What is Citrix's Malibu Strategy?

You probably know by now that Citrix uses the names of famous beaches as the codenames for its new portal products. The “Malibu” product is Citrix’s next major portal implementation.

You probably know by now that Citrix uses the names of famous beaches as the codenames for its new portal products. The “Malibu” product is Citrix’s next major portal implementation. After talking to a lot of people (both inside and outside Citrix), it’s starting to become clear to me that “Malibu” is a lot more than a simple update to MetaFrame Secure Access Manager (MSAM).

Based on what I’m hearing I think there are two main points about Malibu worth discussing:

  1. Malibu will be more than just a web portal and will instead tie into Citrix’s access strategy by managing access, authentication, and authorization to existing backend systems.
  2. Malibu will be made up of software and hardware.

In terms of focus, I think Citrix is not going trying to pitch MSAM as competition for other enterprise information portals (EIPs). Instead, Citrix seems to realize that most companies already have EIPs, and those that don’t certainly aren’t going to buy one from Citrix.

So where does that leave Citrix’s portal strategy? It seems that Citrix will leverage their access message and build a Malibu product that acts as the access, authentication, and authorization engine for existing corporate portals. Malibu will still be a “portal” in the sense that it will allow this access from any device over any connection, but the actual data being accessed will come from other backend applications.

Citrix’s portal group can take a play from the Presentation Server group for this. Just like Presentation Server is about “access” to Windows applications (as opposed to the applications themselves), Malibu will be about “access” to web-based and portal-based applications. Customers will be able to use SharePoint or BEA or Websphere or whatever they want, and the Malibu “access” wrapper will add authentication, secure access, and user identity management into the myriad of existing systems.

To do this though, Citrix will have to make their Malibu portal have better integration to other web applications than what is available currently with the little HTML “windows” into other applications.

There are a few ways that Citrix can do this. First of all, they should be able to leverage their Password Manager product in a cool way so that a user’s Malibu homepage pulls data directly from many different systems, different sites, and different vendors.

Then they can make use of the “Smart Access” technology they demoed at iForum last year. (Smart Access is Citrix’s marketing term for their version of endpoint analytics that I first discussed several months ago. Citrix also got some endpoint analysis software from Net6, so I would imagine that they’ll merge these two technologies together.

In general I think the portal will continue to grow within Citrix. It’s probably safe to assume that the “free” portal and access products like Web Interface and Secure Gateway will probably not receive too much future enhancement, creating more “value” for the new features that could be added to the Citrix Access Gateway and MSAM.

It’s kind of funny, but now that it appears that MSAM will be more than a portal, the MSAM is actually starting to live up to its name of “Secure Access Manager.” (Although one person I spoke to at Citrix insisted this was part of the plan all along. :-)

I think this whole Malibu thing will be the cornerstone of the “new” Citrix, where Citrix is really moving in a direction to integrate the various products in the suite so that they tie together in a cool way. By doing so Citrix won’t have to worry about the “server-based computing only” solutions from other third-party vendors or any potential enhancements that Microsoft would make to Terminal Server.

Then again, in order for customers to get the full value out of this, they would need the entire suite (which is exactly Citrix’s plan). However, this would have the effect of essentially raising the “base” price of Citrix’s value from about $400 per concurrent user for the current Presentation Server to $600 per user for the full Access Suite, so it remains to be seen whether the market will perceive the same value that Citrix is trying to create.

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Do you call this a Industry Buzz? hehe. One month before the release.
Old news! - You should start get friends at Citrix again Brian ;)
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I love the idiots that post anonymously to try to cut other people down. Of course, Brian has the IP address of where the person came from that makes it even funnier. Good job, mate!
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What I'm learning from the new Citrix products and features are that Citrix is going in the right direction and in this case the portal that was "not useful" is now VERY much useful. After having the ability to view the new software I'm excited to get it in my production environment. I just wish it would not have taken Citrix so long to bring it to market but then again, I used Windows 3.1 for years before 95 came out and made my life my more productive. I used NT 4.0 for years before 2000 came out and gave me stability. I guess it just takes time to make a vision reality. Kudos to Citrix for a new killer product and for following through with their vision no matter that the critics says.

As far as other competitors goes, does Citrix really have others? Microsoft? I don’t believe so. Even with published applications in Longhorn Citrix still has a tremendous value add in 4.0 (UPDIII, App isolation, Arema, TScale, virtual IP, PDA syncing and what ever will come out next year and the year after) Now that is a solution and that is value add to Longhorn and whatever ever will come after that. Microsoft just can’t catch up. All this for a small price to pay, vs. buying it all separately and still running sort on features, support and stability. Can Microsoft compete with that? Can anyone? I don’t think so.

-Brent Myers (Citrix administrator)
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Quote "Microsoft just can’t catch up"

Are u kidding ?? Terminal Services development at Microsoft is about the smallest development unit within Microsoft Corp. If Microsoft was really interrested in taking over Citrix's business, they could. It would be like Bill Gates playing C&C; Just move some of the development resources from some other team to the Terminal Server development team and within a couple of months Microsoft could smash Citrix out of business.

But they do not, they will not anyway. I mean, why would they? Why Establish bad blood within the partner channel;Why spend resources trying to even more dominate a market they already lead? As long as customers are buying TSCAL's eveything is just fine as it is. If Citrix markets their products to new potential businesses, then this is good news for Microsoft. Because implementing Citrix almost automaticaly means buying TSCAL's from Microsoft against minimum development costs.

No flame intended, just my thoughts on your statement...

Peter Jansen - NL
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Jeff,

Everyone's a tough guy on the internet, just something you have to get use to.

Shawn
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ORIGINAL: Guest

Are u kidding ?? Terminal Services development at Microsoft is about the smallest development unit within Microsoft Corp. If Microsoft was really interrested in taking over Citrix's business, they could. It would be like Bill Gates playing C&C; Just move some of the development resources from some other team to the Terminal Server development team and within a couple of months Microsoft could smash Citrix out of business.

Really? Last I checked they're having a hard enough time getting things together with Yukon, Longhorn, CRM 2.0, Project Green and all the other "it'll be released soon" products. I don't think anyone doubts the capability of Microsoft to dominate any market they choose, but at the end of the day, they need to start figuring out where to focus their resources. As a company, they are getting spread WAY too thin (just look at that Business Solutions market...Christ, they've got 3-4 competing products under the same label).

Anyway, just my .02

Shawn

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Well i think that Microsoft has no need to catch up on the SBC concept.
Citrix and Microsoft signed a new business alliance (so far i know).
After all, when Citrix is somewhere installed there are always Tcals from Microsoft involved, so why should Microsoft be concerned. Nothing easier then selling licenses and almost no support needed.

Considering the new portal, there will be new features ofcourse. About hardware and software, the NET6 part will be involed i guess. Secure gateway should be an option to put in a hardware box and will make it more a VPN connection to the clients to do more then only MSAM features like described.

regards

John Mertens - NL
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just add 2other points :

CTX is supporting all the MSFT initiative (W2K3, MOM, O2K3, ...) and is an active sponsor (certification and promotion) for all new product
CTX is (as far as I know) a trojan horse for MSFT as it helps to keep MSFT inside companies and it helps MSFT to place migration of their products (to O2K3, to W2K3)...

Another "free of work" benefits for MSFT...

was also my .02...
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