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Citrix Synergy Heavy on Cloud, Mobility

Citrix used its Synergy conference last week to make a slew of cloud- and mobility-related product and services announcements. Prominent among them were the acquisition of Virtual Computer and its connection to the new XenClient Enterprise, the Podio collaboration platform, CloudGateway 2, and Project Avalon.

Virtual Computer Acquisition
The Virtual Computer acquisition -- the terms of which were not revealed -- is a good fit for Citrix, and Virtual Computer's NxTop Enterprise product, which allows companies to virtualize desktops using a Type-1 client hypervisor for online and offline functionality of desktops and laptops, is the driving force behind the new XenClient Enterprise Edition, which will be available by the end of June. In this case, XenClient plus the "rich set of management" functionality designed to help enterprise users manage "large fleets" of corporate laptops continues Citrix's dedication to client-side virtualization and mobility.

And why not? IDC says that by 2015 mobile workers will comprise some 40 percent of the workforce, while Forrester Research predicts that 65 percent of information workers currently work from multiple locations, and by 2016, 350 million employees will user smartphones, and 200 million of that group will bring their own to work.

Podio Collaboration Platform
Based on Citrix's Podio acquisition, which is highlighted by the Podio collaboration platform, Citrix intends to offer a cloud service that caters to working in a "social setting" via an application concept that brings structure and activity streams to a wide variety of work and collaboration. Podio is designed to work with a growing list of services, including GoToMeeting, Citrix ShareFile, Evernote, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive and SugarSync, and according to Citrix, "Podio now supports all major cloud file and document sharing services."

For more information, or to set up a free Podio account, go to www.podio.com. To take advantage of the new Citrix integrations, GoToMeeting and ShareFile customers can visit www.podio.com, set up a free account and then access their ShareFile and GoToMeeting services within Podio's collaborative work platform.

Project Avalon
Windows apps may not rule the IT roost they used to before the mobile world exploded, but they were front and center with the introduction of Project Avalon, Citrix's next step up in transforming Windows apps and desktops into cloud services delivered across any network to any device. The audience for this new offering is huge; Citrix says it currently delivers Windows apps and desktops to more than 100 million users.

Project Avalon ups the ante by enabling users to rapidly deploy personalized Windows apps and desktops in private clouds spanning single or multiple sites, and to use public clouds in a capacity-on-demand fashion that supports business initiatives like business continuity, integrating mergers and acquisitions or offshoring projects.

In recognition of its relationship with Amazon Web Services, Citrix says Project Avalon creates an infrastructure that transforms any desktop into a Amazon-style cloud, adding "By leveraging the new Citrix CloudPlatform, powered by Apache CloudStack, Project Avalon will also make it easy for existing Citrix customers to adapt new features at whatever pace they like, allowing them to mix and match different versions of Windows Server, XenDesktop and XenApp -- and span any mix of public and private clouds."

Citrix would not announce the availability of Project Avalon.

Citrix CloudPlatform Powered by Apache CloudStack
The company also unveiled a strategic move to enhance its open source status in the cloud world by taking the wraps off Citrix CloudPlatform, which it calls "the first commercially supported cloud orchestration system based on Apache CloudStack." Citrix laid the groundwork for this announcement in early April when it submitted the CloudStack platform to the Apache Software Foundation, which is known for building, managing and delivering highly scalable IaaS clouds.

Citrix has added new functionality via its built-in Amazon API capability, software defined networking enablement, and Project Avalon integrations. It says Citrix CloudPlatform has more than 30,000 community members. Citrix CloudPlatform Powered by Apache will be available by the end of June.

CloudGateway 2
The updated CloudGateway 2 enterprise mobility solution features new mobile app management capabilities that include full support for native HTML 5, iOS and Android apps, in addition to integrating with Citrix ShareFile. The result for users is a "single, unified control point for all apps and data, enterprise wide" that enables them to "be as productive on the go as they are in the office with access to their personalized set of applications and data when and where they need them." CloudGateway 2 will be available this July.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 05/14/2012 at 12:48 PM


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