Citrix readies virtualisation upgrade

Desktop Broker will provide the ability to support more types of user on a virtualised environment
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

Later this month, Citrix will launch an upgrade for its virtualisation software that will allow it to more efficiently deal with different types of users within an organisation.

The new software, called Desktop Broker, is designed to support power users and desktops that are wholly dedicated to one application.

Currently Citrix supports a "shared machine" model, in which a company had a single image of the desktop and makes it multi-user. With Desktop Broker, companies can support dedicated machines devoted to single tasks or single users who need a lot of system resources.

The ability to split resources in a dynamic way between different users is part of Citrix's latest take on virtualidation.

"The critical part of virtualisation is the management involved in connecting many different types of users to their virtual desktop," Citrix's manager for product marketing, Calvin Hsu, told ZDNet UK.

"This raises issues such as securing connections, identifying the user, role-based provisioning of different types of desktop, pooling the desktops and whether you can allocate one on the fly and then re-allocate if necessary. Desktop Broker can handle all of that," Hsu added.

Citrix has gone through "many generations of providing a virtualised application experience", said Hsu. "We are now bringing it to bear on the desktop".

According to Hsu, Desktop Broker is generating a lot of interest with organisations that have to support a lot of power users, but want to centralise and secure that information as well.

The move is an important one for Citrix and marks a major advance for the company. Citrix has a good story to tell in the world of thin clients, helping organisations build systems that support many users as economically as possible. Desktop Broker is one of the tools the company is building to show that, through virtualisation,  it can support users of all types, including the most power-hungry users, in an environment that comes with the right tools to cover security and other issues.

Citrix Presentation Manager uses the shared model today, which poses some challenges, Hsu explained. "They can't customise it, they can't reboot the machine, they can't crash it if they need to [reset] which limits it, but offers a lot of control for the business."

Citrix will announce Desktop Broker at the company's annual conference, iForum Global, on 22 October.

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