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XenDesktop 4: what’s new

October 15, 2009

The last days VDI has had a great attention because of the announcement by Citrix of the new release of their desktop virtualization product: XenDesktop 4. Mark Templeton, CEO at Citrix, said many times that 2010 is expected to be the year of a great VDI adoption and so the new release has many new interesting feature, someone quite impressive. Let’s see what’s new.

  • FlexCast delivery technology – with this new name Citrix will identify the full range of technologies to provide access to the software (SaaS, Software as a Service), either it is distributed via a desktop (physical, virtual, streaming or terminal environment), either an application published (in the terminal environment or virtual desktops) or application virtualization (streaming), or through a VM deployed on the client (XenClient, probably available on Q1 2010). Raj Dhingra, Citrix XenDesktop general manager, explained how this new technology would provide user-specific desktop. “For example, task workers may need a locked down desktop with a standard set of applications and no personalisation. In this case FlexCast can support up to 500 users on a single server” he said.”It will also be able to deliver virtual machine hosted desktops (classical VDI) for office workers who need Windows and any other needed applications.” Dhingra added that this virtual machine-based model can generally support about 60 to 70 desktops per server. “FlexCast can also provision virtual desktops for advanced workers by taking advantage of blade PCs in the datacentre to run high-performance applications that need high-performance CPU or graphical processing“, he said. Citrix claimed that this approach offers all the benefits of centralisation, but ensures dedicated processing power for each user by hosting only one desktop per server.
  • On demand apps by XenApp – XenApp becomes part of XenDesktop (excluding the standard edition): XenDesktop will be the only solution that can deliver individual applications or complete Windows desktop.
  • HDX user Experience – Citrix announced enhancements to its high-definition HDX technology that it claims will ensure the best possible user experience for multimedia content, real-time communication (webcam and voip support for example) and 3D graphics.
  • Trade-up for XenApp users – Citrix offers the opportunity for a limited time (from now until June 30, 2010) to migrate from XenApp to XenDesktop at a ratio of 2 to 1 (2 Xendesktop licenses every 1 XenApp license). They say that you could save up to 80% on XenDesktop 4 in that way.
  • Completely new licensing model – it will be named users rather than concurrent ones, a revolution in the Citrix world… It is because talking about VDI the total users are relevant, but also because in that way Citrix aligns its licensing model with the Microsoft’s one.

Finally I remember that Xendesktop 4 will be generally available on 16 November, but the release candidate can already be downloaded from the citrix website if you have a myCitrix account. The system will be available in three editions: Standard at $75 per user, Enterprise at $225 per user and Platinum at $350 per user.

If you want to learn more you can go at the following link:
XenDesktop 4 on the Citrix official site;
XenDesktop 4 details from the Brian Madden site;
This press article from http://www.v3.co.uk.

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