Centrix fine-tunes WorkSpace tracking

An update to Centrix's browser-based application integration tool promises to help IT departments improve accuracy in charging business units for usage

Software developer Centrix Software has announced a new version of its application-integration platform, which aims to enable IT departments to more effectively track the usage of applications across virtualised and physical platforms.

Centrix WorkSpace 4.0, announced on Tuesday at Citrix iForum in Edinburgh, provides a single, browser-based interface for users to access physical applications as well as applications running in VMware, Citrix and Microsoft virtual environments. That should make it easier for companies to see which parts of their business use which resources, and then accurately charge those departments for that use, Centrix said.

"This means companies get complete visibility of what is being used and when," said Lewis Gee, vice president of sales and marketing with Centrix. "If someone wants to add Visio to their department, the IT manager can meter it very precisely and charge back to the user, which is critical in the current environment."

The platform is broadly similar to what Citrix already offers through its Citrix Xen and Receiver products, according to Rene Millman, a senior research analyst with Gartner Group. "This fulfils the same purpose as Citrix, and I would expect Citrix to also move in the direction of the utility pricing model in the near future," said Millman.

One difference between the application-integration systems provided by Centrix and Citrix is that Centrix is better positioned to integrate virtualised applications into a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), said Clive Longbottom, a research director at Quocirca. That is particularly true with the release of Citrix Dazzle, which helps users access applications held on different devices, he added.

"That's something you can do with Citrix, but it's not the cleanest process, and if you have a combination of Citrix and VMware virtualised machines, it's extremely difficult," Longbottom said. "In this kind of environment, Workspace is a good-looking tool that users will be able to pick up easily, and the reporting means you can potentially do some very interesting things with chargeback and licensing."

Centrix WorkSpace 4.0 will be launched in the UK in July. Pricing is based on two models and will be either £200 per concurrent user for a perpetual licence, or £10 per concurrent user, per month.

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