Unidesk and Horizon's Future
10 replies, 462 views
Posted on January 10, 2017
Rick Olson
Registered user
Joined: December 6, 2013

In today's business world of startup's making a good product and then selling that product, I can't say that I'm surprised at the acquisition announcement.  Though as a VMware Horizon customer with zero ambition or desire to bring Citrix into the mix, the messaging and FAQ does little to instill confidence that over time Citrix will do what they can to persuade existing Horizon customers to migrate to their platform.

I arrived at this conclusion not after reading Chris Midgley's email to all customers (at that point I felt pretty good), but after reading the FAQ.  Specifically the answer to the question "Will Citrix continue to sell the current Unidesk product".

Throughout 2016, the messaging from Unidesk was that all platforms (VMware's 2.x and Hyper-V's 3.x) were going to line up and be on par in version 4.  Unidesk 4.0 would be the one build that all platforms could deploy and utilize. 

But now it seems that Citrix is not planning to go this route.  Perhaps what we think of as Unidesk 4.0 (minus VMware support) will be part of the Citrix suite, and then as an afterthought the stand-alone product for VMware will just "be available".  Speculation, that's all this is.

As a VMware customer, and as a fan of the Unidesk product, I truly hope Citrix will not force VMware customers to migrate through lack of features, lack of support and/or increased licensing costs.  I suppose also that as a VMware customer I should at least begin to do my due diligence and explore what VMware has to offer as a potential 'Plan B' to replace Unidesk in our environment just in case.  Time will tell I suppose.

Posted on January 10, 2017
forbsy
Registered user
Joined: February 19, 2013

It would be very surprising if Citrix didn't choose to develop "platinum" Unidesk for it's own platforms and leave "bronze" Unidesk for non-Citrix. From purely a business perspective it's in their best interests to have both current and furture VDI customers choose their platform and related solutions. I can see it being like a View Standard (Unidesk - vSphere / Hyper-V) vs a View Enterprise (Unidesk - Citrix).

Posted on January 11, 2017
bharitos
Registered user
Joined: February 22, 2016

Keep in mind; Citrix and VMware are also major partners. I would assume everyone will want to keep playing nice.

Posted on January 11, 2017
Edited by witti on January 11, 2017
witti
Registered user
Joined: February 1, 2014

We are VMware customers also and are using teradici clients.
So there is no doubt, that we will stay VMware customers as long as possible.

If Citrix will force VMware customers to choose one or the other way, I belive many will rather go with a 'plan B'.
Plan B for us would be to upgrade the VMware licences from standard to enterprise
and work from there.

But what really makes me wonder ...
I thought there would be more response here in the forum from VMware customers.

It would be intersting to know, how what the hypervisor type ratio of the unidesk customers are ...  

Posted on January 11, 2017
forbsy
Registered user
Joined: February 19, 2013

Does that mean going to App Volumes and UEM? I have a feeling that many VMware customers will look at that option as a re-evaluation of their options. It would be nice to have Citrix and/or Unidesk release more details around what the new restructure will look like for VMware customers. More detail than "VMware will continue to be supported".

Posted on January 11, 2017
Rick Olson
Registered user
Joined: December 6, 2013

A little over a month ago one of our VMware rep's came on site to talk about our overall VMware environment as well as speak to their new initiatives.  When we mentioned that we use Unidesk for application layering, they wanted to push a demo of App Volumes to us.  They seem to think it's a reasonable competitor.  I've had such good luck with the varying applications I have to package that I didn't even want to consider it.  But if I don't like what I see from Citrix, I may just have to give that a whirl.

Posted on January 11, 2017
rma2001
Registered user
Joined: October 23, 2015

Same thing for us.  We are still early in the deployment phase (waitng on upgrade to vmware 7 to really start) and are having second thoughts as well.  We are on 2.x platform and are a little worried about the future of that product.  To go to 4 requires us to change the type of storage we have.  Interesting times to say the least.  Hope that more informations comes out soon.

Posted on January 11, 2017
witti
Registered user
Joined: February 1, 2014

No, that means, that our Plan B would not include UEM.

I think it is very important now to give the VMware community some more information.
The less details, the greater the will to take a look at alternatives and make a plan B well ahead.

