Citrix recently launched XenClient 5, a type 1 hypervisor that supports Windows-centric systems (desktops and laptops). It is an important component of Citrix's comprehensive comprehensive BYOD and VDI solutions. What's new in this release is unified profile management, integration with a personal virtual disk (vDisk in Citrix's nomenclature) and a synchronizer that allows application and data to be synchronized across a broad array of devices. The goal is addressing some of the challenges created when companies impose a centrally managed client environment.
Here's what Citrix has to say about XenClient 5
By leveraging the powerful personalization and profile management technology in Citrix XenDesktop, XenClient 5 allows mobile workers to seamlessly work across laptops, tablets and smartphones using their virtual desktop hosted or local along with their files and documents. XenDesktop with XenClient and Citrix ShareFile give mobile workers the personalized virtual desktop experience and data synchronization they want, where they want it, all with the centralized control IT needs. The unique integration of XenClient 5, included as part of XenDesktop represents an industry first, providing personalization and profile management across local and hosted virtual desktops. Industry analysts expect this to drive broader adoption of desktop virtualization, a key enabler of the mobile enterprise.
XenClient 5 integrates Personal vDisk technology already in XenDesktop to enable personalization, and integrates with ShareFile to sync data across local and hosted virtual desktop environments. Users will have a seamless and personalized user experience, and IT gains new levels of security, reliability and control with simplified desktop management. The integration of Personal vDisk technology is built into the two core components of XenClient:
- XenClient Engine - XenClient is a true Type-1 client hypervisor that runs on bare metal and provides high performance and security, letting users run a centrally managed virtual desktop and lets power users run multiple local virtual desktops simultaneously, side-by-side and in complete isolation. Users of XenClient-powered devices can access their various virtual desktops anywhere, anytimeeven while disconnected from the network.
- XenClient Synchronizer - Synchronizer for XenClient enables IT to centrally manage the virtual desktops running locally on PCs as well as manage the devices themselves. Using Synchronizer, IT can centrally back up user data through a secure connection whenever the user connects to the Internet, define security policies, disable lost or stolen PCs, and restore a users virtual desktop on any XenClient-based device.
As mentioned in the post, there are a number of approaches to deliver access to applications, deliver the applications themselves or deliver virtual clients to devices staff members bring to work. Typically solutions combine three different virtualization technologies to create a single solution including access virtualization, application virtualization and processing virtualization. Citrix is one of the few suppliers that has the capability to offer all three types of virtualization and the needed management and security software to round out a complete solution.
XenClient is an important part of Citrix's portfolio because it supports the local execution of virtual clients on Intel-based systems. This capability combined with Citrix's other technology can create a complete smartphone to tablet to laptop to PC (or Mac) BYOD solution that few can equal.
Version 5 of XenClient adds access to a vDisk and a Synchronizer that makes it possible for workloads and data to be accessible on a system even when a network connection isn't available. The needed applications and data can be delivered to system prior to them "going off the net" so that they'll be available when needed. Updates and changes can then be synchronized with corporate data when the system comes back up on the net. This capability addresses one of the most persistent problems solutions based upon virtual access, application virtualization and processing virtualization has presented for years.
VMware, Microsoft and a few others offer pieces of the solution, but no one matches the depth and breadth of Citrix. They offer virtual access to applications and data that supports everything from smartphones to tablets, to PCs and Macs. They offer application virtualization that can deliver applications or their components to compatible systems. They also offer support for virtual clients making it possible for those virtual systems to run locally, in a workgroup environment or back in the corporate or buisness unit data center.
If you want to see a slick demo, just ask your Citrix representative or partner to show you how it is possible to edit a document or spreadsheet on a PC and access the very same material from several machines just as a staff member would do as they moved through their work day.