First, a mea culpa: Yesterday I was in a customer meeting, and brought up the subject of the soon-to-be-released XenClient. I told the customer that if they wanted to see some really cool “Citrix TV” videos of what it could do, they should just come to this blog site, because I’d linked to them here. When I got back to the office, I started feeling insecure about that, and found that, sure enough, I hadn’t linked them here…I had linked to them on our Facebook fan page. Oops. But I decided that I probably should link them here because they’ll be easier to find. Hence this post.
I think I’m looking forward to the XenClient content at next month’s Citrix Summit/Synergy events in San Francisco more than I am to any other aspect of the conferences. In my opinion, this could prove to be the “killer app” that drives a lot of VDI. Why? Because of the constant struggle over locking down the desktop OS.
If you talk to anyone who has to manage desktop PCs, you will nearly always find that this is one of their biggest pain points. They want to lock down the desktop…but when they do, they end up with an upper-level manager in their faces because s/he can’t install iTunes. Or they find out that there’s one critical line-of-business application that’s so poorly written that users have to have local admin rights for it to work properly. So they back down and grant some level of local admin rights, and what happens? The users break the desktops (or worse, they let malware into the network). Then the poor admin has to fix them.
But just ask them, “What if you could have two desktops running side by side: one business desktop that’s completely locked down, and a personal desktop that the users can do whatever they want with? They can hotkey back and forth between them, and if they break their personal desktop, you can just wipe it and push out a fresh one.” Then watch their eyes light up as they consider the possibilities!
So…consider the possibilities as you watch the videos below. (They’re all fairly short, and worth your time, I promise.) First, a brief overview of the concept:
Client-side virtualization involves challenges that really aren’t an issue for server virtualization, like how to arbitrate access to high-performance graphics adapters. Here’s a demonstration of the “HDX” high-definition video performance of XenClient:
This video demonstrates the concept of hotkeying between business and personal desktops:
Finally, check out this demonstration of “Secure Application Sharing.” It shows how you can not only present, on the personal desktop, an application that’s actually running on the business desktop, but also have it protected such that even if the personal desktop has been compromised with a keylogger, that keylogger is unable to capture information that’s typed into the window that’s displaying the secure application. Pretty cool.
I’m sure we’ll have a lot more to say about XenClient after Synergy, but hopefully this will whet your appetite!