App Volumes might improve also over the time. So yes, I do think it might be an alternative for some customers if they don't like whats coming up.

 

Posted on January 11, 2017
spierrelouis
Registered user
Joined: September 30, 2014

I think it is worst for many small business like me (less than 100 employees) where due to constraint budget, they didn't have support contract with VMware. They rely totally in Unidesk. I remember I started VDI project with using Unidesk only, provision and deploy the desktops with Unidesk and the thin clients RDP into them. I was no View customer nor Citrix. For many small shops, you can use VDI using Unidesk only. Now, as it is a very cool and solid technology acquired by Citrix, I don't see how the cheap price for this solution will stay.

I have now 30 seats for VDI and I don't see how I will justify the cost to renew support contract with VMware if the features or licensing cost will be far high. This news was a shock for me. I don't know if it was only me, but I had a bad feeling since they introduce version 4. Please understand, version 4 is good but for me that rely totally on Unidesk, I was disappointed I will have to use View composer for provisioning.

Posted on January 13, 2017
Edited by justin.doek on January 13, 2017
justin.doek
Registered user
Joined: January 25, 2012

There was an e-mail?

I just stumbled upon the news through brianmadden.com and didn't receive any communication from Unidesk about this whatsoever.

As a VMW client that will be reevaluating our VDI solution in the next months i don't feel that confident in Unidesk as i was when we first partnered. 

Posted on January 17, 2017
Chris Midgley
Unidesk employee
Joined: December 15, 2007

Hi everyone - sorry for the delay in response, I have been traveling and just now am catching back up again.

 

First off - I understand why you are all concerned.  I would have the same concern if I were in your shoes.  Acquisitions often dramatically change the behavior of a company, especially when it is purchased by a competitor of the platform you are using.

 

But I would like to take a minute to share what I know so far about the roadmap and strategy of Unidesk as part of Citrix.  I have been working with people inside Citrix at all levels, from the CEO on down, and the message has been very consistent: Citrix wants to continue to fully support, maintain, and enhance Unidesk as a standalone product for VMware View Horizon customers, as well as RDS and all other platforms.  There are no "if, ands, or buts" - it is viewed as a very strategic component of the acquisition. 

 

So why would Citrix do this?  To build and maintain relationships with all of you, so you are aware of the offerings of Citrix, and to drive value into the VMware channel.  But there are no plans - I've not heard any from anyone - to make Unidesk less functional or reduce features when not on the Citrix suite.  Now there is one area that will be developed only on Citrix, and that is deep integration into Citrix Cloud - but that won't be a requirement and Unidesk will still be offered as a standalone product.  Not only is this what I’ve been told, but it’s also what Citrix publicly shared with their entire sales team and all partners earlier this week at the Summit conference.

 

From a roadmap perspective, there are a few changes that will delay our next release slightly.  Citrix has a much higher standard for security, so we are implementing a series of improvements to make Unidesk more secure.  Everyone will benefit from this, but it does push out some of our other planned releases a small amount.  Other than that, the vast majority of our roadmap remains unchanged.  We are still marching forward on the persistent layer, we are continuing to add more (non-Citrix) platforms, and we are going to implement a new user interface, API and management framework (these are examples of some of the big projects that we have been looking at prior to the acquisition). Additionally, we expect to increase the size of our engineering team in the coming months thanks to the larger resources available at Citrix, so hopefully we can accelerate our roadmap (our entire engineering and support teams have stayed on and are solely focused on Unidesk)

 

If some of you did not get an email from me, I apologize.  I've heard of a few cases of this, and in each case so far it has been because at some point your email was used to opt-out of messages from us.  Once opted out, we are not able to send  you any emails from our mass mailing system (we use HubSpot) without you specifically requesting to be opted back in again.  I’m very sorry that some of you therefore didn’t find out on the day of the acquisition (we sent the emails at the very first minute we were legally allowed to).

 

I hope sharing this information helps.  I know for some of you this is a difficult transition.  Hopefully you will "wait and see" rather than jumping ship, but I understand everybody needs to make their own decisions.  I believe you will continue to be delighted with Unidesk (er, Citrix App Layering), and will continue to work hard to make sure that happens (and yes, I also am staying on with Citrix).

 

Chris (founder/CTO, Unidesk)

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