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Citrix, Microsoft team up on virtual desktops

The planned integration of Citrix XenApp and Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager is meant to simplify the delivery of applications in a mixed virtualisation environment
Written by Sally Whittle, Contributor

Citrix Systems has announced a partnership with Microsoft that will integrate Citrix XenApp desktop virtualisation with Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager.

The planned integration, announced on Monday, will make it easier for companies to manage virtualised desktop infrastructures (VDIs), particularly those using a combination of Microsoft and Citrix technologies, the companies said.

"Traditionally, in virtualisation, you have to split virtualisation from management, but this pulls them together," said Dave Austin, director of product marketing, EMEA, with Citrix Systems. "It also means that you can manage both Citrix and Microsoft infrastructure in a single environment."

Under the new collaboration, enterprises will be able to use System Center Configuration Manager to control hosted applications running in a Microsoft or Citrix environment, if those applications are being streamed using Citrix XenApp. Citrix is also working on a XenApp plug-in for System Center, which should be available in early 2010, Austin added.

In addition, the partners plan to extend Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) on Citrix Receiver and Citrix Dazzle.

The announcement, made at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans, has not surprised analysts, who see it as a natural evolution of both companies' strategies. "Everyone is looking for a simpler management console, and it is a problem if you have to buy a different set of tools for every vendor's products. That said, this doesn't help if you're using VMware VDI or HP," said Chris Ingle, a programme director with IDC.

Citrix also announced on Monday that it would extend integration of XenDesktop with Microsoft's new VDI Suite Licenses, meaning that customers will be able to manage all Windows desktops from a common platform, across any device. Microsoft introduced the two new VDI licences, Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Standard Suite and Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Premium Suite, on Monday.

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