Citrix offers up cloud platform for mobile workspace

ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Citrix Systems Inc. has announced a new cloud-based platform for its partners and customers, giving them the power to design and build their own mobile workspaces, as well as to deliver virtual applications and mobility services.

On Tuesday, Citrix unveiled a new platform called Workspace Services, which fits neatly into the move towards desktops-as-a-service (DaaS). With more than 350,000 subscribers to its DaaS services, Citrix is allowing partners and enterprises to design mobile workspaces that fit into the markets they’re serving.

It also provides a full portfolio of services, and that includes desktops, apps, mobility solutions, and the ability to share data – something that’s more than just access to one hosted app or desktop. Plus, Workspace Services allows them to leave the setup, configuration, and management of these services to Citrix.

Leveraging a few of Citrix’s other technologies, like XenApp, XenDesktop, XenMobile, HDX, ShareFile, and GoToAssist, the platform is built on Microsoft Azure, though it allows for provisioning into public clouds, private clouds, and customers’ own data centres.

“The way to think about that is there are really two levels. There’s a control plane that is running in the cloud. And the world of desktops and applications running virtually in that control plane contain administrative [user interfaces] … and a storefront that users can log into, all running a globally, highly scalable, expandable platform on Azure,” said Mitch Parker, group vice-president and general manager of Citrix’s cloud services group. He was speaking during a press conference.

“But the actual workloads themselves may be running in the data centre of your choice. After a user would log in through the control panel or through the storefront that’s running in the cloud, that might connect them to a virtual machine or a virtual desktop that’s running through their own data centre or an entirely different cloud,” Parker added.

Subscribers to the Workspace Services platform will also get access to live help through their mobile workspaces, just by touching a link or button on a device or app through Citrix GoToAssist. They can also get access to analytics to see how people are interacting with their mobile workspaces, what kind of usage they’re getting, and how the environment looks across locations and clouds, allowing them to tweak their designs for the workspaces accordingly.

The platform will go into a technical preview in the second half of 2014. However, Parker said there is currently no word on pricing, or on how bundling Workspace Services will work.


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