Fujitsu to plug in Citrix virtualisation

Citrix's Xen technology will be combined with Fujitsu's servers and workplace virtualisation portfolio to provide an integrated bundle for setting up VDIs
Written by Sally Whittle, Contributor

Fujitsu Technology Solutions has signed a partnership deal with Citrix to incorporate the virtualisation company's desktop and server technology into its virtual workplace lineup.

Under the deal, announced on Wednesday, Fujitsu will begin integrating Citrix XenDesktop with HDX technology into its Managed Virtual Workplace and Virtual Workplace portfolios in August. In addition, the hardware maker's Primergy rack and blade servers are now certified for Citrix's XenServer virtualisation software. The partners also plan to intregrate XenServer and Citirix Essentials for XenServer with Primergy server management tools.

The combined technology means businesses will be able to roll out virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs) more quickly, the companies said.

"By building everything you need into one package, it makes setting up a VDI much quicker and easier, because you're not procuring and installing solutions from multiple vendors," said Sumit Dhawan, vice-president of product marketing at Citrix XenDesktop. "The other advantage is that it's already integrated and ready to go — technology is pre-installed and the rollout is much faster and simpler."

The announcement makes sense for both companies, said Matthew McCormack, a consultant with research company IDC. Citrix has traditionally been stronger in the mid-market, but an alliance with Fujitsu will put it in a good position to target enterprises, McCormack said.

"In that space, Citrix possibly has an edge on [virtualisation competitor] VMware in some respects. Citrix has its HDX high-definition technology in production, which makes video streaming viable, while VMware's comparable feature is experimental," he said. "Added to that, XenDesktop has an offline mode so you can download an image and run it locally — again, VMware isn't quite there with its equivalent."

However, enterprises adopting virtual desktop infrastructures may find themselves paying more than they expect for the privilege, added Stewart Buchan, a research director with technology research and advisory company Gartner Group.

"Lots of customers are investigating desktop virtualisation, but very few feel it's a safe thing to do, because of the software licensing costs involved," Buchan said. "Many software companies, including Microsoft, charge for licences based on the device, not the user. So, if you are using pretty much any device to access desktop applications, you could find yourself having to license pretty much any device."

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