Citrix recently announced the acquisition of RingCube, adding the vDesk solution to their virtual desktop delivery tool kit. This is a solution I have followed for some time now, and I am looking forward to seeing how Citrix integrates vDesk into the XenDesktop stack.
RingCube vDesk delivers a complete desktop environment without having to virtualize the underlying operating system. It does this by leveraging the host’s operating system files, and layering on a policy-based workspace environment that can have different applications, domain affiliation, and security and network settings than those of the host machine. When looking at how vDesk might be used, I quickly have two thoughts.
First, I see the possibility of a “super-Receiver” for Windows. The Receiver client delivers published applications and resources from the system tray, desktop, or start menu, which is all well and good when your machine is part of a domain and your Receiver is configured with a single delivery services infrastructure. But what if you use the Receiver in two different environments? Being able to dynamically deliver a layer with a configured Receiver with all add-ins and published resources needed to work in that environment would be a great feature.
On the other end of the spectrum, vDesk could be an extension of XenClient, enabling the delivery of an offline controlled workspace to devices that cannot support client-side virtualization or are not on the XenClient HCL. It could also enhance XenClient by providing a method for the workspace to transfer between on-line XenApp/XenDesktop sessions and offline XenClient sessions. Although you can do something similar with user personalization solutions such as AppSense and RES Software, they can only be used with machines that are under control of IT. The vDesk features will enable the use of these solutions on non-managed devices.
There are certainly other workspace management use cases where this technology could be implemented, and I have high expectations that Citrix will take full advantage of this newly acquired technology to enhance their virtual desktop offering.
For more information on the acquisition check out the Citrix press release (http://citrix.com/English/NE/news/news.asp?newsID=2314908&ntref=hp_promo) and get more information about RingCube at http://www.ringcube.com.