Citrix offers common management console with first step of Project Avalon

Exacalibur and Merlin lead the way as Citrix moves to the cloud

By , IDG News Service |  Virtualization

The move to the cloud will give IT staff more flexibility. Enterprises will be able to simultaneously run a mix of different Windows versions on servers and clients, and different versions of XenApp and XenDesktop as well. This will, for example, simplify migrations, Citrix said.

The Excalibur release of Project Avalon will be available as a tech preview to Citrix customers on Nov. 1, while the tech preview of Merlin will arrive during the first half of next year. The company isn't providing any details on when they will become generally available, according to Subramanian.

"This is a journey Citrix is going on, and I think are being quite transparent in the fact that it is going to take time to bring it together," Hill said.

Moving both Windows desktops and application to the cloud is a big step, and enterprises need time to prepare.

Citrix also made announcements that will have a more immediate effect for users, including new versions of XenClient Enterprise and VDI-in-a-Box, as well as new devices based on the HDX SoC architecture.

The HDX SoC (system-on-a-chip) architecture was announced by Citrix last year, and aims to cut the cost of thin clients and by extension the cost of using virtual desktops.

By using optimized ARM-processors for hardware acceleration rather than decoding and rendering virtual desktop traffic on general-purpose processors in software, clients based on the architecture can deliver the user experience of thin client hardware that costs twice as much or more, while reducing power consumption, heat, and footprint, according to Citrix.

New devices from Atrust, Centerm, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IGEL, LG Electronics and NComputing will all be on display at Synergy.

While virtual desktops and thin clients can be found in enterprise data centers, Citrix also sees an opportunity for virtualization technology at small and medium-size companies, and the product that will help them adopt it is VDI-in-a-Box.

The upcoming version 5.2 of VDI-in-a-Box will be optimized for Microsoft's unified communications platform Lync, and also include support for hypervisors such as Citrix' own XenServer 6.1, Microsoft's Windows 2012 Hyper V and vSphere 5.1 from VMware.

A tech preview of VDI-in-a-Box 5.2 will come soon, according to Citrix. The company didn't elaborate on when general availability can be expected.

Last but not least, XenClient is a so-called bare-metal hypervisor for desktop virtualization.

The technology holds the promise of allowing desktop virtualization to work without a network connection and letting the IT department issue laptops that come with one OS for corporate use and one for personal use.

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