Citrix outlines datacentre application delivery plans

Citrix has used its annual Citrix iForum user conference in Edinburgh to outline...

Citrix has used its annual Citrix iForum user conference in Edinburgh to outline how it will turn datacentres into more efficient application delivery centres for end-users.

Entering the conference stage to an extended piece by his favourite band The Moody Blues, Citrix CEO Mark Templeton said, "We need uplifting words for the times we are living in today, what with the price of a barrel of oil and global economic uncertainty. The songs and words of The Moody Blues tell a story, and they are uplifting."

Templeton told the hundreds of users in attendance that they were part of a growing band that has seen a million Citrix-powered servers deliver applications to 100 million end-users. He that said 75% of all web traffic was now "touched" by Citrix infrastructure somewhere along the line.

Templeton said that although 80% of enterprise costs were now fixed, innovation underfunded, and improvements incremental, the distributed enterprise was now even more distributed and firms need solutions that turned their datacentres into more efficient app delivery centres.

"When I want to improve, I look at others to learn from them," Templeton said. He used the example of satellite TV companies as the ideal business model for delivering the improved datacentre application delivery services Citrix was striving for.

He said they delivered a simple, fast and on-demand experience were device, network and application independent and provided content security and access control. In addition, they saw predictable operating costs - "unlike most IT departments", he said.

The use of repeaters and receivers, like those used in the delivery chain of satellite TV, was something Citrix planned to copy, he said.

Wes Wasson, Citrix chief marketing officer, outlined on stage what Citrix was doing to deliver improved application delivery.

He said Citrix had struck a deal with fellow web acceleration technology provider Akamai, which will see joint Citrix and Akamai application delivery systems sold through integrators.

The Citrix element will centre around the recently updated NetScaler platform. It will be combined with Akamai's cloud-based Web Application Accelerator service to bring end-to-end web application delivery to internet and enterprise customers worldwide.

In addition, when customers buy the Platinum edition of thin-client-based platform XenApp, they will now get Wan acceleration platform WanScaler and the IP telephony technology EasyCall. Currently, Wasson said, 35% of XenApp users were on the Platinum edition.

To improve the lot of users in branch offices, Citrix has launched Citrix Branch Repeater. Wasson said, "More than 50% of users are accessing apps in branch offices, and they need the same service as those in or near the datacentre."

Like a repeater on a network, Citrix Branch Repeater optimises and strengthens a delivery signal to enable the faster delivery of apps.

Wasson also announced Citrix App Receiver, a piece of software that sits in a user's system tray to optimise the receipt and processing of apps sent to the desktop.

Wasson was not finished however, as he previewed Citrix Workflow Studio, which will automate routine configuration and administration tasks. A "technical preview" of this is now available, to be followed by a "public preview" later this year, said Wasson.

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