RingCube acquisition lets Citrix offer VDI power without VDI cost

Separating personalization from OS makes 'VDI' fare more flexible than before

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It can also be used to image a user's existing machine, extract the profile, data and apps data into a separate VHD that can be stored on the network and attach that to a pooled image of the operating system so every time a user logs in he or she will use the shared OS, but use a version already personalized with personal tweaks and applications.

"Really, the personal vDisk gives you the cost advantages of pooled VDI because you don't have to keep 100 identical copies of the same operating system for 100 VDI users, and the personalization advantages of dedicated VDI," according to John Fanelli, vice president of vice president of product marketing for the Enterprise Desktop and Applications group at Citrix, who made the announcement in a hastily called press conference this afternoon.

"One of the key benefits is that it reduces the cost of storage compared to a dedicated VDI deployment, and it ultimately simplifies the move from physical desktops to virtual desktops for IT administrators," Fanelli said.

Depending on configuration, the same vDisk could support an oS running on a back-end server shared by many, a dedicated VM for one person, or the OS running on a user's own hard drive – using the vDisk VHD to back up and secure corporate data without disturbing whatever else runs on the user's machine.

Even the vDisk itself could run on a user's laptop in a BYOC situation in which the company wants a pure business environment on a piece of hardware, but the user wants personal apps to install in a portion of the machine that can't touch the virtual desktop owned by the company.

Fanelli declined to discuss packaging or integration roadmaps for the technology, but did say it would continue to work with all the products it does now from Citrix, Microsoft and RingCube competitors such as LiquidWare Labs, whose user experience management products filled a similar add-on profiling role from a third-party vendor that is now being filled by a Citrix property courtesy of RingCube.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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