Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Citrix Missed Laying off 500 people by "That Much"

So it seems that not even the "Big C" is immune to the faltering economy. In various news sources a few days ago, the mothership announced that it will be shit-canning 500 people. Everyone is trimming the fat these days, but I have to say that I'm a little surprised that Citrix is hurting as badly as it seems to be.

With the economy resembling a steaming pile of llama squat these days, many shops are trying to downsize and consolidate their access infrastructure. EMC has seized on this and has happily been spoonfeeding VMWare deployments to companies that are suddenly finding it difficult to buy corporate jets. There is a very simple reason for that. The vast majority of CPU cycles in any data center are spent waiting around for some kind of user input. Virtualizing idle hardware saves money. Plain and simple. And it saves it immediately. That's important.

So why the woes at Citrix? Could it be that because the up front costs to implement their solutions are so ridiculously high, that they have become prohibitive in a down market? Could it be that the financial pressure is forcing would-be Citrix customers to go to companies like Quest, Ericom, or even (excuse me while I throw up a little in my mouth) plain terminal server?

I don't know. And things are happening so fast that no one really does know or know enough to get their head around it - not even that mad money jackass guy.

So kids, the employment outlook just got a whole lot shittier for you and me. Citrix has effectively taken an upper-decker on the thin market by flooding it with 500 or so (supposedly) qualified engineers. So we just have to sit back and watch them quickly gobble up any market demand that might be floating about.

With a down economy, niche skills get ass-slammed. You need to be able to offer a holistic solution and show a payback on the front end right away in big powerpoint motion-tweened letters. No one wants to hear about ROI when they're just trying to keep the lights on. My advice to any Citrix engineer out there - employed or not - learn VMWare (fuck that Xen stuff), get a development skill (VBScript or preferably powershell and .NET), set yourself up for an alternate source of income with side projects or consulting, update your certs, and downsize your lifestyle.

We'll get through this, but grab your altoids cause it's gonna taste shitty for a while.