Citrix surprised everyone by announcing XenDesktop 5 about 2 weeks ago at Citrix Synergy 2010 Berlin, the first Citrix Synergy in EMEA.
The latest addition to their desktop virtualization product suite which according to Citrix will ship by the end of this year.
Citrix XenDesktop 5 has a good number of changes which I want to highlight with this article.
Faster, Simpler, More Powerful – XenDesktop 5 makes it easier than ever to get started with desktop virtualization.
Customers can now achieve “10 minutes to Xen”, completing a new installation in just 10 minutes. Once up and running, managing virtual desktops with XenDesktop 5 also becomes faster and simpler than ever before with new role-based features. The new Desktop Studio™ console makes it easy for administrators to centrally design and manage virtual desktops, setting up new employees in seconds. XenDesktop 5 customers can also take advantage of the new Desktop Director™ console, giving helpdesk administrators a powerful way to monitor, troubleshoot and support virtual desktops for thousands of users across a large, distributed enterprise, with real-time information on usage, status and service levels. XenDesktop 5 also supports Microsoft System Center, making it easy for customers to manage applications on physical and virtual desktops with a familiar set of tools and processes. In addition, XenDesktop 5 introduces a comprehensive new SDK that enables customers and partners to integrate and automate the solution with third-party systems management tools.
Taking User Experience to a New Level – XenDesktop users have always enjoyed the best, high-definition user experience with their virtual desktops and apps thanks to Citrix HDX™ technology. XenDesktop 5 adds powerful new HDX enhancements that dramatically improve performance for resource intensive tasks like audio and video collaboration and large-file printing, even over low bandwidth connections. XenDesktop 5 also features a lush and captivating new end user experience. From new welcome screens inviting first-time users to their new virtual desktop, to an entirely redesigned virtual desktop viewer, every detail of the XenDesktop 5 user interface is designed to make each user’s workspace feel familiar and inviting.
Stunning Touch-Enabled Support for New Consumer Devices – By leveraging the Citrix Receiver™ universal software client, XenDesktop 5 makes it easy to deliver business desktops and apps to the rapidly growing number of new devices flooding the workforce, including PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. XenDesktop 5 adds support for a long list of new devices, along with extensive user experience enhancements such as the ability to instantly “touch-enable” existing enterprise apps that were never designed to run on new touch-screen tablets such as the Apple iPad or BlackBerry PlayBook.
Beyond VDI with Virtual Desktops “To Go” – Last year, XenDesktop 4 introduced a breakthrough new technology called FlexCast™ that gave customers the flexibility to deliver a range of virtual desktop technologies from a single product – from personalized VDI-based desktops ideal for office workers, to shared desktops optimized for task workers. XenDesktop 5 takes the FlexCast technology one step further, enabling IT to deliver virtual desktops “to go” that run directly on each user’s PC or laptop. This approach, which leverages the new XenClient hypervisor, is ideal for millions of corporate laptop users, providing IT with all the central management and security benefits of hosted virtual desktops, while giving mobile workers the flexibility to work connected or disconnected.
Connecting Virtual Desktops to a New Generation of Apps – XenDesktop 4 changed the game last year by fully integrating the capabilities of Citrix XenApp™, giving customers one product to deliver both Windows desktops and apps as an on-demand service. By leveraging the new Citrix Receiver, XenDesktop 5 changes the game again, making it easy to deliver one-click, single sign-on access to an entirely new generation of applications, including externally-hosted web, cloud and SaaS apps. This integration makes it easy for IT to deliver a rich array of Windows, web and SaaS apps to each user with a simple, unified experience, regardless of what type of app it is, or where it is actually running.
Secure BYOC with Citrix XenVault( out now!! ) – An increasing number of users are bringing their own devices to work as outside contractors or via employee bring your own computer (BYOC) programs. In these scenarios, IT needs to provide access to corporate applications and secure any confidential data, but does not want the hassles of installing applications or managing personal laptops. XenDesktop 5 addresses this scenario in the simplest way possible by delivering corporate apps as an on-demand service, then automatically encrypting any documents created by those apps and saving them transparently in an encrypted folder on the user’s laptop. This is made possible through an innovative new data security technology called XenVault™. In addition to ensuring corporate data is secure at all times on non-corporate owned devices, XenVault also enables IT to securely wipe any corporate data remotely when a contract is over, an employee terminates, or the laptop is lost or stolen.
Taking Virtual Desktops from “Wow to How” – Citrix, along with key partners and global systems integrators, also announced a new program to help organizations move from the “wow” of desktop virtualization, to the “how” of implementation success. The new Desktop Transformation Model makes it easy to assess each customer’s unique business priorities and translate them to a practical, step-by-step, customized roadmap for adopting and scaling desktop virtualization initiatives. The program makes it easy for customers new to desktop virtualization to take advantage of tips and best practices learned by thousands of customers who have already successfully deployed millions of virtual desktops and applications.
Support for 15,000 Verified Third-Party Products – Through the Citrix Ready® verification program, XenDesktop has now been verified to work with more than 15,000 third-party products, ranging from servers, hypervisors and storage systems, to client devices, printers, webcams and USB peripherals. With new verified products being added every day, customers can be assured that they can move to virtual desktops at their own pace, leveraging their existing IT investments, and choosing whatever partners they like for new investments. Customers can view a full list of supported third-party products on the Citrix Ready Open Desktop Virtualization program page.
Complete Feature Matrix overview for XenDesktop 5:
|Any device, anytime with Receiver||Multiple endpoint platforms|
|HDX™ user experience||HDX MediaStream|
|HDX Adaptive Orchestration|
|HDX 3D pro graphics|
|HDX WAN optimization|
|Beyond VDI with FlexCast™||Hosted shared desktops|
|Streamed VHD (virtual hard disk)|
|Local VM (virtual machine) with XenClient|
|Any Windows, web
or SaaS app
|On-demand apps by XenApp (hosted or streamed)|
|Self-service enterprise app store|
|Open, scalable, proven||Any hypervisor|
|Advanced virtualization management|
|Service monitoring (EdgeSight)|
|XenApp server health monitoring|
|Server provisioning for XenDesktop infrastructure|
|Single instance management||Desktop provisioning services|
|Virtual server provisioning|
|Physical server provisioning|
|Data security and
|Secure remote access|
|Advanced SmartAccess policy controls|