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Striving for synergy

Citrix Synergy, which brings together virtualization, networking and application delivery together, got underway here in Las Vegas on Tuesday. MGM Grand’s arena, which fills up to capacity normally during boxing matches, was crowded with the vendor’s partners and customers, making it the largest ever Synergy event.

Citrix has announced a rafe of new products at the event, which was kickstarted by its president and CEO Mark Templeton, who said the agenda for the company this year is to simplify technology and offer a better customer experience. To meet this objective, Citrix plans to deliver desktop and apps as a service and transform data centres into delivery centres.

“Technology is not here for its own sake. It’s sole purpose is to enable business innovation. Just like the personal computing era marked a radical departure from mainframe computing, I believe the consumerisation of Web will disturb distributed computing era. Right now, user capabilities are much better in the consumer world than it is in the enterprise world,” he said.

Pitching the company’s desktop and application virtualization solutions,

Templeton said the mandate for enterprise IT is move to an on-demand service model, by removing architectural complexity and achieve simplicity. “Today, half of the IT budgets are spend on desktops and other endpoints. We need to re-think desktop computing and deliver it virtulised and optimized over the network. We need to approach desktops as a set of components that can be isolated and managed separately. This is where we offer XenApp and Xen Desktop, which has gained momentum in the last 12 months.”

To address the issue of local virtual desktops for mobile workers, Citrix is working with its partner Intel to bake virtualization capabilities into the core. The product christened XenClient is expected to be available in the second quarter of this year, and the company envisions a future, wherein OEMs will start to embed hypervisor at the baremetal level. .

During another keynote address, John Gantz, IDC’s Chief Research Officer, talked about how the economic crisis will accelerate technology transformation. “In the last 50 years, we have had three tech crashes and now we are in the middle of a technology renaissance. Though budget squeeze will continue due to the economic downturn, this is a good opportunity for us to sharpen our senses. IT is at a tipping point now and poised to change dramatically. It will scale up and scale out, “ he said.

Gantz also outlined the pockets of growth for this year that includes security management, mobile data, enterprise social media, business analytics, storage application and software as a service. He added that the areas to watch are virtualization management software, IP surveillance, locations based services and compliance.

New products

Right after making its hypervisor free, Citrix is on a spree, doling out goodies for free. At the Citrix Synergy event, the company has announced 3 new products, which are absolutely free. These include Citrix Receiver for Windows, iPhones and Citrix Dazzle.

Citrix Receiver is a lightweight software client that makes accessing virtual desktops and applications on any device as easy as turning on TV. Much like a satellite or cable TV receiver in the broadcast media, Citrix receiver allows IT organization to deliver desktops and application as an on-demand service to any device in any location. It also announced the availability of the Citrix Receiver application on the Apple app store. The app gives iPhone and iPod touch users access their Windows applications and documents from anywhere.

Citrix has also announced a self-service interface to put the ‘personal’ back into computing. New Dazzle application, claims the company, will transform IT into an on-demand service and create the first self-service storefront for enterprise applications. Dazzle gives corporate employees 24/7 self-service access to a broad array of applications, desktops and content, allowing them to choose exactly what they need, when they need it. “With the introduction of Dazzle, we are helping IT respond to the growing gap between Web-based consumer services and traditional enterprise computing,” says Mark Templeton.

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