New Moon Touts Platform As Citrix Alternative


New Moon Systems has updated its application delivery platform in its latest bid to secure a piece of the server-based computing market dominated by Citrix Systems.

The update, Canaveral iQ 2.0, adds support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and features to improve manageability, usability and security, said Max Herrmann, vice president of marketing and strategy at New Moon, San Jose. The vendor also said it has achieved Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status.

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

 
New Moon offers solid margins, a limited distribution plan and a channel-only sales strategy.

While New Moon plays David to Citrix's Goliath, the vendor is gaining traction with customers and solution providers, Herrmann said.

New Moon counts 50,000 end users among its customer base and works with 200 trained solution providers worldwide, including 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 interpartner competition and a channel-only sales strategy, Herrmann said.

"They can offer an alternative for customers [who] 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 costs an average of 40 percent to 60 percent less than Citrix's comparable offering, Herrmann said. New Moon prices Canaveral iQ at $179 per concurrent user. Feature Release 3 of MetaFrame XP Presentation Server is priced at $5,800 for a concurrent 20-user license, or $290 per user.

With Canaveral iQ 2.0, scheduled to ship this quarter, New Moon introduced Canaveral Client Policy Engine, a component for setting usage and security policies for groups of client devices according to factors such as IP range, NetBIOS names or operating system.

For example, a user logging in 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.

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, lets users launch remote applications by opening local files. If the remote application is not available, the system will automatically open the local version if one exists, he said.

Canaveral iQ 2.0 takes advantage of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol 5.2, introduced with Windows Server 2003, which adds support for 24-bit true color, audio, serial port redirection, increased resolution, WAN performance and security.

Citrix MetaFrame offers similar features through its proprietary Independent Computing Architecture protocol.