Citrix Desktop Virtualization Feature Supports High-End Graphics

Citrix Systems is bringing high-end graphics users into the fold of its HDX desktop virtualization technologies. Citrix's HDX technologies are aimed at improving the end-user experience for users of its XenDesktop offering. HDX 3D will make it easier and more secure for graphics users, such as engineers, designers and scientists, to collaborate over the WAN or LAN. A host of other vendors, including Wyse, also have unveiled technologies designed to improve the experience of desktop virtualization users ahead of the opening of VMworld 2009.

Citrix Systems is bringing high-end graphics capabilities to its XenDesktop virtualization offering.

Citrix on Aug. 31 is unveiling its HDX 3D feature for high-end graphics users-such as engineers, scientists, and research and development professionals-joining other offerings in such areas as multimedia and collaboration in the company's HDX line, which is designed to improve the end-user experience for XenDesktop clients.

The HDX 3D offering will be available before the end of September, Calvin Hsu, director of product marketing at Citrix, said in an interview.

"One thing [graphics professionals] have expressed they really needed ... was the ability to support remote workers connected over the wide area network [WAN]," Hsu said.

Business professionals who use high-end graphics tend to need to collaborate with colleagues in other locations and in projects that call for high security and protection of their company's intellectual property. Currently a group of graphics users might post their work to an FTP site, then wait for colleagues elsewhere to download the data and continue the work. Another option is putting the work on a portable hard drive and mailing it overnight, Hsu said.

Both options slow the collaboration process and expose IP to security risks.

"They don't want to be shipping data around," he said.

With desktop virtualization, the data-along with the operating system and applications-is stored centrally in a data center, and can be quickly accessed via a WAN or LAN, Hsu said.

Citrix's HDX 3D technology makes it easier to use high-end graphics in a desktop virtualization environment by consuming 10 times less network bandwidth than competing technologies from the likes of VMware, he said.

The result is an end-user experience in a virtualized desktop environment that closely mirrors that of a traditional PC, Hsu said.

Improving that end-user experience is a key factor in growing the adoption rate of desktop virtualization technologies, according to industry analysts.

At the VMworld 2009 show, which runs Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in San Francisco, a host of vendors large and small are rolling out offerings designed to improve the end-user experience.

RingCube, Wyse Technology and a startup called Wanova already have unveiled technologies designed to do just that, and others, including VMware and NComputing, are expected to talk about their desktop virtualization offerings as well.