I just returned from Synergy 2009. While we did not have any new major press announcements; however, there were several new things shared at the event. Here is a quick recap:

Desktop Virtualization and XenDesktop are ready for prime-time

  • During Synergy Day 1 Keynote, we announced that we have a customer who has decided to implement XenDesktop for 40,000 seats, with help from CSC with their Dynamic Desktop service offering. Needless to say, the customer went through detailed evaluation and compared several options to make that decision. It definitely shows that desktop virtualization is ready for large scale adoption.
  • If that doesn’t whet your appetite, we had Collier County during Day 1 Keynote (virtually – since Tom Petri from Collier County Schools could not be there), who talked about how they have successfully implemented over 12,400 desktops using XenDesktop (both streamed and hosted). And, they are planning to add 8,000 additional desktops via XenDesktop in 2009. Collier County was the first XenDesktop customer, who decided to adopt XenDesktop last year during Synergy 2008.
  • Several other success stories for XenDesktop implementations were shared, including Morgan Stanley, UPMC, CSC for internal use and other customer implementations. Neil Allen (Architect from Morgan Stanley) even talked about the ROI for desktop virtualization with XenDesktop, one of the concerns that I continue to hear from our customers.
  • In addition, there were several tracks on technical best practices shared to migrate from physical to virtual desktops. All workshops for XenDesktop were packed and large majority of the audience was implementing virtual desktops shortly.

XenDesktop 3 Feature Pack 1 and HDX technologies available now

  • Couple of weeks ago, I announced XenDesktop Feature Pack 1 couple of weeks ago. It is now available for download! A must have  for any desktop virtualization implementation.
  • We did some side by side demonstration of HDX technologies vs. the  “the other guy” during the keynote . We showed how only HDX technologies provides acceptable user experience for any Internet based scenario, including broadband, branch office or offshore. Even over the LAN, we shared our test results showing HDX requiring 1/10th the bandwidth. HDX includes ICA protocol and more.

Virtual Desktop will be extended to the mobile laptop devices with XenClient – coming soon!

  • In January 2009, we announced Project Independence - our joint collaboration agreement with Intel to develop a client side hypervisor, which will give IT the independence of having a single corporate image delivered securely to any laptop device, and provide users the independence of using their personal and corporate desktop on the same laptop device seamlessly. We named the technology XenClient and shared our vision on how IT will be able to use Citrix’s Delivery Center to deliver both hosted virtual desktop and local virtual desktop.
  • Citrix and Intel jointly demonstrated XenClient during Day 2 keynote. There were three key things demonstrated:
    1. High performance – running 3D graphics intensive applications, including a first person shooting game, without any performance penalty. You can envision our HDX technologies getting extended to local virtual desktops as well.
    2. Comprhensive Security – By leveraging VPro technologies, we are able to keep XenClient hacker-safe. No malware can hack into the hypervisor and compromise the security of the device. Also, we demonstrated how no keyloggers can get the sensitive password data from corporate applications ensuring that IT can easily rollout corporate desktops to personal laptop devices.
    3. Seamless application access and VM switching – A user can easily switch between virtual machines on the laptop device. Also, a user can seamlessly view their corporate applications (that reside and run in the corporate VM) from their personal VM – a powerful way to make the user experience extremely intuitive.
  • We plan to have the XenClient technology available to our customers in 2H’09
  • Finally, we demonstrated XenClient on a MacBook, running Windows and OS-X as two separate VMs, enabling users to be able to bring their MacBooks to work without any hassles for IT!

Desktop Virtualization enabled for the cloud!

  • We announced a Service Provider program, enabling our partners and ecosystem to offer their DaaS (Desktop as a Service). It is still early days but now our partners can get a low cost way to enter the DaaS market without a large capital investment for Citrix XenDesktop software.

Some help for the misguided

  •  I have had several customers come to me, saying that they love XenDesktop but they have already invested in a competitive product. We have now made it easier for these customers – they can now get XenDesktop Advanced Edition for only $95 (retail price). Get the benefits of HDX technology (high definition experience), simpler provisioning and a comprehensive built-in app-delivery. You can even keep using your existing hypervisor, if you like!