Navigating The News: Citrix Acquires UberAgent

May 6, 2024

In this first episode of “Fireside MSP,” host Brian Clark and the XenTegra team dive into the significant acquisition of UberAgent by Citrix. This episode offers an in-depth analysis of how this acquisition could reshape the landscape of IT monitoring and management. Joined by industry experts Ray Anderson, Randy Price, and Trevor Mansell, the discussion covers the implications for existing users of both platforms and the potential innovations on the horizon. Tune in to gain valuable insights into what this change means for the future of managed services and how it can influence your IT strategy.


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Brian Clark: Hello, and welcome to fireside. Msp, this is our inaugural episode. I’m Brian Clark, and I’m here with the rest of this integrity team

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Brian Clark: surrounded with Ray

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Brian Clark: Anderson, Randy Price and Trevor Mansell.

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Brian Clark: This episode is gonna Cover Citrix’s acquisition of Uber agent. And what that means for the product. What that means for

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Brian Clark: uber agent customers, and what that means for existing Citrix customers.

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Brian Clark: this is a really exciting time, Dex. Monitoring which is the monitoring of the digital employee experience which is what your agent does is going through some really impressive changes, specifically around what the users are experiencing in terms of latency and performance, and how they’re perceiving how they’re accessing their application. So

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Brian Clark: let’s dive right into what this means for everyone.

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Brian Clark: Trevor.

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Brian Clark: You’ve been with Citrix

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Brian Clark: you were with Citrix for a very long time.

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Brian Clark: Heavily involved in the end user confuse base. Can you just give us a little bit of a legacy of what Citrix used to do

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Brian Clark: for monitoring their end. User experience.

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Brian Clark: And, good sir, you were on mute.

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TELEPHONE_USER: There we go. I will try. I will try my hardest here. So

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TELEPHONE_USER: yeah, I think if if I’m trying to think back here. So

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TELEPHONE_USER: back in the day when there was like one product it it was Citrix resource manager. Wasn’t that right, Randy?

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Randy Price: It’s great!

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TELEPHONE_USER: That was it. Yeah. And then they bought edge site.

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TELEPHONE_USER: right? And that was like a

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TELEPHONE_USER: behemoth of a monitoring solution. No agent base. Just

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TELEPHONE_USER: some people

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TELEPHONE_USER: were some customers that really liked it.

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TELEPHONE_USER: but I think there, yeah, I I don’t think everybody was a fan of that one. And then

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TELEPHONE_USER: and then at one, I think when Zentagger came on, came in. I believe that’s that’s where Director came in, and they went

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TELEPHONE_USER: kinda just sunset it edge sight

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TELEPHONE_USER: as, and I think they use the name for a little while longer.

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TELEPHONE_USER: I think that Zen, when Zendesk came into the picture it went, you know, more agentless.

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TELEPHONE_USER: There’s all all within director

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TELEPHONE_USER: lot, less features, a lot less monitoring components.

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TELEPHONE_USER: And then they’ve been at kind of adding to that ever since I mean, now they’ve got

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TELEPHONE_USER: I don’t know. What else do they got right now? They’ve got analytics.

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TELEPHONE_USER: Performance monitoring.

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Brian Clark: So it’s always been something that they’ve done through acquisition more than they’ve kind of developed in house. So you say.

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TELEPHONE_USER: Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, hey, at the end of the day, I think we

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TELEPHONE_USER: most people, yeah, there’s a there’s there’s been a gap right? You only get so much out of agent lists when it comes to windows. And I I think that’s.

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Brian Clark: Totally, agree.

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TELEPHONE_USER: Uber agents. That’s that’s kinda that’s kinda the whole point of why they

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TELEPHONE_USER: why, they got it right. But

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TELEPHONE_USER: I think there’s yeah. I I think there’s a lot there that’s gonna be helpful to some people I don’t. You know, for the masses. Most people.

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TELEPHONE_USER: you know, are, you know, use third third party.

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TELEPHONE_USER: EU EU you know, type or dex type solutions today. So it’s

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TELEPHONE_USER: It’d be interesting to know, like, how how this kind of impacts

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TELEPHONE_USER: customers.

