Citrix Synergy 2011: Citrix hails end of PC era, aiming to tackle cloud concerns

Citrix has updated its product portfolio, taking aim at IT cloud concerns and claiming the end of the traditional desktop.

Citrix has updated its product portfolio, taking aim at IT cloud concerns and claiming the end of the traditional desktop.

At the company's annual Synergy conference, it introduced its "personal cloud" concept to replace single traditional desktops and cater for IT departments supporting multiple devices, delivering on-demand applications and desktops, as well as protecting corporate data.

Mick Hollison, vice-president for desktop marketing at Citrix, said: "People expect their 'personal' and 'business' computing environments to merge and be seamless and always available."

Addressing cloud challenges

Patrick Irwin, product marketing manager UK at Citrix, said: "Businesses face challenges in using services that sit outside the corporate network. Cloud Gateway provides a way of allowing log-on to these external apps."

Cloud Gateway provides a front-end management portal for software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, which uses Citrix Receiver to allow employees to access a variety of on and off-premise applications.

Citrix also announced that its Receiver software, which allows mobile devices to connect to work virtual desktops, is now available to download on over one billion devices, including Macs, PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Citrix has also updated its NetScaler Cloud Gateway and Cloud Bridge products to tackle business concerns surrounding storage costs.

Cloud Bridge creates a "tunnel" between on-premise enterprise datacentres and off-premise cloud datacentres. Irwin said the bridge addresses CIO concerns about supplier lock-in and security of data, "enabling IT to transparently shift web and application servers to multiple clouds while keeping data and other sensitive information safely within the enterprise datacentre".

Update to XenClient

Citrix previewed its update to XenClient 2, which allows users to work on virtual desktops offline. Irwin said the update allows XenClient to be used for large-scale deployments rather than just small implementations.

"The first release was restricted by hardware and only available on Lenovo, HP and Dell machines. Citrix has extended its portfolio across several different laptops," Irwin said.

The company also added HD video to its GoToMeeting conferencing software and an Apple iPad app for its real-time technical support service, GoToManage.

Extreme security options

Citrix will make its XenClient XT software available from June 2011. This is a standalone product designed for organisations with high-security requirements.

"The target market is defence and government organisations. Instead of having six physical machines connected to a network, XenClient XT can shrink it to one device with five virtual machines with a short connection to the network," Irwin said.

"It also uses Intel vPro chipset technology, which can tell if the hypervisor has been tampered with," he added.

The latest release of XenDesktop includes support for IntelliCache, which reduces storage costs by making use of local storage capacity rather than cloud-based storage.

Citrix has acquired virtual desktop firm, Kaviza, to provide out-of-the-box virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to be run in a datacentre or within an office environment.

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