In the world of desktop virtualization, user experience is everything… it is what makes or breaks a successful desktop virtualization strategy. Today, Citrix raised the bar again, announcing a new addition to its popular Citrix XenDesktop that promises to juice performance even further for employees accessing their virtual desktops, apps and data over a wide area network (WAN).

Starting today, any customer who buys the Platinum Edition of XenDesktop gets a powerful new WAN optimization virtual appliance at no additional charge that can be deployed quickly and easily in any branch office to boost XenDesktop performance for branch users. The new solution, powered by the breakthrough Citrix Branch Repeater VPX virtual appliance, is specifically architected for accelerating and optimizing the delivery of virtual desktops, apps and data for end users, while reducing bandwidth utilization for IT administrators.

The March 2010 launch of Citrix Branch Repeater VPX captured the imagination and interest of networking customers around the world by delivering the power of WAN optimization with the flexibility and agility of a software-based virtual appliance. Citrix customers were further intrigued by the fact that Branch Repeater went beyond the kind of WAN optimization offered by the likes of Riverbed to offer specific optimizations for the ICA protocol that plays such a big role in the HDX technologies that have placed XenDesktop at the head of the virtual desktop market. The fact that thousands of XenDesktop customers downloaded Branch Repeater VPX in 2010 to try it out for themselves, prompted us to make HDX WAN optimization a standard feature for our most strategic XenDesktop customers.

Adding this capability to XenDesktop Platinum Edition seemed like the obvious answer. More than 70% of our XenDesktop customers already choose our Platinum Edition to deliver a wide mix of different virtual desktop technologies to a diverse range of employees – from task workers and office employees, to road warriors and contractors. And increasingly, these large XenDesktop customers have been turning to Branch Repeater to enhance performance over the WAN. Gartner1, in fact, credits Branch Repeater’s top three market share position in the advanced-platform WAN Optimization controller market to the strong acceptance of XenDesktop.

We think these early adopters are on to something ─ Citrix XenDesktop, combined with the HDX WAN Optimization technology from Branch Repeater – accelerates the delivery of virtual desktops and provides a high definition experience to branch office workers (See 3rd Party Performance Report: XenDesktop vs View with and without WAN Optimization). They have led the transformation of desktop virtualization and WAN optimization markets with innovative and integrated use of these technologies.

That’s why we’re moving aggressively to accelerate this adoption even further – making it easy for ALL strategic XenDesktop customers to deliver any type of virtual desktop and app to any user with the best, high-def experience. Specifics of today’s announcement include:

  • Effective February 14, 2011, XenDesktop Platinum will include the new HDX WAN optimization feature, powered by Branch Repeater VPX – at no additional charge. You can deploy the new HDX WAN Optimization virtual appliances in unlimited number of branch offices with WAN links up to 45Mbps, if you buy XenDesktop Platinum, are current on XenDesktop Platinum SA or trade up to XenDesktop Platinum. This will allow XenDesktop Platinum customers to accelerate and optimize, on WAN links of up to 45Mbps bandwidth, delivery of virtual desktops and virtual apps, as well as native apps such as Microsoft Exchange, Outlook, SharePoint, and other data or application traffic.
  • The new HDX WAN Optimization feature runs as a virtual appliance on either Citrix XenServer of VMware vSphere. In related news, the standalone Citrix Branch Repeater VPX virtual appliance is also now available for both XenServer and VMware hypervisors.

While this is great news for XenDesktop customers, it doesn’t mean the rest of the world can’t enjoy the benefits of Branch Repeater to get more out of their wide-area networks. Branch Repeater hardware and software appliances will both continue to be available for standalone purchases to ANY customer who wants blazing fast WAN performance and lower bandwidth costs from the vendor who brings virtualization, networking and cloud computing together.

For more information, please read Customer FAQ: Updated XenDesktop Platinum includes HDX WAN Optimization, powered by Branch Repeater VPX

Try putting the pedal to the XenDesktop on wild wide-area networks… and feel the exhilarating XenDeskop ride!


1 Market Share Analysis: Application Acceleration Equipment, Worldwide, 3Q10 ( Dec 15th, 2010)

Related info:

Citrix Makes the “Everywhere Employee” Feel Right At Home…Even Over the WAN

3rd Party Performance Report: XenDesktop vs View with and without WAN Optimization

Can I get my apps and desktops now?