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Brian Clark: Yeah, totally totally agree. For all of our audio. Only listeners out there. I’ve pulled up the actual announcement blog from Citrix com

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Brian Clark: so in case you don’t know Uber agents is owned, or was owned, I should say, by fast limits, which is a German company owned by Mr. Helga Klein. I hope I did not butcher that

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Brian Clark: I’ve actually worked with with Helga for a very long time. For all you old school. Sys Admins out there. He was the guy that wrote Delp 2

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Brian Clark: a very, very handy tool in the EU space Euc space that Guy writes awesome, solid code. And I’ve I’ve worked with uber agent for for shoot maybe almost 10 years now. Deploying it at a previous career. You know, version one. So it’s it’s it’s impressed me then, and still impresses me now.

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Brian Clark: And and as Trevor mentioned, you know it, it’s agent based so you can grab it. You can gather a ton of information based out of windows with uber agent versus just scraping it through through Api calls.

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Brian Clark: So as we scroll through here.

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Brian Clark: You know that

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Brian Clark: even though Citrix acquired it Uber agent is valid for all platforms. Right? So not just

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Brian Clark: situations. Ica protocol, but also Rdp, and you could even use it for for standard things like Abd, or or even competing products if you wanted to. It does run on top of splunk in addition to other we’ll call them kind of object based

00:05:21.560 –> 00:05:33.245
Brian Clark: analytic platforms like elastic search. So. But out of the box. You really do you? You do really want to consider using splunk as the back end for it, as all the native, beautiful dashboards.

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Brian Clark: require that splunk interface. You can use other products, as I mentioned earlier. But you really gotta build kind of the the dashboards and analytics on top of that yourself. So you know, if you have a strong elk development team, it might be something that you want to consider.

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Brian Clark: But you know, it’s it’s it’s a very robust platform, gathers a lot of metrics, and it’s not just, you know, the actual endpoint, or or, you know, delivery application delivery, console or whatever platform you’re using to get to it. It also can do

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Brian Clark: wonderful things with with Adc. And citrus cloud as well. So there’s a lot of extensions that it can plug into, not just the the device or virtual workstation that your end users are logging into.

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Brian Clark: What I really wanna get into here is is how Citrix is gonna use uber agent moving forward. And I think a really good interesting thing here is that if we scroll through this our blog article. They mentioned the Citrix platform license. Now, if you’ve been in the Citrix space for

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Brian Clark: any bit of 2024, you know that there’s a little bit of confusion going on about how Citrix is handling the new licensing model. Randy, you are, whether you like it or not. A citrix licensing expert. Can you give our audience a little bit of an understanding? What the Citrix platform license is.

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Randy Price: Sure it’s a it’s a relatively new skew, right? That essentially encompasses the entire Citrix platform. So anyone that is entitled to it. Right?

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Randy Price: Actually, they’re they’re granted access to all the solutions within the platform itself. That’s the name Citrix for platform license. One thing to note. It was geared towards you know their top enterprise customers. So I think that becomes a little bit of a challenge, if you will, for users that are wanting to use uber agent that maybe don’t necessarily qualify for the platform license. There’s a, you know process you can go through to.

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Randy Price: you know, if you can show value and show that you’re utilizing the solution that you can acquire the platform license. But it’s definitely is a change, right? So versus in the past. So again. It’s kind of geared towards those top enterprise customers.

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Randy Price: But definitely, a definitely a change from from the past sort of entitlements.

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Brian Clark: Yeah, it’s

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Brian Clark: effectively

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Brian Clark: requiring you to reach out to your situation. Count Rep, where is integral? Rep and and find out. You know, if you if you want to leverage Uber agent, or maybe there’s some other product that you can leverage. And instead, until

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Brian Clark: a new licensing model or revised licensing models get issued out, and on that note, you know, I think it’s worth discussing.

