Citrix gives GoToMeeting a telepresence twist, eyes your 'personal cloud'

Citrix launched a public beta of a version of GoToMeeting with video conferencing. If Citrix has its way GoToMeeting will mean "telepresence for everyone."

Citrix on Wednesday launched a public beta of a version of GoToMeeting with video conferencing. If Citrix has its way GoToMeeting will mean "telepresence for everyone."

That collaboration hook comes amid a bevy of Citrix announcements all centered around its Synergy conference in San Francisco. In a nutshell, Citrix is looking to take GoToMeeting and its popular Receiver app to aggregate your "personal cloud," which revolves around your desktop and collaboration software delivered on any device.

If this personal cloud plan works out for Citrix it will have a compelling cloud tale to tell. Why? Citrix already has the foothold in public and private cloud infrastructure. Citrix aims to be the enabler to work from any device available.

Indeed, Citrix has the numbers. It has 250 million voice and audio minutes a month, two of the top 10 business apps in the Apple App Store and 100 million people who have tried out its collaboration tools. Citrix marketing chief Wes Wasson said that the company is looking to extend GoToMeeting via a flat fee with unlimited usage.

Given that backdrop, Citrix's announcements this week boil down to extending cloud computing gains and filling out its stack of stuff. "We're moving from the PC era to the cloud era and its being driven by consumerization and mobilization," said Wasson.

Among the key items:

  • The company announced GoToManage for iPad. The plan is to allow admins to support physical and virtual desktops from anywhere and remotely manage infrastructure. The app is free for IT pros.
  • A tech preview of its XenClient 2, which will support three times more laptops than the previous version. XenClient 2 also includes enterprise management improvements.
  • XenClient XT was launched. XT is a version of Citrix's hypervisor that's designed for high-security environments.
  • Citrix Receiver for HP's WebOS and Google's Chrome OS. Google showed off the Receiver for Chrome at its developer conference.
  • Citrix acquired Kaviza to bring desktop virtualization to the SMB market.
  • The company rolled out XenDesktop 5, which has better caching to cut storage costs by 50 percent. Citrix cuts storage costs by offloading data to cheaper local storage instead of storage area networks. XenDesktop will also have a training portal called Success Accelerator.
  • Project Olympus, a cloud infrastructure product based on OpenStack and XenServer, was launched as an early access program. It will be available in the second half of the year.
  • Citrix also launched the NetScaler Cloud Gateway, which aims to orchestrate delivery of on-demand, Web and Windows applications. There will also be a central console to manage and monitor those applications.
  • And the company introduced NetScaler Cloud Bridge, which is designed to connect data centers to public cloud computing infrastructure.