SAN FRANCISCO-Michael Dell went onstage for his keynote speech May 13 at the Citrix Synergy conference to certify once again that his company and virtualization software maker Citrix Systems are the best of tech friends and intend to cultivate their relationship for the good of the world.
But the real news became clear when Dell reached into his pocket, pulled out one of his company’s upcoming Streak MID (mobile Internet device) handhelds, and teased a full house here at Moscone Center West with a minute-long sneak preview of the device.
It was the first public demo-such as it was-of the new device, which has been rumored for several months.
According to device site Engadget, the Streak is a 5-inch-long device resembling an iPhone or Google Nexus One with WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G WWAN (wireless WAN) connectivity and a 800 by 480 capacitive touch-screen display with multitouch zooming.
It also features a dual-LED Flash 5 megapixel camera on the back and is powered by a 1,300mAh battery.
Streak runs the latest version of Android and will become available starting in June, Dell said.
“The device we use to access our information shouldn’t matter anymore,” Dell said before the demo, getting ready to surprise everybody. “Whether it’s a phone, or a notebook, a netbook or a desktop PC, your client image can follow you everywhere.
“Actually, I’ve got a new little device here,” he said, pulling out the Streak. “I’ve got my Citrix Receiver on here; we can log in and capture our desktop. I’ve got six different desktop planes here, I’ve got my Android applications, I can see what’s going on at Twitter and Facebook.”
“This will be available starting next month, first with our partner 02 Telefonica in Europe, then later this summer with our pretty good partner here in the United States, AT&T,” Dell said.
02 Telefonica is based in the Czech Republic and provides mobile, fixed and broadband services in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Dell Offers Health Care Virtualization Use Case
During a 50-minute appearance in which he mostly answered questions from IDC Chief Analyst Frank Gens and from audience members, Dell extolled the virtues of Citrix’s virtualization know-how and his company’s longtime partnerships with Microsoft and Intel.
Dell cited the example of Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, Ill., as an example of how his company and Citrix teamed up to solve a nagging data center problem: application silos everywhere, with doctors and nurses wasting a great deal of time walking to different locations in the building to use different applications.
“They had been interacting with 200 or more terminals, thin clients, PCs, kind of spread all out. And they had to remember-if you can believe this-which workstation had which application,” Dell said. “This was kind of a puzzle. Not an ideal environment, when you’re trying to save lives and improve patient outcomes.”
Doctors were wasting up to 60 minutes a day, “time that could have been used to care for patients more effectively,” Dell said. “So Dell and Citrix virtualized their system, and now the applications follow the caregivers around.”
The ability to roam an enterprise such as a hospital and quickly authenticate users is the key, Dell said.
“Here comes the desktop environment, all the apps are available, and when you walk away, that session closes,” Dell said. “You also have complete HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] compliance. Now this customer believes that this has saved the hospital 20,000 hours a year, which obviously goes to better care and better outcomes for patients.
“So virtualization really is changing our lives, from the device to the data center, to this ubiquitous access, to the control it provides, to security.”
One of the biggest challenges in desktop virtualization is the high cost of consolidated storage, Dell said.
“But now with virtualized IP SANs, iSCSI storage-like that provided by our EqualLogic offering-we’re driving totally new efficiencies for virtualized desktops,” he said.
Dell said the new generation of EqualLogic storage arrays will include auto-tiering and loading-balancing capabilities that can work across both HDD and solid-state storage.
“What this allows you to do is get much better scalability for virtual desktops,” Dell said. “This means that on an array, instead of getting 100 or 150 virtual desktops, you can have 300 to 450 virtual desktops-and that’s on just one array.”
Citrix Synergy concludes May 14.