Citrix Launches XenDesktop 5, XenServer to Drive Virtual Desktop Deployments

Citrix announced a new XenDesktop that supports virtual desktops on laptops and touch devices, along with a new XenServer to simplify virtual machine management.

Citrix Systems unveiled significant upgrades to its virtual desktop and virtual server at its Synergy conference in Berlin on Oct. 6.

The launch of XenDesktop 5-with support for a wider range of devices, third-party products, as well as software-as-a-service applications and a slew of new features-was accompanied by the new release of XenServer 5.6.

The new XenDesktop brings "unprecedented levels of simplicity and power to virtual desktops," Citrix said in a statement.

XenDesktop 5 features a simpler and more powerful user interface, enhanced HDX user experience and new support for tablets, including the Apple iPad, Dell Streak, and Samsung Galaxy. It also integrated the Dazzle self-service application access technology free of charge into Citrix Receiver, which provides access to any Windows, Web and SaaS application regardless of where it is actually hosted.

XenDesktop 5 simplified the install process to make it easier to be up and running with a virtual desktop, or as Citrix called it, "10 minutes to Xen." Management is also faster and simpler, with new role-based consoles. The Desktop Studio is for IT administrators designing, provisioning, and managing new desktops. The Desktop Director console gives help-desk managers a way to monitor and support virtual desktops across a distributed environment. The new System Center makes it easier for customers to manage applications on both physical and virtual desktops using the same set of tools.

XenDesktop 5 is visually more appealing, with a new welcome screen, login experience, and Desktop Viewer. There is also an enhanced high-definition user experience with new HDX enhancements, including faster video collaboration, improved audio, high-speed printing, and intelligent quality-of-service capabilities, the company said.

"With the advances we have made in simplicity, security and scalability, we are enabling enterprises to unleash the power of virtualization for all of their users anywhere they are located and on any device they choose," said Gordon Payne, senior vice president and general manager of the Desktop Division at Citrix.