Citrix CEO Mark Templeton drew back the curtain at the Citrix iForum user conference on a new initiative the company is undertaking to simplify the deployment of different types of desktops.
The Dynamic Desktop initiative is intended to allow any Windows desktop to be delivered over any network and allow it to be optimized to the types of workers who will use it.
Templeton drew the distinction between delivering the desktop and deploying it and described the formula for creating a dynamic desktop delivery capability.
"You start with a Windows-based access device, add any kind of network connection, your favorite Windows desktop OS, and then add a full complement of desktop delivery and experience management technology for a full system," he said.
The initiative, which will also rely on Citrix partners such as IBM Global Services, Wyse, Accenture, Neoware and others to make it possible, calls for the delivery of three types of Windows desktops.
The first, simple and fast, is intended for office workers who perform repetitive tasks. Examples include call center workers, branch bank clerical staff and retail clerks.
That type of desktop leverages Microsofts Windows Terminal Services in the data center.
Citrix will take that capability, largely available today, and expand it to two other types of dynamic desktops.
The personal and versatile desktop is intended for non-repetitive, administrative tasks such as those performed in marketing, finance, sales and other administrative departments in an organization.
"Its always up to date, and its completely portable," said Templeton.
That dynamic desktop type leverages virtual machines on Windows.
Citrixs project, code-named Trinity, also calls for a dynamic desktop intended for workers performing complex, compute-intensive tasks.
It would target users such as trading-floor workers, visualization analysts working in oil and gas exploration, design engineers and so on.
"You can support as many machines as you want that are dedicated to that high-performance user. It leverages the power of blade servers in the data center to lower TCO and provide horsepower on demand," said Templeton in his keynote address at iForum in Orlando.
The first deliverable in the initiative, the Desktop Broker, is a new feature that is available now with the Citrix Presentation Server. It is a free download feature for customers on Citrix support.
It governs the type of desktop that is delivered to a particular user. It provides an administrators console where the administrator can initiate a connection reset and deliver the desired operating system to the end user.
It provides private or pooled desktop brokering, a Web interface and secure gateway.
In the first quarter of next year, Citrix will release an integrated version of the dynamic desktop capability that separates the desktop delivery from the application delivery.
It will bring new application streaming capability to that delivery and integrate the performance monitoring capabilities of the Citrix EdgeSight end user monitoring tool, according to Scott Herren, group vice president of virtualization systems group. It will not require Citrix Presentation Server infrastructure.
A second release of that capability due in the last half of 2007 will add a direct ICA connection to a central desktop, support for a universal print driver, USB support and other features.
Citrix Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy Wes Wasson asserted the Trinity represents a potentially large product line that rivals Presentation Server in revenue generation.
"We are at a threshold in the industry where we can think about delivering the desktop in a different way," he said.
Citrix user Eachan Fletcher was encouraged by the potential in the Trinity project. "Individually, those technologies are nothing new. The magic will be in how they pull things together. Its a good thing that Citrix recognizes there are different user profiles. Show me the integration and Ill be happy," said Fletcher, head of group solutions at online betting company Betfair in London.
Another Citrix customer from steel distribution vendor Ryerson is also pleased to see the distinction between different user profiles. "With Trinity, you take the basic applications and bulk it up as you need to. You can look at the corporate office and see how to give them more robust applications and go to engineering and do the same," said James Chorosevic, senior director of IT at Ryerson in Westmont, Ill.