Laptops on the Go with Virtual Desktops

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2010-10-06 Print this article Print


The free XenClient builds upon FlexCast to allow laptops to be on the go with virtual desktops, the company said. With this bare metal hypervisor, customers can execute virtual workloads on a local machine, disconnect anytime and reconnect with built-in synchronization, and still allow administrations to centrally manage all the desktops and laptops. XenClient supports multi-monitor and 3D graphics, as well.

XenVault, also available for free with XenDesktop 5, lets administrators deliver corporate applications as an on-demand service. All documents created within the service are automatically encrypted and transparently saved in an encrypted folder on the desktop. IT can also securely wipe corporate data from the laptop remotely. XenVault allows administrators to secure corporate data when working with outside contractors and employees using their personal laptops, Citrix said.

Citrix CEO Mark Templeton said at the conference that Lenovo will join Dell and HP in shipping XenClient as a factory-installed option.

Citrix announced new storage and networking features for XenServer 5.6 FeaturePack. Of the new features, the new Intellicache technology is most significant-it can potentially lower the cost of virtual desktop infrastructure deployments. The new technology allows back and forth rewrites of XenDesktop and server, and caches them to local storage to improve performance and reduce costs by using products cheaper than a storage-area-network device.

"With XenDesktop and IntelliCache, customers will not only have all the capabilities needed to create and manage a virtual infrastructure at a fraction of the cost of competing products, but they can also leverage it to dramatically reduce the costs of their VDI implementations," said N. Louis Shipley, group vice-president and general manager of the XenServer Product Group at Citrix Systems in a statement.

XenServer includes virtual machine protection and recovery features that allow IT managers to schedule automatic snapshots of the virtual machine disk and memory states and archive the resulting images.

The new Web Management Console allows self-service Web administration, giving application owners direct access to the virtual machines they are responsible for. The new Web-based console can be accessed from any Web browser for simple daily management tasks.

Finally, Distributed Virtual Switching provides seamless management of resources between the internal datacenter and external cloud providers. The fully integrated virtual switch is included in the free version of XenServer at no additional charge, but advanced controls are available only in the upgrade editions.

Both the new XenServer and XenDesktop 5 will be available later this year, Citrix said. Pricing for XenDesktop is expected to be $95 per user or device for the VDI-only edition, Enterprise editions for $225, and Platinum editions for $350. Comprehensive desktop and application virtualization will be available in the Enterprise or Platinum editions of XenDesktop 5.


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