Citrix Unifying App, Server, And Desktop Virtualization

Citrix Unifying App, Server, And Desktop Virtualization

Citrix Systems is taking the next step towards unifying its application, server, and desktop virtualization technologies with new enhancements to several of its products.

Citrix, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. next week is expected to rename its flagship Presentation Server application virtualization software as XenApp. The move follows a similar move to rename its server virtualization application as XenServer and its desktop virtualization application as XenDesktop.

Citrix acquired server virtualization software vendor XenSource in a $500 million deal last year.

The name changes brings consistency with Citrix's other virtualization products, said Bill Hartwick, senior director of product marketing for Citrix's Virtualization Systems group. "It also drives home the value of the technology," Hartwick said. "It's now expanded to become part of an overall virtualization solution."

In order to start making its various virtualization applications work better together, Citrix also expects to introduce Citrix Workflow Studio, a software package that composes the workflows of XenApp, XenServer, XenDesktop, and NetScaler, the latter of which accelerates the delivery of Web-based applications, Hartwick said.

Citrix Workflow Studio also makes it easier to integrate Citrix products with third-party technologies, he said.

As an example of how it is used, Hartwick said to imagine hiring a new employee. The company could use Citrix Workflow Studio to design a workflow to automatically provision the employee's desktop and applications. Scripts could be set up so that a manager could handle the provisioning without intervention from the IT department, he said.

Pricing for Citrix Workflow Studio has yet to be determined. It is expected to be ready for technical preview in the second quarter of this year, with shipment expected by year-end, Hartwick said.

XenApp, XenServer, XenDesktop, NetScaler, and Citrix Workflow Studio are being brought under a single new umbrella brand next week, Hartwick said. That brand, Citrix Delivery Center, emphasizes Citrix's plans to help customers transform their data centers into delivery centers which use virtual infrastructures to deliver customer applications and data, he said.

Sumit Dhawan, director of product marketing for Citrix's Desktop Delivery group, said that XenDesktop is currently under technical preview, with over 5,000 copies having been downloaded since December 1. A full-feature beta version is expected to be released this quarter, with the final release expected next quarter, Dhawan said.

In the 90 days since Citrix closed on the acquisition of XenSource, customers and partners have downloaded over 30,000 copies of XenServer, Dhawan said. Over 1,600 of Citrix's 5,000-plus legacy channel partners have already been trained to take XenServer to customers.

A new version of XenServer, XenServer 4.1, is expected to be available in the near future, Dhawan said. New to XenServer 4.1 will be increased support for storage on arrays and appliances from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Network Appliance, and performance enhancements when working with XenApp, he said.

Citrix is also planning to unveil XenServer Platinum Edition, which features automatic provisioning of application workloads, Dhawan said. It is expected to be available shortly after the release of XenServer 4.1, and have a list price of about $5,000, which allows application workloads to be provisioned on an unlimited number of virtual servers on one physical server, as well as on three other physical servers, he said.