Citrix acquires Cedexis to broaden their application delivery controller play

In a blog post today, Citrix is announcing the acquisition of Cedexis, a “real-time data-driven service for dynamically optimizing the flow of traffic across public clouds, data centers, CDNs, and ISPs.”

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We’ve always focused more on the workspaces side of Citrix rather than on the NetScaler and application delivery controller side, but considering the layoffs and changes last year and that this is Citrix’s first acquisition since Unidesk, the desktop virtualization community will certainly be taking note.

Cedexis was founded in 2009, and has $36.7 million in funding to date, according to Crunchbase. Citrix was part of their Round B in 2016, and is now buying all of Cedexis. The acquisition is now complete; terms are not being disclosed.

Cedexis uses crowdsourced data about the performance of CDNs, cloud services, ISPs, and the like to help companies do “smart steering” of their traffic on the public internet. This article from The Register is a few years old, but explains the core technology better than I could. One of the primary examples that Citrix’s Manoj Raisinghani told me about in a briefing last week was to route application traffic around trouble spots like slow CDNs, servers that are down, etc., to provide better performance and business continuity.

For NetScaler customers, Cedexis should slot right in and add more visibility and control for delivering applications to end users. But a big part of Cedexis’s customer base are commercial customers like SaaS providers, CDNs, and ISVs that deliver video and other content to their respective end customers. These commercial customers aren’t always what we think about when we think of Citrix’s primary customers and products.

With all of Citrix’s business lines over the last few years, the big question has been “is it core?” NetScaler is solidly core to Citrix products, and Cedexis fits right into it. With all the recent enterprise cloud progress, it seems like the right time for these types of tools.

We can sometimes be guilty of not fully appreciating Citrix’s business in the application delivery space. But considering the track record of some of Citrix’s acquisitions and attempts to find the next big thing beyond desktop virtualization, we can’t help but be a little bit wary. We’ll be watching this to see how it plays out.

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