Citrix Drives Mainstream Adoption Of Desktop Virtualization With XenDesktop 4

First and only product to deliver every type of virtual desktop from a single, integrated solution

October 6, 2009

11 Min Read
Network Computing logo

SANTA CLARA, CA ?? 10/6/2009 ?? Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS), today announced Citrix XenDesktop 4, a groundbreaking new product designed to make virtual desktops a mainstream reality for hundreds of millions of corporate employees for the first time ever. Unlike first-generation solutions that were applicable only to a narrow set of users, XenDesktop 4 with its new FlexCast delivery technology is the first product in the industry to support every major desktop virtualization model in a single, integrated solution - a breakthrough that enables improved ROI, simplified management and extends the benefits of virtualization to every employee in the enterprise. XenDesktop 4 further simplifies desktop computing by integrating all the capabilities of Citrix XenApp, enabling customers to deliver on-demand applications to physical or virtual desktops as a seamless part of their overall desktop strategy. To ensure every user gets a high-definition experience at all times, XenDesktop 4 also includes significant enhancements to its industry-leading HDX technology. It also builds on the company's 20-year partnership with Microsoft, simplifying the management of virtual desktops through Microsoft System Center, and adding multiple enhancements that further extend the value of Microsoft Windows and Windows Server platforms. In total, XenDesktop 4 adds more than 70 new features, significantly enhancing its performance, security and readiness for large, enterprise-wide deployments.

"2010 will be a watershed year for desktop virtualization, ushering in a new era that will revolutionize the way we work, live and play," said Mark Templeton, president and CEO, Citrix Systems. "25 years ago, the personal computer turned the world upside down, radically improving individual productivity and communications. That world is about to change again. People today need to work in entirely new ways, powered by the connectivity of the internet, an explosion of new devices, and the limitless promise of the web. And they need to do it without being confined to ordinary desktops that are locked to an office, a device, or a network. Desktop virtualization has the power to make all this possible. That revolution begins here, today. And it starts with the new XenDesktop." (see video message from Mark Templeton)

Making Desktop Computing Fast, Simple and Flexible
By delivering desktops as an on-demand service to any device, XenDesktop 4 dramatically simplifies the world of desktop computing. On-boarding new employees goes from days to minutes. New branches can be opened in a fraction of the time. And employee moves, adds and changes become quick and easy. Combining secure central management with full device independence also allows companies to implement cost-saving "BYOC" (bring-your-own-computer) programs that give employees the freedom to purchase any laptop of their choice in lieu of standard-issue PCs owned and managed by IT.

Benefits for end users are equally profound. With XenDesktop 4, users are no longer tethered to a specific device. They simply use whatever PC, Mac, thin client, laptop or netbook is most convenient, and get instant, secure access to their full Windows desktop and everything on it. XenDesktop's HDX technology ensures a rich, high-definition experience every time they log in, no matter where they are or what kind of virtual desktop technology is being used on the back end.

Extending Desktop Virtualization to Every User with FlexCast
The centerpiece of XenDesktop 4 is its FlexCast delivery technology, a powerful new capability that gives customers the flexibility to deliver any type of virtual desktop, to any user, on any device - and to change this mix at any time. XenDesktop 4 with FlexCast allows customers to use any combination of the following virtual desktop technologies, all orchestrated from one, centrally-managed solution:For task workers sharing a similar set of applications, the most secure, cost-effective approach is a shared, server-based virtual desktop. This model gives each user a standardized, locked-down desktop ideally suited for jobs where user customization is not needed or desired. By supporting up to 500 users on a single server, this model offers a significant cost savings over any other virtual desktop technology:

  • For office workers who need more personalized desktops, the hosted VM-based model, commonly referred to as VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure), is often the best approach. By running each user's desktop in a dedicated virtual machine, this option combines the benefits of central management with full user personalization, and can generally support about 60-70 desktops per server.

  • For power users running high-end professional applications, blade PCs in the datacenter can also be an attractive option. This approach offers all the benefits of centralization, but ensures dedicated processing power for each user by hosting only one desktop per server.

  • XenDesktop 4 also supports a range of innovative client-side options, including the ability to stream desktops to each user's device to run locally, while still managing the OS, apps and data centrally. This approach offers an easy, low-cost way for customers to get started with desktop virtualization by leveraging existing PC resources and keeping datacenter overhead to a minimum. It can also be ideal for government and university labs that use diskless PCs for maximum data security.

  • In some cases, the simplest option is to deliver virtual applications to a PC running a traditionally installed OS. By centralizing apps and delivering them as an on-demand service to existing desktops, this option offers many of the ROI and management benefits of a fully virtualized desktop with minimal setup costs, making it an ideal starting point for customers new to desktop virtualization. Because virtual apps can work offline as well, this option is also a popular choice for mobile users.


"Dell's Flexible Computing vision aligns well with Citrix's desktop virtualization strategy.  Citrix XenDesktop 4, as part of Dell's Flexible Computing offering, gives our customers the flexibility to pick the best type of virtual desktop solution for their needs," said Michael Dell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dell. "Given the upcoming Windows 7 refresh cycle, we're expecting many of our customers to begin assessing desktop virtualization as the industry moves to anytime, anywhere desktop access."

"CSC has enjoyed a robust history of offering clients the quality and innovation Citrix continuously brings to market, said Mike Laphen, CSC Chairman, President and CEO. By expanding the reach of desktop virtualization to every employee in the enterprise, XenDesktop 4 with its new FlexCast delivery technology will help CSC further deploy virtualized desktop services to meet the rapidly growing market demand."

