Citrix sees 2009 as the year that cloud computing and desktop virtualization will take off in a big way. To help create momentum for the cloud and client virtualization, Citrix Systems will offer its Delivery Center suite, which includes Citrix XenDesktop, XenServer and a new product called App Receiver, which can sit on a PC or an Apple iPhone and deliver a virtual desktop image. VMware is also looking to expand its presence in the data center for cloud computing and for desktop virtualization.
is looking toward 2009 as the year that its vision for cloud
computing and desktop virtualization will come into much sharper
focus, with product suites that allow enterprises to build new types of
In the next year, Citrix plans to offer new software suites that will give
enterprises the tools to build their own internal cloud computing
infrastructures as well as allow businesses to tap into external clouds that
are built using Citrix technology. That vision dovetails with Citrix's
virtual desktop and server virtualization offerings built around its 2007
acquisition of XenSource
and products such as XenDesktop, XenServer and XenApp-the
new name for the older Presentation Server.
Citrix is also looking to expand virtualization to other devices and offer
the ability to deliver a desktop image or application to smartphones, such as the
The cloud computing model, in which computing power, storage and
applications are centralized in a data center and then delivered to users
through the Internet, came into its own in 2008. While companies such as Citrix,
Google and IBM are offering different
visions of what cloud computing is, the push toward this model is expected to
continue in 2009.
On Dec. 9, Sun
Microsystems announced plans for cloud computing that will roll out in the next
. VMware, Citrix's main rival for desktop virtualization, also
offered up its cloud vision, saying it plans to use its
x86 virtualization technology to create cloud computing infrastructures and
deliver these resources to PCs and devices such as smartphones.
Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT Research, said the idea of the cloud
and creating a virtual desktop infrastructure work hand-in-hand because both
concepts allow businesses to deliver computing resources anywhere at any given
time. In addition, these concepts give IT departments greater control over how
those resources are used.
"What Citrix is doing, and what I think is emblematic of what other
companies are doing, is defining the cloud through the lens of their own
offerings," King said. "What Citrix used to be is an application
services provider ... it's not a big step to say 'We're a cloud services provider'
and to use virtualization to apportion the applications and operating system
resources to those desktops."
Citrix's acquisition of XenSource and long history of working with Microsoft
mean that it does have most of the pieces in place to offer cloud computing as
well as desktop virtualization, King said.