I've been thinking about a virtual desktop demonstration Citrix presented at its analyst day a few weeks ago. I posted a bit about my experiences (see Mark Templeton shares his vision at Citrix event), but haven't been able to post reviews on everything I saw there. Their desktop virtualization demonstration was outstanding on a number of levels. What caught my eye was how integrated various types of virtualization software, security and management were integrated and appeared to be a single facility.
Citrix folks presented a scenario showing how a mobile worker could start a process on a desktop PC (in his office), move to a thin client at another location (another office), move to a Mac at another location (his home) and finally finish the task on a handheld device (on the road). The demo appeared seemless, the same application and data was available on quite a number of different devices and, of course, ran the complete gamut of virtual desktop technology.
As a reformed software engineer, product manager and product marketing manager, I have a well developed "BS" detector. No alarm bells went off inside of my head while I watched the show. It was all believable and, more important, demonstrated available technology not some future product.
It was fascinating how Citrix was able to combine the use of technologies in many categories, including access virtualization, application virtualization, virtual machine technology, security in virtualized environments and management of virtualized environments, into a single, easy to understand demonstration. Although Citrix has competitors in each of the areas of virtualization technology, very few could integrate of them together in such a simple presentation.
It was easy to see that Citrix has the ability to project access to an application running on a local server, a blade server (PC blade or server blade) or project the application itself to a remote system in a secure, highly manageable way.
If your organization is considering the deployment of a desktop virtualization strategy, I think you'd find it very useful to ask your Citrix rep if you could see the same demo or something very similar before making your final decision.