Citrix improves XenDesktop administration, user experience

Citrix is adding features to both cut the cost of desktop virtualization, and improve the user experience to the new version of its XenDesktop platform.

Citrix is adding features to cut the cost of desktop virtualization and improve the user experience in the new version of its XenDesktop platform, it said on Wednesday.

In XenDesktop 3, Citrix is introducing a new way to deliver desktops. Using the Desktop Streaming feature companies will be able to stream the bits needed to execute the operating system from a server to the endpoint over their LAN.

So, for example, power users can take advantage of the processing power on the desktop, but the IT department can still manage everything centrally in the data center, according to Calvin Hsu, director of product marketing at Citrix.

"This works best if you either have a fairly high-powered thin client or a number of standardized PCs at the endpoint," he said.

When using Desktop Streaming, companies should aim for as little hardware differentiation as possible, because when you stream the desktop image it actually has driver information and hardware configuration information in it, according to Hsu.

"Fewer variables means more users can leverage a single image of that desktop," said Hsu.

The setup also means that you need fewer servers in the datacenter, because the desktop is executed on the endpoint and not on the server.

Desktop Streaming will be part of the Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum Editions of XenDesktop 3, which will start shipping by the end of February. The three versions cost US$195, $295 and $395 per concurrent user, repectively. There will be two versions without Desktop Streaming: Standard, at $75 per concurrent user, and Express, which is free.

In XenDesktop 3 Citrix has also improved the single-server scalability for companies that still want to execute desktops on the server. Citrix can now run twice as many virtual desktops on each server. "You can run 50 to 55 desktops per single server, using a dual quad-core type of configuration," said Hsu.

On the administration side Citrix has integrated profile management, using technology it acquired from Sepago last year. Portable Profile Manager can be used to build desktops that feel personal to the user, but are based on standardized components.

"It makes the personalization more reliable and streamlines the profile itself," said Hsu.

In a bid to further widen the number of users that can use desktop virtualization Citrix is also adding multimedia capabilities to XenDesktop. Rather than rendering the multimedia, the server pushes the compressed data stream to the endpoint and then the endpoint renders it, according to Hsu.

"Most thin clients today will have media players built in to it, but effectively you just need the proper codec on the endpoint," he said.

Improving the user experience is key if desktop virtualization is to take off. "There is very little chance of virtual desktops going mainstream, and being adopted in a broad way, unless you have that user experience right," said Hsu.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Citrix XenDesktop

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?