Citrix Barcelona Blitz Includes VDI, Cloud And Acquisition News

Citrix Synergy2011--billed as the conference where cloud computing, networking and virtualization meet--is the epicenter of a barrage of cloud computing-, networking- and virtualization-related announcements, including the acquisition of long-time partner app-DNA, developer of the AppTitude application management software platform. New and enhanced products include Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5, Citrix CloudPortal, Citrix Desktop Transformation Model, Citrix HDX Ready System-on-Chip (SoC) initiative and

October 26, 2011

4 Min Read
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Taking place this week in Barcelona, Spain, Citrix Synergy2011--billed as the conference where cloud computing, networking and virtualization meet--is the epicenter of a barrage of cloud computing-, networking- and virtualization-related announcements, including the acquisition of long-time partner app-DNA, developer of the AppTitude application management software platform. New and enhanced products include Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5, Citrix CloudPortal, Citrix Desktop Transformation Model, Citrix HDX Ready System-on-Chip (SoC) initiative and NetScaler CloudConnectors.

A part of the company's new SMB focus to move from the PC era to the cloud era, the release of Citrix VDI-in-a-Box eliminates more than 60% of VDI costs without compromising features such as user experience, security and high availability. Due out this quarter, the VDI product can also be remotely managed through new dashboards and alerts in Citrix GoToManage, which continually tracks key health and performance metrics on the physical and virtual infrastructure.

First introduced in October 2010, the Citrix Desktop Transformation Model has been enhanced with the Citrix Success Accelerator for XenDesktop with a free step-by-step checklist and instructions, hundreds of design benchmarks, best-practice quick tips, alerts and resources, as well as access to new desktop transformation tools. The free and automated Citrix Virtual Desktop Assessment Tool provides an inventory of an organization’s devices, applications and end user usage patterns, and then provides recommendations, organized by user groups, on the use of XenDesktop FlexCast desktop delivery models, master image configuration and application portfolio.

As part of the App-DNA acquisition, the AppTitude platform provides an analysis of an organization’s application portfolio, deployment guidance, a project effort calculator and, where necessary, the information required to remediate any application compatibility issues. For organizations using application virtualization and streaming, this tool will automatically package the applications for use with Microsoft Installer (MSI), Microsoft App-V and Citrix XenApp.

A new product line, Citrix CloudPortal, is targeted at cloud service providers, more than 2,000 of which already use Citrix products. Available in two editions, CloudPortal Services Manager (mid-December release) and CloudPortal Business Manager (available now), the line is intended to simplify and automate the commerce and customer service aspects of operating a cloud business, including on-boarding, account management, billing and metering, customer service and service provisioning. The company also previewed Citrix CloudStack 3, a platform designed to help build public and private clouds, which will feature a cloud-optimized version of Citrix XenServer 6, integration with NetScaler SDX and VPX appliances, and support for Swift, the OpenStack object-storage technology for creating redundant, scalable object storage using clusters of standardized servers to store petabytes of accessible data. It will be available later this quarter.

Citrix is targeting cloud service delivery with NetScaler CloudConnectors that extend the networking footprint beyond the data center to points of presence globally. Available in November, the first offering, NetScaler CloudConnector for CDN (cloud delivery network)--offered in partnership with Cotendo, a provider of cloud acceleration and CDN services--is expected to accelerate the delivery of static and dynamic content by up to five times, while reducing network bandwidth requirements by up to 95%. Additional connectors for optimizing HDX and for hybrid security systems will be available in 2012. The company is also enhancing CloudBridge with a validated list of cloud data centers that can be tapped for additional capacity and wizard-driven one-sided setup with cloud providers.

The company also unveiled its Citrix HDX Ready SoC initiative, which is expected to enable a new generation of devices to deliver high-definition virtual apps and desktops at low cost, breaking the sub-$100 price point for high-definition zero clients. Citrix says incorporating its HDX technology into silicon will enable non-traditional devices such as network monitors, phones, smart keyboards, consumer set-top boxes, shop floor equipment, kiosks and hospital workstations on wheels to display virtual apps and desktops directly, without the need for a full PC at the endpoint. The first devices using the new silicon are expected to hit the market in early 2012.

What's most significant about the announcements is that we're no longer talking about mere desktop virtualization, says Rachel Chalmers, research director, The 451 Group. "We're talking about a complete transformation of the way desktops are managed."

She says VDI is just one of the tools organizations will use to transform the way they provision and manage all workspaces--not only desktops but also smartphones and tablets. "Kaviza's VDI-in-a-box fits because small and midsize businesses will use some VDI, and that technology allows them to scale it without effort. App-DNA fits because it tests all applications, fixes those that can't be migrated easily, and identifies targets for application virtualization as well as desktop virtualization."

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