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Citrix 'Dazzles' at Synergy

Citrix's Synergy conference is happening in Las Vegas this week, and I had a chance to talk with Dave Moxey, director of product marketing, to go over some of the bigger announcements.

A few things stood out to me. First is Dazzle, which Citrix calls a "self-service 'App Store' for corporate employees." Dazzle presents a "storefront" view to get applications that are part of XenApp (formerly Presentation Server). There are two views: a more traditional list view, and an icon-based view which Moxey likens to the look and feel of iTunes.

Dazzle can be used for any IT service, according to Moxey. In addition to making XenApp programs available, Citrix envisions this being used for entire desktops, Sofware-as-a-Service apps, SharePoint and so on.

Moxey says Dazzle will be a free product for all Citrix customers with an active subscription. A technology preview should be available July 1, Moxey adds.

The second announcement of interest is Receiver, Citrix' iPhone app for accessing XenApp applications. Formerly in beta, the final version is available now in Apple's App Store. One upgrade in the release version adds two-factor authentication for increased security. Moxey says similar versions are coming for Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Android and other smartphones in the future.

Next up is XenClient, the bare-metal hypervisor that was known as Project Independence. This is one of the technologies I'm most looking forward to. Being able to separate the desktop OS from the underlying hardware means the freedom to do things like make your desktop and apps portable, from one device to another, or load separate OSes, like a work desktop environment along with a personal one, on an end-user computer. Moxey says Citrix will be demoing XenClient with Intel on Wednesday. That's a Webcast I'm going to catch.

XenServer is now up to version 5.5 with several upgrades, including integrated backup, enhanced search and new guest support. Nothing earth-shattering here, but worth checking out. I asked Moxey about uptake of XenServer since Citrix made it free. While he didn't have hard numbers available at that moment (he's promised to get them to me), he called downloads of the hypervisor "phenomenal; beyond our expectations."

Finally, Citrix announced a new Enterprise Licensing program. Moxey says the program has been repackaged and simplified, with six tiers of pricing. We'll see how simplified it is in the future.

There were lots more things announced, including (of course) a number of cloud computing initiatives, but I think that should be enough to chew on for awhile. Let me know what things stand out to you among these announcements.

Posted by Keith Ward on 05/05/2009 at 12:48 PM


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