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Hewlett-Packard is giving its channel partners
more virtualization technology targeting the desktop and thin clients, an area
that analysts say is poised for big growth.

HP on May 19 announced its new HP 2533t Mobile Thin Client. The tech giant says
all of its Citrix Ready thin clients and blade client products are now
available with Citrix XenDesktop. The new integration, offered to partners and
direct customers, is in addition to HP’s existing certification from VMware for
compatibility with that company’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

"HP channel partners now have a much broader portfolio of HP and Citrix [Systems]
technology that integrates together to deliver a virtualized PC solution,"
says Tad Bodeman, director of HP’s CCI and thin-client products for its Personal Systems Group in North America.
"Instead of having them be stand-alone separate environments, they can now
integrate the two together into a seamless experience for the end user."

IT market research firm Gartner has forecast that desktop virtualization will outpace server virtualization
in the years to come.

Such solutions are experiencing greater demand because customers are interested
in improving security and simplifying management of virtualized PC
environments.

"What customers are really asking for is a single integrated set of
infrastructure that lets them pick back-end components for each user group as
it makes sense over time," Bodeman says. Each set of clients and
configurations fits particular sets of users.

"For resellers this means there’s a lot of consulting and value-add that
they will be able to deliver," Bodeman says. But HP’s new virtualization
vendor partnerships will save partners time because they don’t need to sell a
series of isolated solutions.

Targeted at midmarket to large enterprise businesses, the technology
integrations will also offer a lower-cost option for the sales force at IT
outsourcing company Electronic Data Systems to offer to its customers. HP on
May 13 announced plans to acquire EDS.

"Quite frankly, this will be another tool kit for our HP services
organization to deliver that PC experience at a lower cost in a more secure way
and in an integrated infrastructure across the enterprise," Bodeman says.

And the technology integrations between HP and vendor partners are likely to
continue. HP is sharing and developing technology road maps with Citrix.

"You’ll see more and deeper partnering in integration points between the two
companies," Bodeman says.