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Citrix Synergy 2010 news summary (part 1)

May 17, 2010

On May 12th and 13th, during Citrix Synergy 2010 in San Francisco, Citrix has made a variety of announcements around desktop virtualization, the datacenter and cloud. They include XenClient and XenServer5.6 availability, news from McAfee and Wyse and much, much more. Let’s we briefly see the most important news coming from Synergy during the first day…

During Synergy 1st day Citrix made the following announcements:

  • Wyse Zero Client technology:

Wyse Technology and Citrix Systems announced Wyse Xenith, the industry’s first zero client with Citrix HDX technology, fundamentally changing the user experience and economics of desktop computing for office-based workers. This breakthrough innovation completely eliminates many of the management and security issues associated with traditional client devices, while ensuring a high-definition HDX user experience, further lowering the barriers for mainstream adoption of desktop virtualization…
Here some advantages of this new technology:

* Zero configuration. Because there is no operating system, Wyse Xenith does not need to be configured prior to use or updated with the latest operating system patches.

* Zero delays. Because there is no operating system, boot time is instantaneous so users are never waiting for access to their desktop.

* Zero viruses. Malware is designed to attack operating systems and applications. Since Wyse Xenith has no operating system, the attack surface for malware is virtually eliminated.

* Zero compromises in user experience. Wyse Xenith has native support for Citrix HDX. This means that users will receive a high definition user experience each time they access their virtual desktop.

* Simple Plug-n-Display with Citrix HDX. Out-of-the-box, Wyse Xenith will work with XenDesktop, delivering an HDX experience. This is all done natively, with no configuration necessary via the new engine technology in Wyse Xenith.
The Wyse Xenith is the first zero client to be certified as Citrix Ready and will be available on June 2010.

  • Citrix Xenclient:

It is a new client-side virtualization solution, developed in collaboration with Intel, that allows centrally managed virtual desktops to run directly on corporate laptops and PCs, even when they are disconnected from the network.
Here some features of the this new level 1 hypervisor:

* XenClient Bare Metal Hypervisor – Based on the proven Citrix XenServer technology, and leveraging Intel virtualization technology, XenClient is a new bare metal client hypervisor that enables each virtual machine to run side-by-side directly on the hardware, rather than hosted within the installed operating system. IT can deliver highly secure locked down corporate environments while giving users the flexibility to install personal applications in a separate virtual machine without compromising the security of either desktop and with a high definition user experience

* Receiver for XenClient – Citrix Receiver for XenClient is a lightweight client that lets users create and manage their own local virtual desktops, or access centrally managed corporate virtual desktops.

* Synchronizer for XenClient – Laptops with XenClient can connect to Synchronizer to download centrally managed virtual desktops. Synchronizer enables user data to be backed up automatically through a secure connection over the internet. With Synchronizer, IT can define security policies for managed laptops, disable lost or stolen XenClient laptops and restore a user’s virtual desktop on any XenClient based laptop.

* Availability – XenClient Express, which includes the XenClient bare metal hypervisor, Citrix Receiver for XenClient and Synchronizer for XenClient, is freely available for public download. XenClient express is intended for organizations to trial small deployments within their organization with no charge. XenClient is expected to become generally available with the next release of Citrix XenDesktop later in 2010.

Following the Citrix AR (Analyst Relations) on twitter I read that there were 48,000 downloads in the first 30 hours of XenClient availability.

  • Safe Zone

Safe Zone is a new technology that automatically encrypts all data created by corporate applications delivered to users via Citrix XenApp or Microsoft App-V, storing them transparently in dedicated “safe zone”directories. This ensures sensitive corporate data stored on non-corporate devices is not only protected, but that it can also be wiped remotely at the end of a contract, or in the event that a user’s laptop is lost or stolen.
Some Safe Zone’s features are the following:

* Transparent File Encryption – 256 bit AES encryption of data created by hosted or streamed apps from XenApp, as well as Microsoft App-V delivered apps.

* Encrypted Data “Safe Zone” – Creates a dedicated folder with seamless user access to store, share and transfer data.

* Centralized IT Control – Granular application and data access control, lock and delete triggers for corporate data, and key recovery to unlock encrypted data.

* Citrix Receiver Integration – Centrally managed and controlled from Citrix Merchandising Server – the back-end server component of Citrix Receiver -with easy install and “silent” updates

* Availability – The new Citrix “Safe Zone” technology is available today as a Tech Preview and can be downloaded here.

  • HDX Nitro

HDX Nitro technologies consist of several innovative projects planned for upcoming releases of Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenApp. The new HDX Nitro technologies will incorporate enhancements from several groundbreaking new development projects, including the following:

* Project Mach 3 — 3X Faster Across-the-Board Performance – Major new advances in the Citrix Receiver client are targeted to deliver up to 3X faster virtual desktop performance for end users, enabling unprecedented TCP equivalent speeds for all HDX traffic, regardless of location or device.

* Project Zoom – Instant App Launch – Advances in HDX Broadcast technologies, including the addition of silent session pre-loading, are targeted to result in unprecedented app launch speeds, allowing users to connect and reconnect virtual sessions in less than half the time.

* Project Laser – Faster Printing at a Fraction of the Bandwidth – Advances in HDX Plug-n-Play are targeted to reduce print time and increase performance with just 10 percent of the bandwidth currently required.

* Project Mercury – Breakthrough WAN Speed and Efficiency – Advances in HDX WAN Optimization and HDX MediaStream compress, cache and prioritize HDX traffic – targeting to deliver a high-definition virtual computing experience at up to 300 ms of latency.

* Project Dynamo – Dynamic Sense-and-Respond Rendering – Advances in HDX Adaptive Orchestration dynamically sense the user environment and are set to respond with breakthrough performance. HDX RichGraphics enhancements aim to render a crystal clear, 3D Windows 7 experience, including the ability to directly leverage the upcoming RemoteFX technology from Microsoft. Intelligent quality of service (QoS) is intended to provide prioritized, policy-driven performance gains.

  • McAfee Partnership

McAfee, Inc. and Citrix Systems announced a strategic partnership and collaboration agreement to make virtual desktop security simpler and more scalable for large enterprise deployments. The collaboration between the two leaders in security and virtualization will enable Citrix XenDesktop customers to extend management of desktop security to virtual environments using the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator platform. The partnership is the direct result of growing customer demand for integrated security management in large-scale enterprise deployments of desktop virtualization. The combination is expected to address the need to provide granular endpoint security policies for each virtual desktop while also addressing scalability, performance and complexity challenges that arise from virtualization. As part of the solution, Citrix plans to collaborate with McAfee to develop security solutions for VDI-based virtual desktops that centralize all virus scanning and virus signature file updates, off-loading the processing intensive actions from the individual VMs. This goal of this solution is to enhance the security and scalability of virtual desktop deployments by reducing CPU, memory and storage requirements, and to simplify desktop security and lifecycle management.

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