Citrix's promised Xen-based desktop virtualization solution will be delivered in the second half of 2009.
Earlier this week, the Ft Lauderdale virtualization company announced that it is co-developing the solution, known as "Project Independence," in collaboration with Intel, one of the original investors in the Xen open source project.
The planned desktop solution, which will be optimized for Intel's Core 2 desktops and Centrino 2 laptops with vPro, features a local hypervisor that will better support mobile and offline use. Current server-based VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) solutions stream desktop content to thin clients that must always be connected to the network.
With a full desktop virtualization, business consumers can carve up their PC to support different environments, such as corporate and home personalities.
It also delivers support for offline mobility, which is greatly demanded by enterprise customers but cannot be fulfilled by server-based solutions. "You can disconnect from the network and still access that corporate desktop and make sure that all of the hardware features including high definition audio is possible. Doing that in VDI is much harder," one Citrix exec said, noting that end users don't have as much bandwidth from network solutions as they do from inside the CPU in their PC.”A solution like this hasn’t existed to this point. "
The desktop virtualization solution, for example, will offers the same benefit of centralized desktop management and fast application deployment as server-based solutions while extending to end users a rich PC client experience.
Ian Pratt, the founder of the Xen project, said the solution combined with Intel technology will give end users the same bare metal performance on their PC as they currently enjoy.
The dynamic desktop assembly platform allows enterprise customers to package up applications securely, deploy the appliances quickly and manage them as well as desktops are managed using VDI, they say.
The solution is based on technology Citrix acquired when it bought XenSource and Ardence, a streaming solutions company in Waltham, Mass.