All right – we’re taking it up a notch!” – George Costanza
– Seinfeld Episode: The Wizard (1998)

In my last blog post we went through the Citrix Ready program, its various levels and its benefits. We also touched on the security work we’re doing with McAfee so in this post we’re going to take a closer look at our relationship with McAfee and their new product for Citrix XenDesktop. We’re also going to touch on how we arrive at a deal like McAfee and discuss another area where we’re actively looking for partners to address customer needs.

So, how did we get here with McAfee? Given the large, enterprise deployments XenDesktop is enjoying we know that optimizing security for those deployments was becoming more important. And, when asking our closest partners to rank the important technology areas for Citrix to address around the XenDesktop ecosystem, security was one of the top three responses. What you say, the partner guys at Citrix gathering primary data? Yes, absolutely! In addition to closely formulating partner strategies with our product groups, the business development crew at Citrix can and does gather primary data from time to time to help us focus. Once we had the data on the where, we turned to the who – ‘All right – we’re taking it up a notch!‘ – enter McAfee.

The first thing you need to know about McAfee is that they are the largest dedicated security technology company in the industry. With more than three quarters of the Fortune 2000 using their solutions on more than 125M systems worldwide, they were a natural choice to partner with for improving the performance of security in XenDesktop. So, the two companies began discussions, compared notes on the problem and agreed it made a ton of sense to partner on addressing this new area in enterprise security. The result is McAfee’s MOVE – Management for Optimized Virtual Environments.

MOVE is specifically designed for XenDesktop, making it easy for customers to secure corporate data and applications delivered to virtual desktops. The addition of McAfee MOVE to XenDesktop virtual desktops simplifies desktop security through a “virtualization aware” centralized service where resources are optimized and intelligence is shared. For example, if McAfee MOVE encounters malware it can process appropriate behavior based on a set of security policies on behalf of the guest attempting to access the affected file. Additionally, it can also update all of the other guests supported by MOVE automatically. The result is a significant improvement in scalability vs. traditional, non-optimized A/V solutions. You can get an idea for this improvement from McAfee’s announcement last week at Synergy Berlin. If you’re at McAfee’€™s FOCUS event in Las Vegas (where I’m posting this from), be sure to swing by the Citrix booth for a look at MOVE in action.

Changing gears a bit, remember that primary data I mentioned above? The other result that really stuck out for us was around storage. One of the typical effects of a XenDesktop deployment is a concentration shift of storage from the end point to the data center. This shift drives not only a physical shift of the bits, but also a potential cost increase on a $/GB basis if a customer isn’t utilizing the latest storage technologies in the data center. Given this potential driver, we are working with leading storage companies in the industry to address this storage shift and to build programs specifically for customers of XenDesktop. Additionally, we’re actively looking for innovative solutions from smaller companies and start-ups that could really change the game.

To sum up, we listen to our customers, work with our product groups, do our own analysis of the market and build partnerships to benefit our joint customers. McAfee and their MOVE product is a great example of the results to be had through a great partnership. But we’re not anywhere close to being done building great partnerships throughout the ecosystem. Storage is the next area where we’re doubling down and we’re looking forward to another successful set of partnerships here that will benefit our customers.

Next time we’ll review eG Innovations “End-to-End VDI Monitoring on Tap” program they announced at Synergy Berlin, map out how a Citrix Ready Core partner went through the process of working on their announcement with us and how Citrix supported it.