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#11 Newsmaker: David Wright of Citrix Systems

Vendor moves on from the data centre to push desktop virtualization

With virtualization having already conquered the data centre, Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS) set out to conquer the PC in 2011 by advancing the concept of desktop virtualization.

Along with fellow virtualization vendor VMware, Citrix trumpeted the “post-PC era” and said, in a bring your own device (BYOD) world, virtualization can make the endpoint less of a concern for the IT manager.

Leading the way in Canada is David Wright, as area vice-president for Canada. Citrix invested in technology and released offerings in 2011 allowing the IT department to deliver a secure, corporate-sanctioned virtual desktop to any endpoint, be it a personal laptop, a tablet computer or a smartphone. It’s the answer, said Citrix, to the challenge of balancing the security, support and management concerns of the IT department with emerging trends such as BYOD and mobility.

It’s a model Citrix has trumpeted since the days of thin client computing, and the vendor hopes the technology has caught up enough with the concept to deliver a compelling enough user experience in a way thin client computing never did.

Looking to expand its reach, Citrix partnered with Cisco Systems to develop a joint reference architecture for Cisco UCS and Citrix Xen Desktop. In response to joint customer demand, the partnership also includes telephone support line jointly staffed by Citrix and Cisco engineers. The longer-term goal is partners trained on both Cisco and Citrix taking offerings to market.

At its Synergy user conference, releases included a GoToManage app for the iPad that allows partners or IT professionals to access end users’ desktops through their iPad to make changes or solve problems remotely.

Key acquisitions included ShareFile to help break into cloud-based data sharing; Kaviza, makers of VDI-in-a-Box; and RingCube Technologies, a vendor of personalization software for virtual desktop infrastructure.