We recently released XenClient 2 and customers are recognizing the advantages both IT and end users can achieve under the client hypervisor paradigm. Customers want to enjoy all the client hypervisor benefits of hardware independence, image backup, multiple VM’s and enhanced client security. As a result, we’re seeing a swell of interest in XenClient as a better way to address the disconnected laptop use case.
At the same time, enterprise customers are asking questions about how to roll out the Synchronizer and XenClient in their environment while making the best use of the existing tools they use to manage their desktop images. Enterprises tend to have large investments in place for their image management and deployment tools and processes. So, customers want to minimize changes to established, working image management methods when starting to adopt XenClient.
Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) is the preeminent example of a systems and configuration management tool as it represents the most widely deployed of such management technologies. And as you would expect we have been hearing from our joint customers that they want to use SCCM with XenClient.
To address these requirements, at Synergy Barcelona, Login Consultants announced the beta availability of a free SCCM 2007 R3/XenClient integration toolkit they’ve developed in collaboration with Citrix. Login Consultants is an international IT service provider specializing in virtualization, desktop deployment and application delivery. They are recognized experts in Citrix and Microsoft technologies. Their SCCM integration work is a great example of third party innovation being done around XenClient to meet customer requirements.
The SCCM integration toolkit provides for centralized deployment of the XenClient hypervisor and VM images from SCCM to XenClient ready devices leveraging existing SCCM infrastructure. The toolkit consists of an SCCM UI plugin, deployment scripts and an admin guide. The diagram below provides a high level architectural perspective on how XenClient works with SCCM using the Login Consultants toolkit.
Notice that this first round of SCCM integration to XenClient provides for two functions (items 1 and 2 in the diagram). The first function provides for automated bare metal XenClient hypervisor deployment using Systems Center in conjunction with Windows Deployment Services (WDS). The second major function of the SCCM integration provides for VM image deployment to XenClient devices. Figure 2 shows the SCCM UI plugin for configuring XenClient and VM deployment. With these capabilities, you now you have a great way of deploying the XenClient hypervisor using your existing SCCM Windows images and infrastructure.
From the start we designed XenClient to work with customers’ existing tools and processes so they could quickly realize value from our local virtual desktop solution. Over time they can take advantage of additional benefits of our total solution such as data protection, policy controls, running multiple VMs and more. We’ve heard from customers that they want to take advantage of the benefits of XenClient while use existing SCCM tools and processes to manage their images. The Login Consultants’ integration toolkit for SCCM 2007 represents a great way to make SCCM work seamlessly with XenClient so you can get the best of both worlds. If you’re using SCCM 2007, we encourage you to watch this video, download the free Login Consultants SCCM/XenClient integration toolkit and give it a spin and be sure to let Login Consultant’s know what you think and what you’d like to see next.