Citrix Announces XenDesktop 7 With New Mobility Features

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‘Project Excalibur’ lets virtual machines get out of the office

Citrix has revealed new features of its XenDesktop 7 virtualisation solution, previously known as Project Excalibur, due to be released next month.

Besides the usual deployment and management improvements, the latest version of XenDesktop adds the ability to run any Windows application as a mobile app, with full touchscreen compatibility. It also includes HDX compression for video, which enables users to stream HD footage over lower bandwidth 3G connections.

The new XenDesktop delivers the first part of project Avalon – an initiative that aims to enable public, private and hybrid cloud deployments of Windows desktops and applications.

The announcement was made at the Citrix Synergy conference in Anaheim, California on Wednesday.

Mobilisation

XenDesktop 7 erases borders between desktops and mobile devices, by allowing businesses to run all of the familiar Windows apps on smartphones and tablets. It automatically translates multi-touch gestures and swipes into Windows navigation commands, and adapts Windows menus for easier use on small screens.

Takeaway DesktopsWith HDX Mobile, new video optimisation techniques have resulted in doubling of frame-rate and up to tenfold reduction in bit-rate when playing HD over a low-speed connection. XenDesktop 7 also integrates with Citrix NetScaler Gateway to enable remote access to virtual apps and desktops from any device.

“Most enterprises have hundreds and typically thousands of corporate Windows apps tied to data, workflows and processes that cannot be easily rewritten or more importantly, re-architected for mobile platforms. Making these corporate Windows apps available for tablets and smartphones using XenDesktop 7 is made simple through new HDX Mobile technologies that translate hosted Windows apps for mobile devices,” wrote Kevin Strohmeyer, director of Product Marketing, on the Citrix blog.

XenDesktop 7 can be deployed on any hypervisor or cloud management solution, including the ever-popular Amazon Web Services. The company claims that full installation takes just 20 minutes, and simplified workflows have eliminated as much as 80 percent of the time and effort needed to deploy new services.

It also says that automated physical to virtual app migration tools powered by Citrix AppDNA have cut down application migration time by 90 percent compared to manual validation.

XenDesktop 7 will be fully supported by Citrix partners including Cisco, HP, IBM and Microsoft. CA Technologies has already announced its CA Infrastructure Management 2.2 will feature complete integration with the new XenDesktop. The same goes for NetApp and its ONTAP platform.

Meanwhile, Dell has announced DVS-Enterprise Integrated Storage, which aims to cut the cost of XenDesktop virtual infrastructure in half.

XenDesktop 7 will become the first product from Citrix to feature Nvidia’s GRID vGPU technology, to deliver advanced graphics to mobile platforms and allow multiple virtual machines to rely on a single, powerful GPU.

“With Nvidia Grid vGPU, even the most intensive graphics applications can be delivered by XenDesktop 7. Now businesses can provide their users with the performance that they expect and need for engineering, design and video applications, while centrally securing and managing valuable intellectual property and sensitive information,” said Bob Schultz, vice president and general manager of the Desktops and Applications Group at Citrix.

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