XenDesktop 4, a virtual desktop solution!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009
By Edwin

Citrix Systems has launched XenDesktop 4, a virtual desktop solution that the company claims can be managed centrally to deliver different types of desktops to users depending on job function and business device.

Virtual desktops are being used by task workers, remote workers, offshore workers and knowledge workers, with even more organisations about to deploy them across the entire enterprise. The market is really about to take off.

Citrix is using a new technology called FlexCast to provide user-specific desktops.

FlexCast will allow IT to deliver the best desktop for any user or device. For example, task workers may need a locked down desktop with a standard set of applications and no personalisation. In this case FlexCast can support up to 500 users on a single server.

IT departments will also be able to deliver virtual machine hosted desktops, commonly referred to as virtual desktop infrastructure, for office workers who need Windows and any other needed applications.

The new virtual machine-based model can generally support about 60 to 70 desktops per server.FlexCast can also provision virtual desktops for advanced workers by taking advantage of blade PCs in the datacentre to run high-performance applications that need high-performance CPU or graphical processing.

Citrix claimed that this approach offers all the benefits of centralisation, but ensures dedicated processing power for each user by hosting only one desktop per server.

The company has also integrated its XenApp application virtualisation software with XenDesktop 4. XenApp allows business users to connect to applications remotely.

Additionally, a new Trade-up to XenDesktop 4 programme will allow current XenApp customers to trade their user licences for twice the number of XenDesktop 4 licences at 20 per cent of the price.

Finally, Citrix announced enhancements to its high-definition HDX technology that it claims will ensure the best possible user experience for multimedia content, real-time communication and 3D graphics.

Citrix said that the enhanced HDX uses 90 percent less bandwidth than competing solutions because it can optimise bandwidth to fit each unique user situation.

Two key areas will drive large-scale adoption of desktop virtualisation: the ability to deliver a rich, high-definition experience to any user, anywhere; and the ability to deliver the right type of virtual desktop to the right user.

With the new HDX capabilities in XenDesktop 4, along with Citrix FlexCast delivery technology, XenDesktop 4 provides the best desktop for every user, with the best user experience, whether to a design team collaborating on an intensive, graphics-rich application from a single source file, or a task worker located in a remote area with low broadband access.

XenDesktop 4 will be generally available on 16 November, and will be licensed on a per-user basis.

The system will be available in three editions: Standard at $75 (€51) per user, Enterprise at $225 (€155) per user and Platinum at $350 (€240) per user.

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