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Brian Clark: you know. What what can uber agent do in regards to

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Brian Clark: what Citrix can already do? Right? So pre acquisition of Uber Agent Ray, you’re you’re a Citrix expert. Can you tell us a little bit about? You know what what you’ve gotten out of the box with with the improvements to monitoring, and Citrix Cloud maybe touch a little bit on on what the analytics components offer. And then we can talk about how uber agent is gonna sup supplement that moving forward.

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Ray Anderson: Yeah, definitely, definitely, Brian. So the the analytics platform from Citrix has just been a continued evolution on really the end user.

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Ray Anderson: Monitoring aspect of of the platform right being able to go in and take a look at really take a deeper look at the performance of the end users session. Right? What’s going on in this session? You know, what is the performance? Look like? What’s you know the the interactions with the applications in the user session. Right? This secure, there has been a security side to that as well.

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Ray Anderson: Right? Not not as deep right. They continue to make progress on the security side, right? Really understanding what the end user is doing right and where what the sessions are coming from, what they’re doing, for example, and really then doing ratings on that, you know, putting ratings on top of those

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Ray Anderson: those events as they as they find them right? And so really, it’s gonna become interesting. I’m excited to see how uber what uber agent is gonna bring

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Ray Anderson: to Citrix right into that platform. And how is it gonna enhance

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Ray Anderson: what Citrix already has in the platform

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Ray Anderson: and also make them even more competitive

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Ray Anderson: in the market space against the others out there that are filling gaps where they where they’re monitoring might fall short.

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Brian Clark: Okay, definitely, I definitely see that I’m really interested to see how they’re going to handle the extra components to how Uber agent is deployed. So as we discussed earlier, you know, it runs on a back end infrastructure primarily splunk

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Brian Clark: in in for a lot of customers. Right? And it’s interesting that you’ll be able to license the actual Uber agent product through Citrix and their platform license. But you’ll still need a whole other separate of infrastructure and and licensing for something like splunk to to maintain long term analytics and e any and run those queries. So I’m curious if Citrix is gonna offer some kind of

00:10:29.530 –> 00:10:36.825
Brian Clark: additional or new back end that they could run it on, maybe on Citrix Cloud. To really take that

00:10:37.690 –> 00:10:47.120
Brian Clark: offload all that maintenance and requirements away from, you know, people that are don’t wanna have that infrastructure to run anymore like, that’s that’s one of the big selling points.

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Brian Clark: Cloud is, I don’t wanna have to run a huge splunk back end database cluster just to run a single monitor and application right. Zintegra. We ran Uber agent as a service for for many, many years, 6 or 7 years actually and we hosted that. And I know it takes a lot of infrastructure

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Brian Clark: to to run that and a lot of well seasoned Linux guys to keep it nice and smooth. So seeing how Citrix is gonna handle that. Or if they’re just gonna push and entirely back onto the end user, I kinda think that that would take a little bit of value away from Citrix Cloud as well. You know, we we moved all these other platform components to the cloud, but you gotta run the monitoring component on prem. Now, now, Randy, for the customers that can’t get platform licensing, or maybe just don’t wanna have to run

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Brian Clark: an on-premise

00:11:31.740 –> 00:11:41.249
Brian Clark: infrastructure component anymore. You know what kind of third party options are out there for for our customers, if they, if they can no longer use or don’t want to use that proportion.

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Randy Price: Yeah, that’s a great question. Right? So to your point, there’s there’s some customers that were using Uber agent today that maybe they weren’t using Citrix. Right? W. What are they gonna use? Or vice versa? Right? I’m I’m using Citrix using uber agent. But I don’t qualify for that platform license. What are the alternatives? Because

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Randy Price: what uber agent has indicated? And from a citric standpoint, right? They’re gonna provide support for whatever term their contract was up for from an every agent perspective. But following that, they do need to find an additional, you know some sort of alternative. If not utilizing platform license. So that’s where solutions like control, up comes into play. Right? Control up is a

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Randy Price: is a dex. Their decks platform top notch provides a lot of the same sort of visibility, if you will. That group agents, providing not just on the citrix in, you know, back end infrastructure, but also from an endpoint perspective. They have Edge Dx. Which allows you to monitor the endpoints. And that’s a lot of the value. I think, that Citrix is going after from the region right, being able to monitor the endpoints.

