop the app in a web based language from zero with php or java your savings are a lot more.

It is absurd that you pay more for license of TS and Citrix than what you paid for your VB app. Instead buy more memory, HD and CPU, and your PC increase its value as an asset.  And you will not have any compatibility problems with printers as usually happens with TS and CTX.

Excuse my English

Thanxs

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Have you used terminal server w/ or w/o Citrix?
 
1.  The reason for needing to purchase TSCALs in addition to Citrix Licenses is that Citrix Presentation Server extends the core functionality of Terminal Server, i.e. Termina l Server must exist to use Citrix PS, kind of like you can't just purchase the fancy tires and exhaust package, you still need to purchase the car.
 
2.  The biggest savings are in reduced administration and bandwidth.  I have clients I've never seen, I delivered them a Citrix WI URL, and they logon to use whatever applications I was tasked to deliver to them.  I don't have to worry about sending application updates to hundreds or thousands of clients, I just update the terminal servers and the client is untouched.  As long as the client does NOT have a highly latent network connection, they can use whatever applcations they need, whether they have broadband, dialup... To connect 30 remote users of a few Client Server applications using site-to-site VPN alone, I'd need bandwidth > T1, and someone at the remote site to manage the applications.  With a server based solution, I can deliver a spare thin-client that can be installed in 5 minutes by an administrative assistant w/ zero IT skills, in the event of a failure.  NO software needs to be installed, just plug it in and turn it on....
 
3.  Instead of needing 1 IT desktop support person per 100-250 desktops, I can now have one IT Engineer per 100-250 Servers, supporting 5000 to 15000 users, with a severely reduced number of desktop support personnel, as they're more often completely managed by the helpdesk.
 
 
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you're extremely stupid & think that u r right about it.I'm using TS & achieve tremendous reduction in administration cost.right now im using TS2003 with ubuntu linux as my client(RDP client)& save much of my time managing 10 TS for user to access their winapp
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To reduce TCO by implementing terminal servers does not work in general. I'd think it's part bogus and often related on lacking control of the workstations.
For example: I've never seen an organisation firing people after a full implementation of TS/Citrix, employment costs stay the same. Ferther more, I've never seen a full ts enviroment. You need a few pc's for special apps for banking and for HR, and even laptop's for sales and management.

When you harden your desktops and get software to deploy software packages you will get a very low TCO too. But it takes effort to implement such enviroments

Why TS then? it's got a few advantages over server/client enviroments
In general implemting TS means that you have an enviroment that can be expanded very easily. If you're organisation buys another firm integrating infrastructures is a breeze
Easyer to work with on lower bandwith. Especially small remote sites and home workers can profit. Patrick has a good point on that.
I
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Thanks for suggesting this product Konect. I must say I would recommend this product. Simple to install and easy to maintain on the server side. Excellent and simple end user experience because it doesn’t change how we work. The price point is reasonable for this type of solution. They even managed to get rid of the second desktop. GREAT THANKS!!!!!!!!
 
ORIGINAL: Guest

You should have a look at these folks and their product "Konect 5.0". http://www.desktopsites.com
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Check out this up and coming company.  They have come up with a great alternative to Citrix, and much cheaper also!  You can go with concurrent licenses for as low as $100 per connection.  That's 1/5th the cost of Citrix!
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The one cost that we have incurred with Citrix is the cost of downtime.  When Citrix has issues, they are often magnified and when an app on Citrix is down, all clients are not able to access this application.  Worse is when Citrix itself has issues, then we have 100's of users unable to work.  Makes for unhappy users.
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Please visit www.ericom.com

Webconnect Remote View is an alternative to Citrix.

Regards

shibu.george@ericom.com 

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http://www.nsuite.com/

 nSuite’s PrivacyShell™ is a more cost effective alternative to Citrix 

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If you are looking for a new solution with the feature-set of Citrix Metaframe but at the cost of Essentials, check out www.desktopsites.com

Our flagship product is Konect, which has been designed on .NET framework and is rapidly gaining marketshare in the North American SMB space. The sole purpose of Konect is to simplify remote access and application/file/folder publishing from the administration standpoint so the IT provider can focus on other more lucrative areas of their business, and the customer themselves can focus on getting what they need when they need it to accomplish their own business objectives.

 The aformentioned website has contact information available as well as a demo video and a trial install download, which is the full version good for 30 days.

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Has anyone out there heard about WideCircles.com. It seems like a way better service then wasting money on PPC. Apparently they are using refering websites ( forums, blogs, wiki, etc. ) and have a viral word of mouth distributed approach to it. My friend told me he got around 100 visits from single post which cost him $0.40c. I am going to give them a try today . In case you are intrested here is it. http://widecircles.com?s=imt1
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I have been working with Citrix products on and off for the last 10 years.  I have seen much change with the products and the company.  The company is not very customer friendly and quite awkward when it comes to customer service.  Until a recent unpleaseant customer service experience I was working towards expanding our Citrix environment.  Now I am spending that effort looking for an alternative to Citrix.

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That product is simply out of date
That product is simply out of date
That product is simply out of date
That product is simply out of date
That product is simply out of date

That product is simply out of date. The sole purpose of Konect is to simplify remote access

 

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chandani

 

 

Did anyone out there give a try to Wide Circles or WideCircles. They are new word of mouth advertising platform, apparently they can push massive amount of messages through social network mediums like forums,blogs,wiki's and so on. They say that they only bill for posts active for minimum of 5 days and price seems pretty affordable. I am going to give Wide Circles aka WideCircles a try since I am tired of PPC fraud. http://widecircles.com

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We have had the same problem.  Citrix is not all its cracked up to be, what alternatives are you investigating?
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I made a little test situation with Graphon but wasn't so impressed. I am confinced that citrix is more powerfull and that Graphon needs more developing. it'sreally very interesting i like to here with you in this topic.....

======================================= 

William Patrick

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Put The Message Where It Matters! WideCircles aka Wide Circles represents relevant, distributed, highly targeted and efficient internet word of mouth marketing using entertaining or informative messages that are designed to be passed along in an exponential fashion using social network mediums such as blogs, forums, wikis and so on. http://widecircles.com
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