The Virtualization Practice

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XenDesktop’s initial marketing placement caused confusion, the latest release gives a greater flexibility and introduces new innovation. The latest release better provides for a flexible VDI offering – allowing access to XenApp technologies in one per named user license. Yet, depending on your environment – this can be at a hefty cost, massively increasing the license cost in some environments.

Today Citrix announced the release of XenDesktop 4, their next generation Virtual Desktop solution with the promise of being able to deliver a right sized desktop to any user in an organization. Along with 70 enhancements and new features, Citrix is positioning XenDesktop as the most flexible and open architecture solution supporting all types of client devices and hypervisors including Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware ESX and vSphere.

Akamai Technologies, Inc. announce the industry’s first managed Internet service for optimizing delivery of virtualized applications and desktops. Based on Akamai’s IP Application Accelerator solution this new service is designed to help enterprises realize the cost efficiency, scalability and global reach inherent with the Internet to deliver VDI solutions offered by companies such as Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware.

LiquidWare Labs has announced a new pricing and packaging option for its StratusSphere platform that was specifically designed for Managed Services Providers (MSP’s) who have an existing business managing fat client desktops for large enterprises, and who wish to virtualize all or a part of these desktops. This new offering is called the Managed Virtual Desktop Alliance program, and it is all about helping both the MSP and the MSP’s customer benefit from the cost savings associated with moving a physical desktop into a virtualized state. LiquidWare also announced that Perot Systems (recently acquired by Dell) is the first member of the Virtual Desktop Alliance program.

There is a great debate on which hypervisor vendor works with ISVs and which do not. You have a number of ISVs working with VMware that are just now starting to work with Hyper-V. A number of ISVs that are struggling to catch up in the virtualization space. Hypervisor Vendors that are directly competing with ISVs as well as welcoming ISVs. This story is not about any of this, but about how easy is it to launch a new product for each of the hypervisors available with or without help from the hypervisor vendor. In essence, is there enough documentation, community, and code out there to be interpreted as welcoming ISVs.

The traditional Enterprise Desktop PC can be said to be on borrowed time. With marketing machines re-heralding the benefits of centralisation removing that Enterprise Desktop PC for Thin Client appears to be a far more prudent use of refresh budgets. While Thin Clients can, and do, replace Enterprise Desktops, there are major considerations to be made in their deployment. Multi-media, local device access, network access and mobile support, through to user acceptance and printing are often overlooked at the start of a project. Focus on understanding where where your costs are now and how you can best use the investment in deploying a Thin Client solution to reduce those costs in the coming years to realise savings on your enterprise workspace spend.

In the fog of the datacenter virtualization war, it is difficult to see clearly who will end up on top, and yet the outcome is almost certainly determined, and the victorious generals are even now moving on to fight new battles. Here at the Virtualization Practice we too would like to think we can see through the fog to work out who has won, so here are our thoughts, take account of them as you wish. They concern, primarily, the big four protagonists: Microsoft/Hyper-V, Citrix /Xen, VMware/vSphere and Red Hat/KVM.

VMware’s “No OS” Application Platform Strategy

VMware’s SpringSource acquisition will result in VMware directly implementing the SpringSource Java runtimes in a VMware Guest. VMware will also work to allow other open source application frameworks like Ruby on Rails, Python and PHP to run directly in VMware Guests. VMware will provide value added API’s to these run time frameworks, that will make deploying and managing applications built to these frameworks and run on VMware easier. This will put pressure on Microsoft to allow .Net to also run in this manner – potentially setting the stage for the dis-intermediation of Windows as an applications platform.