Feeds

Citrix goes storage light with XenDesktop

Bundle pumping

High performance access to file storage

Citrix is throwing its hat into the desktop virtualization ring.

Okay, we know what you're thinking. Citrix already has a desktop virtulization play. It's done the whole pumping applications out of the data center to the desktop thing for ages. And it has that whole desktop-like kiosk thing going on with XenApp, which used to be Presentation Server.

As Citrix tells it, however, the company is more serious about desktop virtualization than ever and will use a new product called XenDesktop to help it ship full-on client rapture down to PCs and thin clients.

In the past, Citrix would help stream one or a couple of shared server-side applications onto desktops. But now it will deliver the whole Windows experience.

With XenDesktop, Citrix thinks it has a unique approach over the other desktop virtualization players.

To date, the virtualized desktop has often just meant that a company runs Windows and related software in a data center instead of on client machines. Companies can use virtual machines to put multiple client packages on a single, physical server and handle desktop management in a centralized fashion.

Citrix argues that this approach results in a couple of problems. For one, customers need to create various desktop images to meet the requirements of different users. So, they end up managing a vast set of OS and application bundles. In addition, they have to purchase a ton of back-end storage hardware to deal with all the OS and application copies.

With XenDesktop, Citrix does the assembly of OS, application and user setting bundles on the fly. So, the company maintains a single OS image and then sends out the desired applications to users based on their individual requirements. By using this attack, Citrix claims a management advantage and a massive reduction in storage overhead. [Update: This isn't entirely accurate. Please see our update that details how the app delivery works in detail.]

Users often complain that streamed desktops arrive with annoying lag. Citrix, however, claims that its ICA delivery protocol provides a proper client experience and that work is underway to delivery acceleration technology for things like 3D images and graphics.

The single image approach of XenDesktop does appear to differ from VMware's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology, which requires that individual images have their own home on back-end storage. Meanwhile, other players such as newcomer MokaFive skirt around these storage issues altogether by hosting the virtual machines for customers.

XenDesktop is in beta today and will ship in final form on May 20. There will be Standard, Enterprise and Platinum editions of the software available. The Platinum edition comes in at $275 for a perpetual license and $140 for an annual license. This package includes optimization, monitoring and support services. The Enterprise edition will cost $175 for a perpetual license and $95 for an annual license. This package does not include the optimization fanciness but does include the dynamic assembly of the applications. The low-end bundle is aimed at smaller firms with 50 to 100 users and will start around $75 per concurrent user without any of the dynamic assembly goodness.

You'll find a detailed breakdown of the different flavors here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.