Why are Citrix employees jumping ship?

Most of you probably know that VMware recently, for the first time, started hiring a dedicated End-User Computing sales force. VMware has been hiring hundreds of EUC focused sales reps and SEs across the globe, which some are coming from Citrix.

I had the opportunity to talk to few of those new VMware employees and better understand what motivated them to come to VMware. Some of these new employees looked for me as their technical and/or pre-sales resource. I also would like to mention that I feel profoundly honored to learn that I am a respected professional at Citrix and that many of you follow my articles, comments and blogs. Thank You!!!

My initial thoughts were that these sales reps moved to VMware for more money, but I was proved wrong. The main reason for the vendor move according to these new VMware employees was the vSphere stack. What does that mean? Well, that means VMware is in the best position on the marketplace compared to any other EUC vendor to leverage the vSphere hypervizor features and technologies because VMware owns the stack.

And how does that affect Citrix? The large majority of Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop deployments are currently running on VMware vSphere platform.

I won’t make this article about VMware versus Citrix, but I would like to provide better exposure to the VMware vSphere platform features that are only leveraged by Horizon View today, representing gigantic CAPEX and OPEX saving to enterprises of all sizes.


  • Content Based Read Cache (CBRC)

CBRC help address some of the storage performance bottlenecks and the increase of storage cost for VDI. CBRC is a 100% host-based RAM-Based caching solution that helps to reduce read IOs issued to the storage subsystem and thus improves scalability of the storage subsystem while being completely transparent to the guest OS. VMware tests have identified a boot storm reduction of approximately 80% on peaks IOPS, ~45% on average IOPS, ~65% on peak throughput and ~25% on average throughput. For additional information I recommend you reading my previous article Understanding CBRC (Content Based Read Cache).


  • Space Efficient Disks (SEsparse)

Horizon View 5.2 leverages a new vSphere capability that implements a new VM disk format that allow for grain size reduction & increased efficiency allocated blocks by filling it with real data. Unused space is reclaimed and View Composer desktops remain small, saving on storage capacity. For a deep-dive on the technology read Space-Efficient Sparse Virtual Disks and VMware View. Space Efficient Disks reduces storage capacity requirements, lowering CAPEX for Persistent Desktops, even on lower-tier hardware.


  • 3D Graphics (vSGA and vDGA)

Horizon View 5.2 leverages a new vSphere capability that enables shared access to physical GPU hardware for 3D and high performance graphical workloads. Virtual desktops still see abstracted VMware SVGA device for maximum compatibility & portability, but use Accelerated 3D Graphics, enabling truly high performance graphics in a cost-effective manner with multiple VMs sharing a single GPU resource. Additionally, the solution is fully compatible with hosts lacking physical GPUs (for vMotion, DRS, etc.). Refer to my article How to improve VDI with Hardware Accelerated 3D Graphics for a deep dive on 3D technologies.

[UPDATE] Citrix is also leveraging vSphere vDGA and presenting it via XenApp and/or XenDesktop according to my readers.


  • View Composer Array Integration (VCAI)

VCAI allow administrators to take advantage of the storage native snapshot feature within the normal administrative workflow of Horizon View and View Composer. VCAI integrate with NAS storage partner’s native cloning capabilities using vSphere vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI). VCAI speeds up provisioning of virtual desktops while offloads CPU consumption and network bandwidth.


While both Horizon View and the vSphere platform offer many other features that help organizations with TCO reduction, only Horizon View leverage the platform features mentioned in this article, providing a much increased CAPEX and OPEX reductions.

As VMware moves forward with the Horizon Suite it is reasonable to expect that this platform integration be further enhanced providing yet more benefits to organizations. In my VMworld session EUC4764 – What’s New and Next for VMware Horizon View I provided some examples of integration opportunities ahead of us, and that include vSAN, vFlash and NSX.

I am sure people also move the other way, from VMware to Citrix, and they have they own reasons. I’m just demonstrating few of the reasons why it’s so exciting to work for VMware EUC. If you are interested in joining this fantastic team, please check our open opportunities. Yes, there are many! Click here.


Please note that opinions expressed in this article or anywhere on this site are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employer.


This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at myvirtualcloud.net.


