Citrix pushes virtual desktops to ultrabooks

Citrix unveiled the next phase of its strategy to enable the mobile enterprise at its Synergy conference in Barcelona.

Citrix’ strategy is tied to the advent of consumerization of IT, mobility and the cloud, which has led to the development of a mobile workforce. Citrix made several announcements to address these trends highlighted by its universal software client, Citrix Receiver, being offered free of charge.

Citrix Receiver gives employees secure, self-service access to all the apps and data from any device. It supports more than three billion devices, Citrix claims including all major tablet, smartphone, laptop, Mac and PC platforms – and will add support for new Windows 8 tablets and laptops as they come on the market.

One of the more interesting developments to come out of Synergy was a new version of Citrix XenClient that provides virtual desktops for ultrabooks. XenClient for ultrabooks uses a client-side hypervisor that runs directly on the laptop, but is connected to the corporate data centres for centralized synchronization and management. End users can now get a local Windows experience on a ultrabooks, even when disconnected from the network. As soon as they connect again, any changes are automatically synchronized with a central image in the data centre.

That wasn’t all from Citrix Synergy as the company also tried to solve the cloud data problem and the Dropbox issue. According to Citrix, employees increasingly rely on consumer cloud services that do not rely on corporate security, like Dropbox, to access documents on the go from any of their own devices, and share them with other colleagues via the cloud. While solutions like this offer great productivity for end users, they create a security nightmare for businesses, placing mission critical intellectual property at risk, and making it nearly impossible to comply with security and privacy regulations.

To address this problem, Citrix announced the availability of Citrix ShareFile with StorageZones. This product provides the IT department with the ability to choose where corporate data is stored, including on-premise within their own secure data centres. ShareFile supports enterprise client-side security, corporate data accessed on personal devices is encrypted, and can be remotely wiped by the business at any time if the employee leaves the company, or the device is lost or stolen.

Citrix also announced new StorageZone Connectors for ShareFile that allow customers to securely connect a ShareFile StorageZone instance to data in existing network storage systems. Citrix will also deliver ShareFile StorageZones for Microsoft Windows Azure in 2013.

The last piece of a Citrix’ mobile enterprise strategy is an integrated solution that brings together the management of mobile apps, data and devices into a single, unified control point. It’s called Citrix CloudGateway and the company conducted a live public demonstration of CloudGateway with its MDX “mobile device experience” technology. The addition of new MDX features gives CloudGateway a set of mobile app management technologies that enable full security and control over native iOS, Android and HTML 5 apps, Citrix said.

The new CloudGateway release also includes integration with the new [email protected] mobile application line.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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