On-Demand Apps by XenApp
Much of the cost and complexity of desktop management is a direct result of the applications running on each user's unique desktop. Integrating all the capabilities of Citrix's market-leading XenApp technology into XenDesktop 4 instantly improves the ROI of desktop virtualization by making application delivery a seamless part of the overall desktop management experience.  Now, IT can control data access, manage fewer desktop images, eliminate system conflicts, and reduce application regression testing. Adding, updating and removing apps is simple because users can leverage a self-service app store, enabling them to access applications instantly from anywhere.

Enhanced HDX User Experience
XenDesktop 4 also includes significant new features that improve power and capacity management, service monitoring, scalability, security and performance. Most important among these are enhancements to its high-definition HDX technology, ensuring that every user gets the best possible experience, regardless of which virtual desktop technology is at work on the back end. New HDX improvements in XenDesktop 4 include enhancements for multimedia content, real-time collaboration, USB peripherals and 3D graphics to assist in real-time collaboration among disperse design teams. In addition to improving user experience, these new HDX enhancements utilize up to 90 percent less bandwidth than alternative solutions (see separate press release issued today).

"In 2009, we saw many organizations doing pilots and departmental implementations of desktop virtualization and proving that the technology greatly simplifies desktop computing. Now, it's time to see these pilots turned into enterprise-wide strategic initiatives. 2010 will be a critical year to demonstrate proof that desktop virtualization can become a mainstream strategic IT initiative," said Matt Eastwood, group vice president, Enterprise Platform Research, IDC. "Key factors such as a PC refresh cycle with Windows 7 and the availability of improved technology, like XenDesktop 4, that enhances user experience and provides flexibility to deliver different types of virtual desktops will help drive desktop virtualization to the mainstream."Expanded Microsoft Partnership
XenDesktop 4 expands the company's longtime partnership with Microsoft, helping customers drive an entirely new level of desktop efficiency by leveraging the latest enhancements in Microsoft platforms such as Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services and the Microsoft VDI Suites. XenDesktop 4 likewise builds on the latest performance and availability enhancements of Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V. Beginning with version 4, XenDesktop now ships with Hyper-V as well. The two companies are also working together to simplify the management of physical and virtual desktops and applications via the Microsoft System Center management platform, including plans to further integrate solutions like Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) into the Citrix XenDesktop experience (see "Citrix and Microsoft Expand Desktop Virtualization Partnership"). XenDesktop 4 also builds on the latest features of Microsoft Windows 7, making everyday tasks easier, and helping customers work the way they want. And with its new expanded functionality, XenDesktop 4 helps customers migrate to Windows 7 more quickly and seamlessly than ever before.

"Citrix XenDesktop 4 represents an important milestone for the industry and an ideal complement to Microsoft's user-centric computing vision," said Bob Muglia, president, Server and Tools Business, Microsoft Corp.  "Microsoft is working closely with Citrix to ensure users have on-demand access to the information they need when they need it, regardless of what device they're using - and to provide users with as seamless an experience as possible as they roam between devices."

Open Architecture
XenDesktop 4 is the only product on the market to support every major server virtualization platform, including Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V, and VMware ESX. It is also the only desktop virtualization product in the industry to support VMware vSphere. This unprecedented flexibility makes it easy for customers to choose whatever hypervisor best fits their unique business requirements with no limitations or proprietary lock-in.

Pricing and Availability
XenDesktop 4 will be generally available beginning on November 16, 2009 and will be licensed on a per user basis. This model allows each end user to use an unlimited number of connected or offline devices at no additional cost. XenDesktop 4 will be available in three editions with the following suggested list prices:

    * Standard - $75 per user
    * Enterprise - $225 per user
    * Platinum -  $350 per userAs a special, limited time offer, Citrix XenApp customers who are ready to step up from standalone app delivery to full desktop virtualization, will also have an opportunity to trade their existing XenApp licenses for new XenDesktop 4 licenses on a 2-for-1 basis (for program details see related announcement today).

Secrets, Lies and VDI - Dispelling the Myths
Citrix's desktop and application virtualization solutions, including XenDesktop 4 and XenApp 5, will be featured in a global, online event on October 20, 2009. This virtual event titled, "Secrets, Lies and VDI: Dispel the Myths and Uncover the Truth about Desktop and Application Virtualization" will feature presentations, chat sessions and online demos from Citrix, as well as participation from key Citrix partners such as CSC, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel, NetApp, Microsoft and Wyse and over 25 sponsors and Citrix Ready partner exhibitors. Citrix will also be providing an exclusive preview of this event for all certified channel partners on October 13, 2009.

Supporting Resources
Follow Citrix XenDesktop on the web for the latest news and information at:

    * Citrix XenDesktop 4 page
    * Citrix XenDesktop Community
    * Citrix on Facebook
    * Citrix on Twitter: @XenDesktop and #XD4
    * Ask the Architect: Dan Feller on desktop virtualization
    * XenDesktop Training
About Citrix
Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leading provider of virtualization, networking and cloud computing solutions for more than 230,000 organizations worldwide. Its Citrix Delivery Center, Citrix Cloud Center (C3) and Citrix Online product families radically simplify computing for millions of users, delivering desktops and applications as an on-demand service to any user, in any location on any device. Citrix customers include the world's largest Internet companies, 99 percent of Fortune Global 500 enterprises, and hundreds of thousands of small businesses and prosumers worldwide. Citrix partners with over 10,000 companies worldwide in more than 100 countries. Founded in 1989, annual revenue in 2008 was $1.6 billion.

For Citrix Investors
This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance.  Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with revenue growth and recognition of revenue, products, their development and distribution, product demand and pipeline, economic and competitive factors, the Company's key strategic relationships, acquisition and related integration risks as well as other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Citrix assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion and is subject to change without notice or consultation. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions or incorporated into any contract.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like


More Insights