ShareFile finds a home at Citrix

Last week the enterprise focused file-sharing company ShareFile was acquired by Citrix. The press release bills the acquisition as an acceleration of Citrix’s Cloud Data Strategy and I, for one, welcome our new Cloud Data overlords. All joking aside, I’m looking forward to Synergy Barcelona even more now that all of the Dropbox/Box.net rumors have been put to rest and we finally have another piece of the “Follow Me Data” story.

The vision for “Follow Me Data”, as originally presented, goes like this:

  • Centralized and secure storage and access to enterprise data from any device, anywhere.
  • Tight integration with Citrix Receiver enables enterprises to deliver desktops, applications and data in a simple, cross-platform manner.
  • Open, SAML-based architecture will ensure support for various cloud storage providers.

The first question that likely comes to mind for those keeping tabs on the “Follow Me Data” story is whether Citrix intends to stand firm in their “openness” mantra and continue to support the cloud storage providers outside of ShareFile. Brian Madden alludes to this in his post on the acquisition. I have no direct knowledge of product plans, hence my anticipation for Synergy Barcelona, but I’d be incredibly shocked if anything changes from the original vision. While Citrix has their own solutions that are supported by XenDesktop/CloudStack, the company continues to support and endorse technologies from other vendors (App-V, Hyper-V, vSphere, KVM, Xen). The same thing should go for cloud storage providers that compete with ShareFile. Citrix would be doing their customers a real disservice by ignoring the other vendors and I just don’t see it happening.

To be honest, I was a little surprised by the announcement; not because of the acquisition itself, but because of the company acquired. Just like the rumors flying around the industry-at-large, there were internal rumblings and ShareFile never came up. I think it would have been cool to end up with a company like Dropbox/Box.net/SugarSync, mainly because I’m familiar with them, but after getting a little hands-on time with the new team’s software I can see why the executives made the decision they did. There’s a heavy focus on the enterprise and being able to share data with both internal and external teams.

I’ll leave the product deep-dive for another post, but it seems clear this acquisition is more about the core technology, existing customer base and the team joining Citrix than the need to grab one of the larger vendors in this space. The integration with Citrix Receiver should be impressive and I’m excited to see what else Citrix has in store.

What say you?

-LF