Following its recent acquisition of RingCube Technologies, Citrix Systems is trying to bring some order to the chaos that is desktop virtualization.
With the release today of version 5.5 of XenDesktop, Citrix is using technology from RingCube to add an ability to more easily manage personalization in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment. That capability means that IT organizations can retain all the management benefits of VDI without forcing users to give up any of the personal preferences they have come to favor on their own desktop.
According to John Fanelli, Citrix vice president for enterprise desktops and apps, the release of XenDesktop will bring desktop virtualization into sharper relief because now there are basically three modes of delivery. The first is a traditional application-centric approach, formally known "terminal services." The second is a more personalized version of VDI, while the third is based on accessing those resources via mobile computers.
The new release of XenDesktop also brings a number of virtualization performance enhancements in the form of better graphics performance and the ability to launch Windows applications two times faster. In addition, video performance has been improved along with a doubling of the number of users that can effectively share a common wide area network link.
For a lot of IT organizations, these performance and personalization enhancements mean we're rapidly approaching the point where virtualization in one form or another is rapidly becoming the de facto way to manage the desktop. As that continues to happen, that may not mean that Windows is necessarily the default desktop in the enterprise, because as desktop virtualization continues to gain momentum, so, too, does the amount of diversity on the desktop.