HP, Citrix expand desktop virtualization

Hewlett-Packard has expanded its role in the desktop virtualization arena with new mobile thin-client hardware, extended software offerings and deeper industry alliances.

Meanwhile, Citrix Systems, HP's virtualization partner, announced the immediate availability of Citrix XenDesktop, which dynamically assembles virtual desktops on demand to give users a more personalized interface each time they log on.

The company also expanded its Citrix Delivery Center, an infrastructure for delivering applications. Officials made the announcements at the Citrix Synergy conference in Houston.

Desktop virtualization allows servers to host environments that can be tailored to meet the needs of individual users. Industry experts say the technology will dramatically change how organizations present the desktop environment to users.

HP's new mobile thin client

The HP 2533t Mobile Thin Client combines HP's thin-client and business notebook PC technologies to improve data security, ease of use and reliability, company officials said.

The device provides increased protection of data and software applications by storing files on a secure, centralized server. No data resides on the mobile thin client, so it cannot be compromised if the device is lost or stolen.

The solid-state system has flash memory and no moving parts. It features the HP DuraCase, a strong outer casing that protects the top and bottom of the computer in rigorous mobile-user environments.

The HP 2533t weighs 3 pounds and has a 12.1-inch diagonal widescreen LED display. It adds a smaller, lighter option to the portfolio's 15.4-inch HP 6720t Mobile Thin Client, company officials said.

HP also plans to work with virtualization software vendors to expand its Remote Graphics Software technology and give users a richer media experience. RGS captures the desktop image of the remote or virtual system and transmits it ' using advanced image compression technology ' via a standard network to a window on a local thin client.

HP will work with vendors to improve video performance, interoperability and the scalability of large virtual desktop implementations serving business PC users, officials said.

They added that the company's full portfolio of Citrix-ready thin clients and blade client products is now available with Citrix XenDesktop.

VMware has certified HP's thin clients for compatibility with VMware's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, an integrated desktop virtualization solution that allows information technology employees to manage virtual machines from the data center and deliver business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities to desktop PCs.

XenDesktop ready for prime time

Now that XenDesktop is available, Citrix officials released previously unannounced details about the complete product line.

A new Express Edition of XenDesktop offers free desktop virtualization for as many as 10 users. Also, new Enterprise and Platinum editions tightly integrate the company's virtual desktop solution with its application virtualization product, XenApp for Virtual Desktops.

In addition, the Citrix Delivery Center includes three new products:
  • Citrix Branch Repeater, an appliance that amplifies and transmits applications from data centers to branch-office users.
  • Citrix Desktop Receiver, a lightweight software client that works with XenDesktop to give office workers fast and secure access to their virtual desktops from any location.
  • Citrix App Receiver, a lightweight, auto-updating software client designed to work with Citrix XenApp and Citrix NetScaler to give users quick and secure access to any application from any location.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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