Getting end users to agree to give up their physical desktops in favor of virtual ones has been something of a challenge. That’s why the ultimate goal for desktop virtualization needs to be one where the virtual user’s experience is actually better than what they currently get from running Windows natively.
With that goal in mind, Citrix today announced updates to its XenApp and XenDesktop virtualization offerings that drop the IOPs load on servers running desktop virtualization by 99 percent. According to Calvin Hsu, vice president of product marketing for Citrix, that means that instead of having to load up servers with RAM and solid-state disk drives (SSDs) to simulate a physical device experience, IT organizations can deploy servers in standard configurations to efficiently run desktop virtualization software.
As part of its efforts to improve the desktop virtualization user experience, Citrix says the new releases provide enhancement to pre-launch, session linger and anonymous logon functions, which reduce the time it takes to fire up an instance of a Windows application on a server in addition to enhancements to the audio, video and graphics experience.
The latest renditions of XenApp and XenDesktop also add support for unified communications software and peripherals that make use of the USB 3.0 standard. Citrix is also releasing a new update to the HDX Mobile SDK, which allows developers to more quickly customize a Windows application that has been ported to a mobile computing device.
Finally, Hsu says Citrix has released a raft of management and encryption updates that make it simpler to securely manage XenApp and XenDesktop from within the context of, for example, Microsoft System Center management consoles.
In effect, with simultaneous updates to its desktop and application virtualization offerings, Citrix is improving the desktop virtualization user experience, while reducing the cost of ensuring the quality of that experience. That may not convince every end user the time has come to give up their physical desktops. But it most certainly removes a lot of the objections that have greatly limited the adoption of virtual desktops in the enterprise at a time when many IT organizations are still trying to figure out life after Windows XP.