Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Citrix Plunges Deeper Into Desktop Virtualization

Citrix Systems has unveiled plans to launch a desktop virtualization server, XenDesktop, that it will co-market with Microsoft at its Synergy 2008 user group May 20 in Houston.

Citrix will compete with VMware and other offerings on the basis of its ICA protocol-based performance and end-to-end delivery system.

XenDesktop will store a few basic images of user desktops that will be used to provision hundreds or thousands of end users. Each time a user logs on, a personal desktop will be built from a few tested components, according to that user's personal settings. Meanwhile, the amount of storage used or number of desktop images that need to be maintained will be sharply limited by IT supervision.

The approach, said Sumit Dhawan, head of the desktop product marketing group, "is like maintaining one desktop image on a data center server" as opposed to maintaining thousands of virtualized desktops or worse, thousands of physical PCs throughout the enterprise. Likewise, operating system changes or updates to applications are done once in the data center, then those parts get "dynamically assembled into a desktop" for each user with the next log-in.

As might be expected with this close Microsoft ally, Citrix has equipped XenDesktop with its ICA protocol to handle user requests and translate them into dynamic assembly of desktops. The ICA protocol is proprietary to Citrix, but Windows Server 2008 can recognize and respond to it. Other vendors of desktop virtualization will have to rely on Microsoft's slower Terminal Services Protocol, Dhawan said.

  • 1