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    • Anjan Srinivas on 09/22/2013 at 9:50 pm

    Good read. Quick Q: When will VCAI be out of the “tech preview” or is it now fully functional?

    • Ed on 09/23/2013 at 11:01 am

    You claim to be impartial and yet write something that reads like a propaganda piece. Does anybody really believe that people go to a competitor because of software speeds and feeds? Maybe it’s motivation for some, but I think money and quality of life have more to do with it than anything else. VMWare is probably making some sweet offers in order to build a sales force that is already familiar with both vendors strengths and weaknesses and can easily compete. The ironic part is that Citrix and VMWare should be partners rather than competitors. It seems that their strengths weaknesses complement each other well. I think in a world without Cisco and Microsoft, they might very well be partners or perhaps have already merged.

  1. Ed, I don’t disagree with you and that’s why I thought it would be because of money; despite they might be making more money or they would not move. What is in my article is their feedback in a 1:1 conversation with me and why they believe VMware is in a better position.

    I know he title may sound like propaganda, not common coming from me, but the content is not.


  2. Anjan Srinivas, VCAI is fully functional today and should be coming out of Tech Preview soon.


  3. I completely agree with Ed.We all know that even in an ideal world, a Sales guy wont jump ship just because of technical merits of the vendor :). They go where the money is. I know first hand that VMW has been chasing a number of us in the virtualization space with extremely compelling offers. With that said, you also know that plenty of VMware folks have joined Citrix as well in the recent past. So what does that say? VMW and Citrix are two of the leaders in this space and it is only natural that occasionally folks move from one vendor to the other for various reasons. I don’t think your assertion in this post is right by any means.

  4. Hi George, thanks for chiming into the conversation. I don’t want to get into the merit if I am right or wrong in regards to why they moved companies. My article is purely focused on what they told me, not what I think. I know you work for Citrix and we are certainly looking for talented and socially active people like you 🙂

    • Alex Tate on 09/24/2013 at 1:10 pm

    Good read and its a 6 in one half dozen in the other feud like it always has been. As a professional who uses both solutions in my particular environment, i agree with Ed that rather than the constant bickering, there should be a loose partnership that gives all the users the power to leverage the best possible solution for their setups without the need to jump through numerous hoops to get various aspects working properly because of the difference in technology. Think of how much more attractive your solutions would be to sell if you could have a Citrix certified logo, and vice-versa, Citrix could sport the VMware certified logo.

    Competitive market shares are good to drive innovation but the integration between the two would only help the vast majority or professionals perform their daily jobs with more ease than they do currently.

    • Tiny Tim on 09/24/2013 at 3:28 pm

    “I won’t make this article about VMware versus Citrix…”

    You did when you put Citrix in the title and the pure fact that you work for VMWare. Ed says it best… VMWare and Citrix trying to compete is ludicrous.

    I know folks who recently jumped to VMWare and did it for one reason… MONEY! I also know a few folks who left, went to VMWare and went back to Citrix. Why? MONEY! Let’s face it… money is a motivater if the offer is enticing enough.

    If I am VMWare… I would quit worrying about Citrix and start looking at Microsoft and Cisco.

    In my strong opinion, this is merely a propaganda piece to cater to the masses…

    • Mark Verhagen on 09/25/2013 at 12:49 am

    I worked at VMW for 4 yrs focused on delivering EUC projects and enjoyed every minute of it. I recently moved to CTX purely for the innovation, maturity and integration of their W2W Mobile Workstyle solutions. When I talk to customers, there is no discussion on the hypervisor layer – VMW owns that, vSphere is a utility with great history and success. Speaking of competing, CTX and VMW are bridging the gap to (again) work together more and more lately with announcements such as NetScaler/Nicira integration and support, the vSphere vDGA/GPU sharing support you mentioned to support XenApp/XenDesktop ongoing best practices for deploying XenApp/XenDesktop on vSphere VMW publishes and more to come. Bottomline, I chose a small bump in pay to hedge my bets in a similar but quite different direction.

  1. […] I got intrigued by a tweet from Andre Leibovici linking to this article stating that Citrix employees (sales) are leaving Citrix for VMware, in the article he explains […]

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