Citrix Reveals Self-Service Desktop Virtualisation


Citrix XenClient, coming out later in 2010, is designed to supply virtual desktops for mobile corporate workers

Citrix Systems on 12 May revealed that it is readying a new bare-metal, client-side hypervisor that enables centrally managed virtual desktops to run directly on any corporate laptop or PC—even if they become disconnected from the network.

The announcement of the product’s first public release, which will be included in the next release of Citrix Desktop later in 2010, was made at the Citrix Synergy conference at the Moscone Center, San Francisco.

Citrix XenClient, built on XenServer code and developed in a partnership with Intel to run on its vPro hardware, enables virtual machines to run parallel to themselves and local applications directly on the drive, rather than hosted within the installed operating system. 

For example, a user can have Windows 7, Linux and Windows XP running at the same time on the XenServer-based XenClient in localised VMs, Barry Phillips, vice president and general manager of Citrix’s Platform Group, told eWEEK.

Self-service Virtualisation

“It’s really self-service desktop virtualisation,” Phillips said. “You get all the benefits and security attributes of the VM, and it’s a lot simpler to use. One of our main goals is just to make desktop virtualization simpler for everybody to use.”

Frankly, there are still a lot of users—enterprise and otherwise—who are afraid to even consider using VMs on their personal computers, largely because they don’t understand the overall benefits and how to use them.

Citrix on 12 May also unveiled a tool called Synchronizer for XenClient, which enables laptops with XenClient to quickly download centrally managed virtual desktops and automatically back up user data through a secure Internet connection, Phillips said. 

Using Synchronizer, an IT manager can define security policies for all managed laptops, disable lost or stolen XenClient laptops, and even restore a user’s virtual desktop on any XenClient-based laptop, Phillips said.


Phillips also said a test version of the client, XenClient Express—an amalgamation of the XenClient bare-metal hypervisor, Citrix Receiver, and Synchronizer—is available as a free download on the Citrix Website.

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