Prioritizing initial IT projects that can take advantage of desktop virtualization technology is an important exercise.  While each organization will have its own unique priority list based on factors such as business imperatives , existing  IT infrastructure and future IT strategy, here at Citrix we’ve identified several  projects you can  adopt to get started with app and desktop virtualization and demonstrate quick time to value. These projects address today’s pressing IT and end user computing challenges:  Making Windows applications usable on mobile devices, driving down the cost of your next PC refresh, enabling users of 3D professional graphics apps to securely collaborate on engineering and design data, and more.

A design guide has been published for each project which provides an overview of the solution architecture and implementation for a pre-defined user group, and  based on best practices obtained from Citrix Consulting Services and thorough lab testing.  The design guide is intended to provide guidance for solution evaluation and the introduction of proofs of concept (POCs).

The first four desktop virtualization projects Citrix is introducing (with many more to come throughout the year) are:

Mobilizing Windows apps. Significant numbers of device types and mobile operating systems make it inefficient and costly to rewrite business applications for native mobile platforms. Another IT issue is how to extend application access to mobile devices while adhering to corporate information security guidelines.This key project is based on the XenApp desktop virtualization technology for seamless delivery of Windows apps. The solution features mobility optimization technology to make the user experience even more convenient on any device, including tablets and smartphones.

Low cost PC refresh with thin clients. Replacing an aging PC with a thin client is a proven approach for reducing costs, but when those cost savings are paired with innovations in desktop virtualization and improvements in thin client system-on-a-chip (SoC) technology, the transition to thin clients becomes even more attractive.  This key project is based on XenApp® desktop virtualization technology and low-cost SoC thin client is the endpoint device for accessing a server-based virtual desktop hosted in the datacenter.  This virtual desktop can be accessed by a SoC thin client as well as other mobile devices including tablets and smartphones, making the solution even more versatile.

 Remote access to enterprise PCs. Many organizations protect their highly sensitive intellectual property and customer data by locking down the corporate network and turn to an SSL VPN solution for remote access.  This approach extends the secured network to unsecured, remote devices, increasing risk rather than protecting against it. This key project is based on XenDesktop with Remote PC which allows IT to centrally deploy secure remote access to all Windows® PCs on the corporate network. It gives users fast, secure, high-fidelity remote access from any device to all the corporate apps and data residing on an office PC. 

Virtualizing 3D professional graphics apps. Until recently, virtualizing 3D professional graphics applications was not seriously considered due to technology and cost limitations.  With today’s advancements in GPU acceleration technology and deep compression for improving network utilization for virtualized environments, many organizations have begun to successfully virtualize their high-end graphics apps. This key project is based on XenDesktop with HDX 3D Pro which supports high-end designers and engineers of 3D professional graphics applications and XenApp with HDX 3D technologies which provides cost- effective support to 3D data viewers and editors.

Please let me know if you think these design guides are useful and I welcome any feedback related to future design guide improvements.  Over the coming months Citrix will be introducing additional desktop virtualization projects including: Bring your own PC, Distributed branch office and Virtualizing 100 apps in two weeks.