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Randy Price: Not just the citrix components, but for your typical customers.

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Randy Price: you know, I think control up will provide a lot of that sort of value that you know, if you were using Uber agent today.

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Randy Price: control can provide that value plus more. Right? So they’ve got their automated actions, their triggers being able to take actions. There’s integrations with, you know, service now, for example. So there’s a lot of third party integrations. But the ability to natively also monitor Vdi and dash solutions as well. So.

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Ray Anderson: The lunch.

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Ray Anderson: Brandy, because

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Ray Anderson: oh, go ahead, Trevor. Sorry.

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TELEPHONE_USER: Oh, yeah, hey, I was just gonna make a point. So I just I think there needs to be like a little bit of clarification

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TELEPHONE_USER: when it comes to the Uber agent. And I I think, Citrix, I I would think that Citrix back to your point. Brian’s gonna have some kind of roadmap that they’re gonna kind of reveal at some point for this, because, like right now.

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TELEPHONE_USER: there’s it’s invite only into the platform license. So you’re you’re talking 200. There’s only 200 clients that can have access access to it today. Pretty much so.

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TELEPHONE_USER: I I think every you know. So

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TELEPHONE_USER: I think it’s a future for the the majority of people. So I think the

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TELEPHONE_USER: just, really

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TELEPHONE_USER: I. So there’s not a lot of change, I guess, for a lot of customers unless you were using Uber agent. And you’re now looking for something else, you know, to potentially use right? So

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TELEPHONE_USER: I just wanted to bring that up. I don’t. I don’t know if that was completely clear, but.

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Randy Price: Well.

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Brian Clark: Ray, you had a thought.

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Ray Anderson: Yeah, a a thanks, Brian. I’m glad you brought that up, Randy. That’s one of the gaps that that I was thinking about. Right. Is that what we call that last mile, being able to pull in and and really measure and look at that last mile at the client all the way to the client. Right? That’s

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Ray Anderson: you know. That’s where Uber agents gonna bring more value to Citrix. Analytics platform and what they do with the direction they go and what they do, what they decide to do. But that is really, you know, the intriguing curiosity I have right now just the going into customer mindset right? I’m an Uber agent customer, and have been for a number of years.

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Ray Anderson: Well, if I’m not a citrix current citrix customer, or I don’t have that large of a a footprint of Citrix.

00:14:57.310 –> 00:15:16.689
Ray Anderson: You know. What am I? Where am I going to be? What am I faced with right going forward, you know, is is my maybe 5 year relationship with the Uber agent going to be honored in some way going forward? Or will I have to look at those. Well, I truly have to look at alternatives such as control up.

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Brian Clark: You know something that as I have

00:15:21.220 –> 00:15:23.369
Brian Clark: furthered my own decks path

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Brian Clark: and being being a very strong proponent of Uber agent, bringing it into this integral portfolio and growing up with it as a dex product. And now having to evaluate new products and deployments for us. One of the things that I found absolutely incredible with control up is that last mile discussion? Not just from a

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Brian Clark: I’m monitoring my vda right? But I I can monitor the endpoint as well, and I think a lot of customers now, with all of the recent disruption within the Euc space are just saying, you know what I’m gonna let all this stuff settle. I’m gonna go back to my old school. Ss, ssl, VPN, or I might do something sassy or ztna. I’m gonna put everything on my on my physical endpoint and let the users remote back into the data center.

00:16:06.140 –> 00:16:16.692
Brian Clark: Right? All you situation is cover yours. It’s happening. We don’t want it to happen, but it’s happening. So now the users are using their physical endpoint of a laptop at a Starbucks right? And they’re they’re calling into help desk.

