Citrix XenDesktop 4 wins the best of Interop for Virtualization

Citrix XenDesktop 4 Feature Pack 1 wins the best of Interop 2010 for Virtualization!

Citrix XenDesktop 4 Feature Pack 1. We recognize this is a point release. We also have to say that this product rose to the top of the BOI Virtualization candidates thanks to a combination of real world features, slick deployment options, and very broad client support, delivering your favorite Windows desktop to vintage thin terminals, 7-year old PCs, Macs, high-end workstations or iPads. Citrix has re-tooled its venerable ICA into “HDX,” minimizing bandwidth requirements while providing solid multimedia (read YouTube or corporate video training) performance in the delivered desktop space. The product offers competent performance on old hardware while taking advantage of high-end graphics chips if your host has ’em. Not thata Citrix advertises this, but we’re pretty sure this is the easiest way to get Flash working on your iPad. “Flexcast” gives IT admins a laundry list of deployment options from the same base builds, simplifying deployment in mixed enterprises for hosted or delivered virtual desktops. Bundled with a XenApp server and other Citrix back-end tools, this is a robust VDI solution.

We also have to give a shout out to Manage Engine. While this version of Application Manager didn’t bring home the gold in our virtualization competition, the company’s initial foray into virtualization monitoring is on the right path at a price point that will raise a few eyebrows. Manage Engine has a solid track record of traditional systems management tools, offering 80% of the big dog’s features at less that 20% of the cost with decent point-in-time reporting, client-side “record and playback” for application sessions, and broad support for existing hardware, operating systems, and apps. Now they are hooking into VMware APIs, for less than $2K to manage 25 servers. That gets our attention, and if you happen to be a small to medium size business operating in the dark troubleshooting application performance issues it’s worth taking a look. We hope Manage Engine sticks to their product road map, provide deeper and broader insight across virtualization vendors, and keeps bargain pricing as a core company value.