Citrix pushes virtual desktop to the mainstream

With the release of XenDesktop 4, Citrix Systems is on a mission to bring desktop virtualization to the masses.

However, it faces an uphill climb as the booming server virtualization market hits its stride, leading customers to ponder if desktop virtualization is even necessary. Citrix is trying to change that mindset.

It’s supposed ace in the hole is that XenDesktop 4 will be able to deliver every type of virtual desktop from a single to an integrated solution through a new technology called FlexCast. This means that if you’re a task worker, guest worker, knowledge worker or mobile worker, you’ll be able to work untethered from any office or location on any device, whether it’s a thin client, mobile device, an on-demand service or a traditional desktop PC.

Citrix XenDesktop 4 will also have an incentive feature: the virtual environment for every employee in an enterprise will be in high-definition. XenDesktop 4 has new enhancements to its HDX technology that allow it to work with any backend infrastructure.

“Twenty-five years ago, the PC changed computing. It improved personal productivity and changed the way we worked. But that is not enough anymore. We have to work in a non-traditional ways today. The world is flat and it’s small so the virtual desktop will revolutionize how we work and play today,” said Raj Dhingra, Citrix’s group vice-president and general manager.

XenDesktop 4 has more than 70 new features. It will have the ability to manage virtual desktops through Microsoft System Center, allowing channel partners to offer customers the ability to on-board new employees in minutes rather than days.

Another selling feature of XenDesktop 4 for the channel is the bring-your-own computer program. This approach saves on implementation and acquisition costs and gives employees the choice to purchase the notebook they want instead of using a company-issued model.

Citrix channel chief Tom Flink and his team have developed two new programs for the release of XenDesktop 4. The Trade Up program will offer channel partners an opportunity to go back to their customer base and open a discussion on new ways to leverage previous investments.

“The Trade Up program brings flexibility for desktop virtualization into any solution, and a lot of customers are looking at leveraging current and past investments,” Flink said.

Channel partners can obtain the Trade Up program through distribution and there will be incentives offered to solution providers for moving customers to adopted desktop virtualization, Flink added.

The second program revolves around the complete solution on XenApp. Partners here will find new licenses that will ensure the future protection of customers. This program will also help in getting channel partners ready to sell and support XenDesktop 4. It will have proof of concept designs and other sales tools, Flink said.

Oct. 20th will be another important date in desktop virtualization history, Dhingia said. On that date, Citrix will host a virtual event worldwide to spotlight new solutions from its vendor partners such as Microsoft, Dell, IBM, HP, Intel as well as its solution provider partners in areas such as thin client storage and security.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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