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Brian Clark: And they’re saying, you know, performance is slow in this application and control up as a solution for that. Right? Like you, you can monitor the physical endpoint just as well as you can monitor the the vda, or whatever virtual desktop experience they have, in addition to that, so

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Brian Clark: and if you have to manage all of that stuff right? So a lot of people have multiple dashboards to manage. You know, my vda environment, my physical endpoint environment and my hypervisors, right and control kind of brings all that together into one nice holistic bubble

00:16:47.564 –> 00:17:14.339
Brian Clark: and and even if you swap providers for your virtual desktop, you know, you can still leverage control up for the physical endpoint. And it’s and it’s when it’s validated with a bunch of different vendors, and they’re constantly adding more as the as the space changes. So I think there’s a lot of value in finding a third party product that can adapt and shift as the market does, rather than getting a little bit of a lock in to a vendor, and and being very specific in in how you approach.

00:17:14.349 –> 00:17:18.579
Brian Clark: You know Dex monitoring for for your end users. So so, Mike.

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Brian Clark: so so moving on to that Randy

00:17:22.359 –> 00:17:32.910
Brian Clark: you know, control. It’s great. You know, is it? We we talked about having to manage the on-prem infrastructure does does control up kind of alleviate that as well.

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Randy Price: Yeah. So you know, that’s something else. Right? There’s a little differentiator between control of a new agent. So

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Randy Price: yeah, from a controller perspective. Again monitoring the vdas, your Vdi desktops, your your infrastructure components, your endpoints also have management capabilities. Right? So from that single pane of glass I can manage those devices.

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Randy Price: Control maintains a large community of scripts that are provided

00:17:58.680 –> 00:18:27.634
Randy Price: to perform certain actions right or get additional. You know, metrics or visibility into what’s happening on those devices that you’re monitoring. They also now include, so that they have Edge Dx, again, that’s geared towards your corporate all devices they have remote Dx. For you know, Byod devices they also have secure. Dx. Now, from a just from a security compliance standpoint right for those endpoints, you know. Are they patched. Do I need to, you know, with integration, with solutions such as crowdstrike? Right? So now I could go in. Have those things auto remediated?

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Randy Price: you know there’s ability to see. Are are there certain compliance from a security compliance? Are they meeting compliance regulations from from the endpoint? Right are they running. AV are they running an outdated version of zoom? For example, if I’m using zoom or teams, you know, giving some of that sort of data back

00:18:42.900 –> 00:19:12.060
Randy Price: to that engineer. That’s working, or that help desk. So you know, associate. So you know, from a management perspective, a lot of integrations there. You know not some of the things that you would typically have to, you know, from a monitoring solution, get the data and then move to another, console right to perform some sort of action or take management capabilities. You can do that natively within control, and also their integration with service. Now, so you think about help desk, you know, if I got a help desk associate, they’re working a call

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Randy Price: now. I have this 2 way communication between Controller and service now to where I could be in a service. Now, Ticket, have the Controller enrich Plugin installed.

00:19:21.360 –> 00:19:42.239
Randy Price: and if I’m looking at a device that I’m monitoring the Controller, I can just hover over that little icon that’s displayed on the screen and pull up real time information about that device and even go back historically and see what’s happening. So it’s really a game changer, right? When you think about it, just from a not only am I monitoring, I’m also being able to manage and take actions on those devices, as well.

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Brian Clark: You know, that’s that’s a great summary of of how you can holistically use one platform, even a third party platform to kind of get where you need to go

00:19:51.873 –> 00:20:13.729
Brian Clark: something I found really interesting about what you just said, Randy and Trevor, I wanna I wanna tag you in here. You! You dropped a lot of words like configurations and scripts and automations and workflows. You know, and and I and Trevor and I are on on calls every day with customers, and and they they just overwhelming. Monitoring is overwhelming, Trevor, and you know from from, you know.

00:20:13.750 –> 00:20:31.300
Brian Clark: the customer that we see and speak to every day. I just wanna know what your thoughts are. You know how, how, what we do, what our mindset here is on the Msp team to really help our customers solve this monitoring problem. What do I need to monitor? Who’s gonna help me? Who’s responsible for XY, and Z. Just can you touch a little bit on that.

