As announced today at Synergy Los Angeles, Citrix has introduced XenDesktop 7 with expected availability for download in June.
I have never been more excited to launch a product. XenDesktop 7 reaches Enterprise IT organizations at a critical time in the shift of our industry, ready to respond to both new and old challenges. XenApp has long been a business critical tool to help IT deliver secure access to apps anywhere from any device. That simple premise has never been more important as “Any Device” and “Any Where” have taken on entirely new meanings with the rapid adoption of mobile devices, the pressures and opportunities to enable Bring-your-own-device initiatives, and the ever increasing pressures of securing and protecting intellectual property and private data in a mobile/cloud world.
I recently sat down with Calvin Hsu, Vice President of Product Marketing for XenDesktop here at Synergy to understand more about how XenDesktop 7 brings Windows apps and desktops to a mobile world.
As I have been discussing XenDesktop 7 with customers and customers, some common conversations have emerged:
The apps you want to mobilize are likely the apps you already have
There is no question that a whole new breed of enterprise application developers are focused on mobile devices. Enterprises will consume mobile apps from the cloud, build and/ or modify their own, or purchase apps for use by their employees. The trends don’t matter… It is all happening, NOW. Citrix XenMobile can secure and deliver these new mobile apps, email and web apps. At the same time however, most enterprises have hundreds and typically thousands of corporate Windows apps tied to data, workflows and processes that cannot be easily rewritten or more importantly, rearchitected for mobile platforms. Making these corporate Windows apps available for tablets and smartphones using XenDesktop 7 is made simple through new HDX Mobile technologies that translate hosted Windows apps for mobile devices.
The choice of hosted desktop technologies just got simpler
Citrix emerged as the leader in desktop virtualization because it offers a choice in desktop and app delivery technologies that permits our users to use the right tool for the job. With choice, however, came complexity as our new customers had to fully understand their use cases and build out the appropriate XenApp or XenDesktop infrastructure to meet their immediate needs. While overtime most customers would end up with both products deployed and integrated, getting started required a choice, hosted-shared or VDI?
Now, XenDesktop 7 brings those two options together in one product making the choice between deploying a hosted shared desktop from RDS or a VDI desktop for a given user or group as simple as choosing the right base image, policies, and resources. There is absolutely no reason for religious arguments across these two technologies. The requirements will lead the discussion enabling the lower-cost, hosted-shared option when appropriate and all the power and flexibility of persistent, single-image managed VDI when required.
Centralization is still the best way to secure data
While hosting Windows apps for a mobile environment may be fine for legacy apps you don’t want to rewrite and re-architect, it also remains true that there is some data that you will not want on any device, or any network. Building new Windows applications leveraging the rich development toolkits and skills available today and hosting as a service remains the most secure method of empowering users to be productive from anywhere while ensuring that data doesn’t leave the datacenter. The tolerance for risk of dataloss varies by industry, application, and user, and leveraging encrypted local data with ShareFile on a managed or unmanaged devices protects against most malicious and non-malicious threats. However, leveraging hosted Windows apps will always be a strong option for protecting IP in a range of policy and access controls offered by Citrix.
Great TCO is now a given
For years the business conversation around desktop virtualization has revolved around TCO, or total cost of ownership. Why? because the financial analysis had to account for a higher upfront investment that would be offset by lower operational costs over time. Calculating investment is relatively easy, but calculating the long term operational labor savings is pretty subjective stuff.
Today, most IT professionals know this…
1. Managing and owning devices is harder than not managing and owning devices
2. Building and maintaining a service is more predictable and scalable than accounting for a pool of “best efforts” labor
3. It’s really tough to put a price tag on security until it’s too late
So the only real issue: Is desktop virtualization affordable? Can my staff build, support, and maintain it?
Citrix has surrounded itself with other industry leaders to eradicate the cost and complexity of desktop virtualization. Server power has increased exponentially. New storage I/O and cacheing technologies emerged. Graphics and video compression offload technologies were developed. All working together, simple, pre-tested, pre-sized architectures are now being offered that challenge the acquisition costs of any PC, but with mobility, security, and management benefits that cannot be matched.
For more information about XenDesktop 7 check out the “What’s new” page.