Citrix's XenApp 6 debuts

Citrix -- a leading virtualization vendor -- has announced a major upgrade of its flagship product, XenApp, formerly known as Citrix MetaFrame and also Presentation Server.XenApp 6, which will be available for download on March 24, offers simplifed centralized management, expanded scalability, enhanced integration with Microsoft virtualization platform and enhanced Macintosh and smartphone support, Citrix said.

Citrix -- a leading virtualization vendor -- has announced a major upgrade of its flagship product, XenApp, formerly known as Citrix MetaFrame and also Presentation Server.

XenApp 6, which will be available for download on March 24, offers simplifed centralized management, expanded scalability, enhanced integration with Microsoft virtualization platform and enhanced Macintosh and smartphone support, Citrix said.

XenApp6 features a new management console dubbed AppCenter that allows enterprise application management from one location. On the scalability front, XenApp6 now offers support for more than 150,000 concurrent users from one farm, Citrix claims.

Citrix (and XenSource, which it acquired in 2007) has a strong partnerships with Microsoft. To that end, XenApp6 offers seamless integration with Microsoft App-V virtualization capabilities and support for Windows Server 2008 R2's simplified provisioning, automation and power consumtpion enhancements.

XenApp -- an application hosting platfom that gained application virtualization and streaming capabilities in 2007, and got its new name in early 2008, -- also now features support for self-service applications and enhanced high definition HDX support, the company also said.

For example, XenApp6's integration with Citrix's Dazzle storefront technology allows users to choose applications delivered by XenApp or Microsoft App-V (or other web services and applications) on demand.

XenApp supports PCs, thin client and laptops. Version 6 builds on that with easider access to Windows applications from Macintosh computers and from smartphones including Apple iPhone, and those running Android and Windows Mobile.

Finally, XenApp 6's enhanced HDX capabilities allows customers to deliver real-time media including voice and audio in a a high end user experience.

Citrix's Xen-based virtualization platform competes against Microsoft's Hyper-V platform, VMWare's virtualization platform and commercial implementations of another open source hypervisor, KVM, which is integrated with the Linux kernel. Red Hat supports KVM and Novell has indicated that its Linux distribution -- which is based on Xen -- will support KVM.

XenApp offers on demand delivery of applications for both virtual and physical desktops.