Desktop virtualisation provider Citrix has enabled the delivery of remote desktop sessions from Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform.
The virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) provider has collaborated with Microsoft to acquire licensing support for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) on Windows Azure with its XenDesktop 7 product.
Citrix released XenDesktop 7 in May at its Synergy event as part of Project Avalon, its multi-phased initiative to deliver Windows as a cloud service. The VDI product brings virtual desktops and apps under the same umbrella.
Cloud-hosted session desktops enable mobile working by delivering any type of app, to any type of device, over any type of network.
Delivering mobile apps and Windows server-based remote desktops from Windows Azure will help enterprises support live session roaming, multiple device types and formats, and rich user interface media experiences, according to Citrix.
Running XenDesktop 7 in the cloud gives enterprises the ability to manage costs, extend capacity on demand, reduce lead time for procuring and configuring hardware, and reduce hardware sizing risk as loads fluctuate, it said.
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“Customers are increasingly adopting cloud hosted session desktops to enable mobile work styles and simplify their operations. Using the cloud as a deployment platform will further accelerate these major trends,” said Bob Schultz, group vice-president and general manager, desktops and apps, at Citrix.
XenDesktop 7 will allow users to have a high-definition experience across a broad set of user-defined devices, he added.
Citrix’s remote desktop delivery on Windows Azure comes at a time when the market for cloud-hosted session desktops is rising as users demand flexible, cost-effective IT services that can enable a mobile workforce.
Research firm 451 Group has estimated that the overall desktop virtualisation market could be worth $5.6bn (£3.75bn) by 2015. It also predicted a 35% growth for cloud-hosted desktop revenue through 2015.
The remote desktop delivery is also available to service providers.
“Combining Microsoft Windows Azure with our Citrix desktop virtualisation infrastructure allows us to deliver enterprise-class hosted solutions in a cost-effective package that was previously unavailable to small businesses,” said Tom Poole, president of Cloud Nation, a US-based cloud solutions aggregator.
Delivering hosted session desktops from Windows Azure gives Citrix customers the benefit of delivering desktops from a cloud familiar to system administrators and optimise the sessions for Windows workloads.