Citrix Synergy 2012: 10 New Initiatives in Cloud Computing, Virtualization
Citrix unveiled Project Avalon, an initiative to transform any Windows application or desktop into a cloud service delivered across any network, to any device. Citrix already delivers Windows apps and desktops to more than 100 million users. With Project Avalon, Citrix integrates all its IT to extend these same capabilities to the thousands of enterprises that want to adopt private cloud deployments that offer the same resource optimization, infrastructure agility and economics that are currently only provided by public cloud offerings, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Project Avalon enables users to deploy personalized Windows apps and desktops in a private cloud across single or multiple sites, and to use public clouds in a capacity-on-demand manner.
Citrix's new RemotePC is part of the company's FlexCast delivery IT in the XenDesktop product line. It's sort of a bridge to a VDI deployment. Using this feature, XenDesktop customers now will be able to turn existing office PCs into distributed VDI hubs without setting up additional servers and storage in the data center. Once IT is ready to move to a more full-service VDI implementation, these distributed RemotePC images can be moved into the data center to run in a traditional hosted VDI model for better consolidation, security and management efficiency. Remote PC functionality will be included in XenDesktop 5.6 Feature Pack 1, which will ship in June.
Lower Pricing for VDI
Citrix's Project Aruba previews a cost-efficient yet complete VDI environment by extending Citrix VDI-in-a-Box from its Kaviza acquisition with layering technology using personal vDisks to deliver personalized virtual desktops that retain the cost efficiencies of pooled desktops. Project Aruba also provides a validated blueprint for ISPs looking to deliver cost-effective VDI-based desktops-as-a-service.
Acquisition of Virtual Computer
Citrix announced the acquisition of Virtual Computer, a provider of enterprise-scale management applications for client-side virtualization. Citrix will combine the newly acquired Virtual Computer IT with its XenClient hypervisor to create the new Citrix XenClient Enterprise edition. The new XenClient Enterprise, available in the second quarter of 2012, will combine the XenClient hypervisor with a rich set of management functionalities to help enterprise customers manage large fleets of corporate laptops across a distributed enterprise.
New HDX Universal Print Server
Citrix launched its first HDX Universal Print Server, which it combined with its current Universal Print Driver. This enables administrators to install a single driver in the virtual desktop image or application server to permit local or network printing from any device, including thin clients and tablets. It uses HDX optimization to reduce bandwidth load over wide-area networks and manage printing communications outside the virtual desktop channel for enhanced quality of service. HDX Universal Print server will be available with XenDesktop 5.6 Feature Pack 1 in June.
GoToMeeting HDFaces for the iPad
Citrix launched GoToMeeting HDFaces for the iPad, which combines video conferencing, audio conferencing and screen sharing into a single, integrated experience for mobile workers. This all-in-one software package enables workers to collaborate face-to-face while in remote locations, all from a lightweight mobile tablet.
ShareFile Storage Zones
ShareFile is the company's cloud-based file-sharing service that follows users across devices, regardless of where a document was initially created and saved. To expand this to a broader set of enterprise customers, Citrix launched a feature called ShareFile StorageZones, which gives enterprises the ability to choose geographic locations for storing corporate dataeither off-premise in the public cloud, or on-premise, within their own private data centers. This will make it easier for enterprise customers to meet security, compliance and performance requirements. Besides, most people want to know where their data is actually stored.
New Cloud Platform
Like many of its virtualization competitors, Citrix is moving into the cloud platform business. Theirs is called, naturally enough, Citrix CloudPlatform, which the company describes as the "first commercially supported cloud orchestration system based on Apache CloudStack." It works right alongside XenServer and XenClient. With the new release, users can morph virtualized data center resources to automated, elastic, self-service IT delivery models using open standards IT.
NetScaler 10 for AWS
Citrix released a tech preview of NetScaler 10 cloud networking platform, specifically tuned for Amazon Web Services. NetScaler 10 brings the virtues of the cloud to both enterprise and carrier networks. This tech preview enables enterprises to use the full power of NetScaler 10 to be deployed, scaled and managed on-demand within seconds on a cloud platform, with no on-premise deployment, configuration or management required.
Finally, Citrix unveiled its new team-based collaboration platform, Citrix Podio. This follows the company's recent acquisition of Podio, a freemium cloud service that enables people and teams to get work done in a social setting. It features a unique apps concept that adds structure and activity streams to any type of collaborative work.