New Moon Takes On Citrix In Server-Based Computing Arena


New Moon Systems on Monday launched the latest version of its application delivery platform in continued efforts to secure a piece of the server-based computing market dominated by Citrix Systems.

Canaveral iQ 2.0 adds support for Microsoft's recently released Windows Server 2003 platform as well as new features to improve manageability, usability and security, said Max Herrmann, vice president of marketing and strategy at New Moon, based here.

The vendor also said it has achieved Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status.

New Moon touts Canaveral iQ, which first shipped in October, 2001, as a simpler, cheaper alternative to Citrix's MetaFrame platform for hosting and centrally managing Windows-based applications in a Windows Terminal Services environment.

While New Moon continues to play David to Citrix's Goliath, the vendor is starting to gain traction with customers and solution providers, Herrmann said.

New Moon counts 50,000 end users among its customer base and 200 trained solution providers worldwide, including many current and former Citrix partners, he said. In comparison, Citrix claims 50 million end users and about 6,000 partners worldwide.

For solution providers, New Moon offers solid margins, a limited distribution plan that cuts back on inter-partner competition, and a channel-only sales strategy, Herrmann said.

"They can offer an alternative for customers if they don't see a fit for MetaFrame from a functionality, complexity or budgetary perspective," he said.

Customers are attracted to Canaveral iQ because it is easy to administrate, said Mike Johnson, network administrator at Broadway Computers, a solution provider in Frostburg, Md. "It's so much easier for them to use [than MetaFrame], and we don't have to be there all the time," he said.

Thus far, Broadway has three Canaveral iQ customers, including a 24-branch Maryland bank with 350 users that plans to add 200 more, Johnson said.

Canaveral iQ is also less expensive, costing an average of 40 percent to 60 percent less than Citrix's list prices, Herrmann said.

New Moon prices Canaveral iQ at $179 per concurrent user. Citrix recently launched Feature Release 3 of its MetaFrame XP Presentation Server, priced at $5,800 for a concurrent 20-user license, or $290 per user.

With the new version of Canaveral iQ, scheduled to ship this quarter, New Moon introduced Canaveral Client Policy Engine, a component of the platform that administrators can use to set usage and security policies to groups of client devices according to factors such as IP range, NetBIOS names or operating system.

For example, a user logging in through a computer at an Internet cafe might not be allowed to save or print files locally but would have those capabilities when accessing applications from a desktop on the LAN, Herrmann said. "We look not only at who's logging in but also where he logs in from," he said.

New Moon also introduced Canaveral Relay Server, a component that routes traffic through a single, commonly used firewall port, providing easier firewall traversal and shielding servers from exposure outside the firewall, Herrmann said.

Another new feature, intelligent file associations, enables end users to launch remote applications by opening local files. If the remote application is not available, the system will automatically open the local version of the application if one exists, he said.

In addition, version 2.0 takes advantage of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) 5.2, introduced with Windows Server 2003, which adds support for 24-bit True color, audio, serial port redirection, and increased resolution, WAN performance and security.

The Citrix MetaFrame platform offers similar features through its proprietary Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) protocol.

Canaveral iQ 2.0 is scheduled to ship this quarter.