Citrix closes deal for XenSource, launches VM solutions

Also announces datacenter solution, PowerSmart, to reduce datacenter power consumption

Citrix Systems made a slew of product announcements this week that leverages the 18-year-old application-delivery company's technology to make it a major player in virtualization, unified communications, regulatory compliance, and green technology.

At its App Delivery Expo, in Las Vegas, Citrix announced the completion of the acquisition of XenSource, a virtual machine infrastructure provider, that will put the company squarely in competition with VMware.

At the show Citrix also announced a unified communications technology, EasyCall, that, when embedded in line of business applications, will allow users to initiate click-to-call communications within a company's existing corporate phone system.

SmartAuditor will monitor, record, and play back application sessions as a core capability of its existing Presentation Server solution and is targeted at compliance and regulatory requirements from the SEC, HIPAA (US Health Insurance and Accountability Act), and others.

Along with Hewlett Packard, Citrix also announced a datacenter solution, PowerSmart, to reduce datacenter power consumption.

This technology will also become a component of Presentation Server infrastructure.

With the close of the XenSource deal, Citrix will create a Virtualization and Management Division within Citrix rather than simply folding the technology within the Citrix product line. Peter Levine, XenSource CEO, will head up the new division.

What remains to be seen if the rest of the industry, particularly former contributors to the Xen project like IBM, Dell, AMD, and HP, will continue to support the underlying open-source virtualization engine.

Also in question is what Microsoft will do when it unveils its virtualization solution.

Citrix and Microsoft have worked together to deliver Windows applications on Citrix technology. The question is whether Microsoft will continue to give Citrix products the kind of inside support that it has enjoyed up until now.

For their part, Citrix officials believe that it is it the only company that offers an end- to-end application delivery solution that can leverage application, desktop, and server virtualization all in one fell swoop.

Citrix's desktop virtualization technology integrates Citrix hypervisor, provisioning technology, and desktop delivery technology into a single offering, according to Wes Wasson, a senior vice president at Citrix.

Up until now, a company's only choice would be to buy separate point solutions from different vendors and integrate them after the fact.

The EasyCall communications capability will be a standard feature in the Platinum Edition of Citrix NetScaler for Web applications and Citrix Presentation Server for Windows.

Although EasyCall does not possess all of the capabilities of a unified communications solution, it will allow users to roll a mouse over any phone number, found in the main corporate directory, in any application.

A pop-up dialer allows a user to click on any one of the multiple numbers that might appear -- home, mobile, or office, for example.

EasyCall is available as part of Citrix Communications Gateway appliance and is priced at US$3,500. It can support approximately 10,000 users.

SmartAuditor is similar in design to a digital video recorder that captures screen activity from an end-user's PC and stores it in a digitally signed, time-stamped video files.

SmartAuditor is available now.

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