Citrix Offers XenDesktop Desktop Virtualization Solution

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

Citrix's XenClient and XenVault features help enable IT departments to address notebook workplace scenarios with added security.

Virtual computing solutions specialist Citrix Systems announced a new release of XenDesktop that extends desktop virtualization to millions of enterprise laptop users with the addition of two new technologies: XenClient and XenVault. Together, these two technologies make it possible for IT to incorporate mobile laptop users into a unified enterprise desktop virtualization strategy, including corporate-owned laptops managed by IT, as well as user-owned devices brought in by contractors or employees in a BYOC (bring your own computer) program.

XenClient is a client-side hypervisor that enables virtual desktops to run directly on client devices. It provides the security and central management of server hosted virtual desktops (VDI), while allowing users to work online or disconnected. When disconnected from the network, XenClient acts just like a traditional installed desktop. When users connect to the network, it synchronizes any changes with the data center. If a laptop is ever lost or stolen, users can restore their full desktop environment like it was to a new laptop, while data on the original laptop can be wiped remotely.

The new XenVault technology automatically saves any user data created by corporate apps into an encrypted folder, supporting both virtual and physical desktops. Aimed at contractors and businesses with employee-owned notebooks, XenVault automatically encrypts data created by any corporate app that is delivered by XenApp (or the XenApp feature of XenDesktop) or Microsoft App-V. When a contract is over, an employee terminates, or the laptop is lost or stolen, corporate data remains secure, and can even be wiped remotely.

Al Gillen, program vice president of system software for IT research firm IDC, said for desktop virtualization to be adopted in a mainstream way across the entire enterprise, mobile users are a critical use case that has so far not been fully addressed. "Technologies like Citrix XenClient that can deliver the control, security and centralized management for IT while providing the personalization and flexibility that users want, should help propel desktop virtualization into a strategic initiative in enterprises large and small," he said.

The new XenClient and XenVault technologies will both ship in the new XenDesktop 4, Feature Pack 2 release, available at the end of September; XenClient is available at no additional charge for XenDesktop Enterprise and Platinum editions customers with current Subscription Advantage agreements. The XenVault solution is enabled through a plug-in to the Citrix Receiver software client, which is available at no additional charge to all XenDesktop and XenApp customers.

"This new release of XenDesktop represents an important next step to realizing the benefits that desktop virtualization can deliver across all users in the enterprise, including the growing number of mobile workers using laptops as their primary device," said Citrix’s senior vice president and general manager of the desktop division, Gordon Payne. "The new XenClient and XenVault technologies extend IT's ability to manage each desktop component separately, making desktop management far more secure, scalable and cost effective."