Citrix to Make Virtualized Desktops 'Self-Service'

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-05-12 Print this article Print

Citrix XenClient, coming out later in 2010, is designed to supply virtual desktops for mobile corporate workers and provide the benefits of virtualization in a way that non-IT people can deploy themselves.

SAN FRANCISCO-Citrix Systems on May 12 revealed that it is readying a new bare-metal, client-side hypervisor that enables centrally managed virtual desktops to run directly on any corporate laptop or PC-even if they become disconnected from the network.

The announcement of the product's first public release, which will be included in the next release of Citrix Desktop later in 2010, was made at the Citrix Synergy conference here at the Moscone Center.

Citrix XenClient, built on XenServer code and developed in a partnership with Intel to run on its vPro hardware, enables virtual machines to run parallel to themselves and local applications directly on the drive, rather than hosted within the installed operating system.

For example, a user can have Windows 7, Linux and Windows XP running at the same time on the XenServer-based XenClient in localized VMs, Barry Phillips, vice president and general manager of Citrix's Platform Group, told eWEEK.

"It's really self-service desktop virtualization," Phillips said. "You get all the benefits and security attributes of the VM, and it's a lot simpler to use. One of our main goals is just to make desktop virtualization simpler for everybody to use."

Frankly, there are still a lot of users-enterprise and otherwise-who are afraid to even consider using VMs on their personal computers, largely because they don't understand the overall benefits and how to use them.

Citrix on May 12 also unveiled a tool called Synchronizer for XenClient, which enables laptops with XenClient to quickly download centrally managed virtual desktops and automatically back up user data through a secure Internet connection, Phillips said.

Using Synchronizer, an IT manager can define security policies for all managed laptops, disable lost or stolen XenClient laptops, and even restore a user's virtual desktop on any XenClient-based laptop, Phillips said.

Phillips also said a test version of the client, XenClient Express-an amalgamation of the XenClient bare-metal hypervisor, Citrix Receiver, and Synchronizer-is available as a free download on the Citrix Website.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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