Citrix overhauls virtual desktop products for ‘personal cloud’

Posted by:admin Posted on:May 26,2011

• Improving usability of virtual desktops, Citrix will preview an upgraded version of its HDX technology. With three times faster performance, Wasson said virtual desktop technology will deliver better multi-tasking, graphics support, real-time collaboration, and delivery of rich multimedia to branch offices.


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With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, users often have several devices to connect to corporate networks. But unless you use only cloud-based services and trust your security to someone else, enterprises need robust technology in the data center to deliver applications and secure the network.

FUTURE OF WORK: The complicated new face of personal computing

Two new Citrix technologies target these needs:

• NetScaler Cloud Gateway, to be available in physical and virtual appliances, sits at the “front door” of the data center, connecting Web applications and Windows apps to any device in a secure manner, while providing single sign-on to users, Wasson said. The Gateway will also monitor a customer’s licenses and service-level agreements.

• NetScaler Cloud Bridge, a companion piece, sits at the “back door” of the network to provide a secure connection between the data center and cloud services. WAN optimization improves data flow and reduces use of bandwidth, and lets you split up the components of an application between data center and cloud. For example, a customer could run most of an application in a cloud service but keep Active Directory and sensitive data in-house for security reasons.

A sale date for Cloud Gateway is not available yet, but the software will be available on NetScaler VPX, a software-based virtual appliance that starts at $2,000, or on NetScaler MPX, a hardware appliance that starts at $12,000. Cloud Gateway will also be available for a NetScaler services package that starts at $90,000.

Cloud Bridge will ship next month with pricing starting at $5,000 as a standalone appliance, or as part of the NetScaler Platinum edition.

Rounding out Citrix’s Synergy announcements are a few pieces that bolster the company’s virtual desktop software:

• An acquisition of virtual desktop vendor Kaviza, which targets small and midsized businesses with VDI that doesn’t require load balancers, connection brokers or attached storage. Wasson said this will move VDI “downmarket” to the masses.

• XenDesktop 5, which was released a few months ago, is being updated with Citrix’s IntelliCache to reduce the need for network-attached storage by running more processes on the server. (XenDesktop costs $95 to $350 per user or device.)

• A free online service called “Success Accelerator” will give customers guidance in deploying Citrix virtual desktop products.

Citrix’s desktop products put it in a good position against rival VMware, which has lagged behind Citrix in delivering features such as profile management, virtual desktops on the iPad and a bare-metal hypervisor.

One problem for Citrix is that many potential virtual desktop customers still use VMware to virtualize the servers that are likely to host desktop images. Although Citrix points out that the Amazon and Rackspace clouds run on the Xen hypervisor, VMware boasts a customer base that includes 96% of the Fortune 1000.


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