Citrix announces new solutions at Synergy to enable virtual work-styles

SAN FRANCISCO – At Citrix Systems’ annual Synergy user conference, the company announced several new products and an extended partnership with McAfee (NYSE:MFE) to enable users to have a more secure virtualized computing environment.

Mark Templeton, president and CEO of Citrix, said through the years, end-user computing styles have changed dramatically. To help meet this need for computing flexibility, he said organizations will need to be able “to move work to a more optimal place,” to give customers more choice in how they want to work, which is something he calls, work shifting.

“Virtual work-styles are all about giving people new ways to work,” he said. “Moving forward, it’s about offering these capabilities to users to do whatever, whenever and wherever. We’ll be in a world where most of us will have a need for a small medium and large screen device, especially with the release of the iPad.”

Templeton says users will use large screen devices for things like creating complex documents and presentations. Medium sized screens will be used for entertainment purposes and to gather information off the Web. Small screens will be used with pocket devices such as smartphones, so users can “snack” on information from the Internet, he added.

With virtual desktops, Templeton says everyday, the company touches 100M people around the world who are using Citrix virtual desktops. With the release of XenDesktop 4 last year, he said this market adoption only accelerated.

To help further secure desktop virtualization environments, Templeton said the company has expanded its partnership with McAfee so that XenDesktop users can now extend the management of desktop security to virtual environments while using McAfee’s ePolicy Orchestrator. This project, he says is called Management for Optimized Virtual Environments (MOVE), or McAfee’s MOVE platform.

Bryan Barney, executive vice-president of McAfee’s product operations, said the company has created a new line of desktop security applications that will enable a more secure virtualized environment for users.

“We partnered with Citrix nine months ago,” Barney said. “What we’ve done is taken our security applications and built them onto a platform so we can offload them onto a dedicated virtual machine, so the other virtual machines have little overhead cost associated with them. Also, we can now manage when a scan happens and when we run an update. Now, XenDesktop will have security applications that are highly scalable and are easier to manage.”

The security offerings from the partnership are expected to be available sometime in the second half of this year, Barney said.

Citrix also announced the public availability of XenClient yesterday, which is a high-performance, bare-metal hypervisor that allows users to run multiple instances of an operating system, now on laptop devices. Data on the device is automatically backed up in a secure data centre environment whenever the device connects to the Web, therefore eliminating any risk if the laptop were to be lost or stolen. Now users can run multiple virtual machines in a more mobile and secure fashion, that’s apart from the workplace environment. With XenClient, users can install applications, photos and other things on a laptop, or desktop, without having to carry the same device with them all the time, while at the same time, giving them access wherever they may be. XenClient, Templeton said, is optimized for use on Intel vPro based-systems.

To help get customers started, Citrix also announced the immediate availability of its XenClient Express Test Kit, which can be downloaded from the company’s Web site. The test kit includes XenClient bare metal hypervisor (release candidate) and also includes Citrix Receiver, which gives users the ability to create and manage their virtual desktops and apps through a range of devices, including laptops, desktops, the iPad, and the iPhone. Synchronizer is also included in the kit, which enables users to work offline and also syncs the virtual machines when users connect to the network.

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Maxine Cheung
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