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Desktop Virtualisation Competition Heats Up with XenDesktop Launch, IDC Provides Product Analysis

  • 27 May, 2008 12:27

<p>SYDNEY, 27 May 2008, This month, Citrix is launching a new desktop virtualisation product called XenDesktop, in direct competition with VMWare’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) product.</p>
<p>XenDesktop is the centrepiece of the new Citrix offerings aimed at providing end-to-end delivery of Windows desktops using a virtual infrastructure.</p>
<p>IDC believes that Citrix's new offering represents a comprehensive delivery model that addresses the majority of the needs for IT infrastructure and that after a few years of mixed success trying to diversify its portfolio of products, Citrix may be at the brink of finally reinventing itself as a major player in the virtualisation space, following its acquisition of XenSource in October 2007.</p>
<p>IDC notes that one of the key strengths of XenDesktop lies in its provisioning system that allows simultaneous booting of up to a thousand virtual machines from a single virtual machine hard disk, over the network. This reduces storage and the number of images to be maintained.</p>
<p>“The combined power of XenDesktop and XenApp and the ability to separate the desktop and application delivery is a key value proposition for Citrix and the use cases for the new solution are numerous. IDC believes that most organisations will see an advantage in deploying at least part of the solution,” said Jean-Marc Annonier, Research Manager, IT Spending, IDC Australia.</p>
<p>“The real value of this offering is the level of flexibility that it brings with regard to deploying a dynamic infrastructure: virtualised applications do not need to be installed locally as they can be dynamically streamed to clients; upgrading an application becomes only a matter of upgrading the master copy; virtual machine image files can be created and allocated to users dynamically; and patch management is reduced to a minimum, among others,” adds Annonier.</p>
<p>IDC predicts that Citrix is going to face a number of challenges when it brings this solution to market:</p>
<p>·Education will be paramount. It will take time for clients and partners to learn the product. Partners in particular will need to be well educated and trained. This level of education required will potentially be a problem for Citrix as there is a shortage of IT skills in Australia and New Zealand.</p>
<p>·There will be added complexity. Despite strong potential, XenDesktop adds a layer of complexity to the existing infrastructure that might deter some organisations from going ahead in a short timeframe.</p>
<p>·There are still limitations. Graphic intensive applications such as video still do not work well in a virtual environment. Replacing desktops with virtual machines can create problems within organisations as it could prevent multimedia technologies from being deployed even though they have tangible cost benefits.</p>
<p>·Competition will be fierce. Citrix is now competing directly with VMware on the server, desktop, and application virtualisation fronts. VMware has strong mindshare in the market whereas Citrix will have to educate customers on the new components of its offerings.</p>
<p>“With this offering Citrix aims at establishing a dominant position in the virtualisation market by offering an end-to-end virtualisation portfolio across server, desktop, and applications to build a true dynamic infrastructure, and by leveraging its strong brand in the corporate segment,” said Annonier.</p>
<p>“Only time will tell if Citrix will succeed in drawing widespread adoption into its virtualisation stack but one thing remains sure for the foreseeable future: virtualisation has the potential to profoundly change the way IT is delivered and it will be a very exciting topic to follow for all observers in the market,” he said.</p>
<p>For more information, please contact Sally Taylor-Phillips, Marketing Communications Manager, IDC on +61 2 9925 2234 or e-mail</p>
<p>About IDC
IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends covering over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 44 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting or</p>
<p>During 2008, IDC is celebrating its 30th birthday in Australia.</p>

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