Citrix is a pioneer in the desktop virtualization market, and the company recently announced its second generation XenClient and a new product called XenClient XT.
What we are taking about here is a bare metal client hypervisor, which enables the kind of desktop virtualization in which multiple virtual machines run on the PC processor without an intermediary layer.
The technology preview of Citrix XenClient 2 -- which comes with XenClient and the Synchronizer for XenClient - is available as a free download today with support for up to 10 clients.
XenClient XT, which will be available in June, builds upon XenClient's strengths with advanced security and isolation features.
Unlike server virtualization, desktop virtualization is still in its early stages.
XenClient 2 extends hardware compatibility, graphics support and improves on management and the end user experience.
Here's the exact description of XenClient 2, from Citrix's own press release:
Expanded Hardware Compatibility – supports 3x as many laptops and PCs as previous versions, making it an ideal way to deliver virtual desktops “to go” on a broad selection of leading enterprise laptop brands and models. The new release also features support for the 2nd generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ platform, building on the existing support for Intel’s 2010 and 2009 enterprise platforms.
Expanded Graphics Support – expanded support for Intel® HD Graphics, available on 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ processors, and introduces support for discrete graphics architectures from AMD including the FirePro™ and Radeon™ series of GPUs.
Production-scale Synchronizer – helps customers deploy XenClient-enabled laptops across larger and more complex enterprise environments, while still managing all virtual desktops centrally, including full synchronization of user desktops, apps and data with the corporate datacenter.
Simplified User Experience – Combined with new enhancements to the Citrix Receiver software client, XenClient 2 users will enjoy a simpler, more responsive, more intuitive user experience.
Extreme Desktop Isolation – XenClient XT augments the XenClient hypervisor with hardened components and a unique new network isolation architecture that allows users to run multiple securely isolated local virtual desktops in separate security domains and completely isolated networks, all on a single physical system.
Extreme Security – provides hardware-assisted security that leverages security capabilities in the Intel Core vPro platform. This includes a trusted boot capability powered by Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) to ensure that XenClient XT is checked against a known good configuration on every boot, ensuring no unauthorized modifications to the system.
Extreme Performance – capable of running the most graphically and computationally demanding desktop environments without compromise, while ensuring advanced security, isolation and performance.
Multi-level Desktop Consolidation – allows customers to run a large number of securely isolated desktop computing environments on a single physical system, especially useful for public sector customers who need to work on multiple sensitive contracts and projects simultaneously with full network and desktop isolation.