Citrix Buys Norskale – Liquidware Labs’ Take

Citrix announced today that they have purchased Norskale. This was not a surprise to many. Rumors had been swirling for more than a month and the Citrix product marketing and management team pre-briefed us yesterday as a Citrix Ready Plus Partner.

For those not aware, Norskale was a French based startup that added policy, CPU, and IOPS management as a complement to profile tools such as Citrix UPM and VMware Persona Manager. As such, the company billed itself as a provider of VirtuALL User Environment Management or VUEM. VUEM was actually a free tool (at least for a while) so it is interesting to see Citrix acquire it.

Our take on Citrix’s acquisition of Norskale
This was a necessary move for Citrix. After VMware raised the bar about 18 months ago with its acquisition of Immidio for VMware UEM, Citrix lacked policy management in comparison. Citrix has long had a profile tool known as UPM that serves the basic needs of some customers. Without interrupting customers’ use of Citrix UPM, Citrix has found a way to add value in their Enterprise and Platinum versions by adding policy management gained in Norskale. Customers must also be on Software Maintenance to access the coming functionality. The policy management in Norskale basically takes Microsoft Group Policies and changes them to a Norskale process. This is a deviation from Citrix’s prior stance which had always been to pretty much point customers to Microsoft Group Policies first.

The addition of CPU and IOPS management per app and per user is a nice add for Citrix from the Norskale tools as Windows 10 and Server 2016 environments will reportedly benefit.

Does this have any overlap with Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity?
ProfileUnity is purpose-built User Environment Management from the ground up. It also includes FlexApp Layering options, all managed from a single pane of glass. By comparison, Citrix has assembled “tools” over the years from Sepago for UPM, RingCube for PvD and AppDisk and Norskale for policy management to form basic UEM capabilities.

By adding policy management with the Norskale tool Citrix will now have some added overlap with ProfileUnity, however, many Citrix customers have long used Microsoft Group Policies with UPM to answer basic UEM needs.  As Citrix UPM will remain the backbone of Citrix UEM offerings our profile management will still go far beyond what Citrix offers.

Customers choose ProfileUnity as an Enterprise grade solution to profile challenges that UPM does not solve. Technologies like ProfileUnity ProfileDisk and our Profile Portability are unmatched by Citrix’s basic UPM tool. Our comprehensive features handle challenges like Microsoft Office 365 caching and mixed Windows OS environments with ease. Furthermore, profile corruption is virtually eliminated with ProfileUnity while that continues to be a challenge in Citrix UPM environments. ProfileUnity’s portability also excels with granular profile management when needed to include the ever common long list of poorly written application profile data bits. ProfileUnity’s admin rights management approach gives customers further options for enterprise needs. 

Parting thoughts
This was a necessary move for Citrix after VMware upped the ante early last year. Citrix have managed to increase value for their customers without abandoning the basics of Citrix UPM or stepping completely on the toes of ecosystem partners like Liquidware Labs. After VMware added VMware UEM our overall sales have actually increased among enterprise sized accounts, we expect the same will happen in the Citrix community.  When customers need to step-up to an enterprise User Environment Management solution with FlexApp Layering options we’ll still be the best answer and we’ll still be a proven Citrix Ready partner. In fact we were just named as Citrix Ready Partner of the Month for our leadership with the most comprehensive Workspace Management Suite available including ProfileUnity, FlexApp, and Stratusphere UX.

Updated 09/09/2016 at 11:24am – updated VirtuAll UEM product name. Added that the tool was free (at least at one time) before Citrix acquired it.

4 thoughts on “Citrix Buys Norskale – Liquidware Labs’ Take

    • Mike, Yes it does. You’d use our VHD mount option for RDSH environments and redirect pertinent data there seamlessly. And yes, ProfileUnity supports placing any type of application or folder shortcut on any number of desktops with our context aware filters.

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