Citrix Goes Do-It-Yourself with New Products, Services

Topping the new arrivals at Synergy 2009 is Dazzle, an online application store for developers, designed along the iTunes model; Citrix Receiver, a new iPod app that enables users to administer enterprise applications from anywhere; and an upgraded Citrix Essentials virtualization management package for its own XenServer hypervisor and for Microsoft's Hyper-V.

Desktop and data center virtualization software provider Citrix moved full force into do-it-yourself mode May 5, launching a list of new self-service-type products and services at its annual Synergy 2009 users conference in Las Vegas.
The software and services-which also include some upgrades of existing products-ran the full scope of markets, from the enterprise to SMB to the home user.
Topping the new arrivals is Dazzle, an online application store for developers, designed along the iTunes model; Citrix Receiver, a new iPod app that enables users to administer enterprise applications from anywhere; and a major upgrade to Citrix's Essentials virtualization management package for XenServer hypervisor and Microsoft's Hyper-V.
"Dazzle is really the first online store for enterprise applications," Wes Wasson, Citrix senior vice president and chief marketing officer, told eWEEK. "It's just like iTunes; everybody knows how to use iTunes.
"If you look at the state of enterprise computing today, it's collapsing under its own weight of complexity. One of the biggest answers to this is just embracing consumerism and moving toward self-service, on-demand. That's what we're aiming at with all these new products and services," Wasson said.
Dazzle, to be made available later this year, is a freely downloadable interface tool that enables users to find and utilize enterprise applications. Dazzle installs in front of existing delivery infrastructures and works with current Citrix enterprise products such as XenApp and XenDesktop to bring an "intuitive user experience that requires no training, similar to how Apple iTunes works," Wasson said.
Using Dazzle, anybody on any computer can browse and search for whatever application they need based on name, description or type. The applications can be selected, stored and organized into custom lists.
For compliance and legal purposes, Dazzle can be programmed to send a message to an IT manager to authorize the use of licensed applications.
Versatile New Virtual Client
Citrix Receiver, a new virtual software client, is a versatile new product that enables enterprise IT to deliver desktops and applications as an on-demand service to any device in any location, Wasson said. Receiver runs in the background of a virtual desktop and improves the ability of Citrix to update applications by pushing out the changes automatically, he said.
"When there is an update to a XenApps, for instance, we can push it directly to all users who have Citrix Receiver," he said. "They don't even have to think about it."
Receiver has a version that runs on the Apple iPhone, Wasson said, which enables standard enterprise applications like Microsoft PowerPoint and Word to work on it, Wasson said.
Using Receiver, enterprise staff members who need to access their work desktops from any location can go to a URL given to them by IT. The IT manager, however, maintains control over the employee's workspace for security purposes.
Finally, outside developers can use Receiver to test their applications to run on various devices, Wasson said. This eliminates the need to build, test and support specific software clients for each type of device.
Citrix also released an upgrade to its Citrix Essentials virtualization management package for its own XenServer hypervisor and for Microsoft's Hyper-V.
The new 5.5 version of Citrix Essentials features expanded data storage integration, automated storage management, dynamic workload balancing and Active Directory integration. It also offers an enhanced search feature, which allows for search by VM name, resource pool, location, server, storage repository, snapshot time and network name-all from a single location.
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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...