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TELEPHONE_USER: Yeah, yeah, I well, I think

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TELEPHONE_USER: we have a we not only, I mean, obviously, Zintra is a partner of control up and other monitoring solutions, and

00:20:42.820 –> 00:20:45.996
TELEPHONE_USER: we sell a lot of monitoring. But

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TELEPHONE_USER: I think we have a little unique experience here, you know, from a Msp perspective, we’re

00:20:52.400 –> 00:20:59.101
TELEPHONE_USER: we’re consumers of a lot of monitoring whether that’s Euc monitoring, that’s infrastructure monitoring

00:20:59.900 –> 00:21:02.110

00:21:02.470 –> 00:21:08.359
TELEPHONE_USER: we it’s kind. It’s a required thing right in order for us to get provide

00:21:08.420 –> 00:21:14.540
TELEPHONE_USER: visibility and be able to support our customers. And you know.

00:21:14.600 –> 00:21:22.779
TELEPHONE_USER: do all the things that monitoring will will provide for you right it without it, you know, it’s becomes a very reactive

00:21:23.422 –> 00:21:27.679
TELEPHONE_USER: you know, support type engagement. Right? So if

00:21:28.140 –> 00:21:35.019
TELEPHONE_USER: you know, if if we’re not, if we’re not able to be proactive. And we’re, you know, we’re extending outages, incidents, and

00:21:35.060 –> 00:21:36.710
TELEPHONE_USER: and everything that goes with it.

00:21:37.540 –> 00:21:41.689
TELEPHONE_USER: I don’t know if that’s the point you’re you’re trying to lead towards Brian, but you know that’s.

00:21:41.920 –> 00:21:52.994
Brian Clark: You said a great word. What was that old show? Or you would say the word of the day, and everyone would go all crazy. And I can’t remember what it was. But you know, post post a comment on the podcast on Youtube, if you know

00:21:53.556 –> 00:22:04.309
Brian Clark: but the the magic word was reactive, right? And and and in this environment you can no longer be a reactive administrator. Right? You absolutely 110% need to be proactive.

00:22:04.689 –> 00:22:13.979
Brian Clark: Which I think is critical. So oh, we’ve got a we got a response. Pewee’s playhouse. Holy smokes. I hope I am not dating my age here. Thank you.

00:22:14.291 –> 00:22:28.009
Brian Clark: For for letting us know. But yeah, yeah, I I would think every administrator would agree that we it’s you can no longer be reactive. Right? You need to brush up your Cv, if you’re the reactive administrator. As a matter of fact.

00:22:28.262 –> 00:22:51.449
Brian Clark: Trevor was telling me today that if you go to the control up website, they have calculators on their website that can tell you how much time and money you’re burning without having proactive monitoring in place. Just go to the control, and hit the resources, tab and plug in your numbers into the calculator right there and see the value that monitoring can bring. And it’s not just the control up platform. Right? We we you know, we really wanna emphasize that you need some kind of

00:22:51.450 –> 00:23:17.226
Brian Clark: of monitoring platform. We think Citrix is gonna do wonderful things with uber agent. They really go together like peanut butter and chocolate like our our fander, Andy wise, I would say. You know, we we think we we don’t think the products gonna go anywhere. We think they might need to get their licensing a little bit sorted out and make it more available because it is a great product. But until that happens, there are other great products that you can use, and you can even do more than just monitor with them.

00:23:17.720 –> 00:23:41.089
Brian Clark: so so it’s very exciting times. I do wanna touch base on one more thing. You know, we we talked a lot about different kinds of monitoring and and all the actions that you can take with that zintegr does have a new product. Be prepared and keep an eye out. Project watchtower is being released soon, and it’s gonna take care of all of these needs for you. Right? So it’s gonna be a a service that you can consume

00:23:41.090 –> 00:23:58.269
Brian Clark: powered by AI that happens to to in ingest all of your monitoring data, whether it’s Eucs infrastructure, sas, or any kind of cloud application, and take action on it. With the power of AI. So keep an eye out for that. Thank you. Everyone for attending.

00:23:58.733 –> 00:24:05.460
Brian Clark: This is fireside, Msp, thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you on the next one. Thank you.