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Citrix Details Ambitious XenSource Plans

Citrix as a company has always been about application delivery. As its iForum user conference kicks off today in Las Vegas Citrix will demonstrate its growth as an end-to-end application virtualization vendor as well.

The virtualization technology comes by way of Citrix's acquisition of open source virtualization vendor XenSource for $500 million which was announced in August. XenSource will now play an integral role in Citrix's product lineup with the XenDesktop 2.0, officially being announced today.

Gordon Payne, senior vice President of the delivery systems division at Citrix, explained that Citrix now has a complete solution for desktop virtualization.

"A user now can have a desktop PC where the entire desktop resides in a datacenter, Payne told InternetNews.com.

Payne noted the XenDesktop solution can be used to provision a number of different use case scenarios including a thin client, an overlay for a PC with an existing OS, as well as a mechanism for bare metal OS provisioning.

The XenDesktop solution includes a brokering technology which ties a user to a desktop , a provisioning server component that allows IT to provision desktops for groups of users and the XenServer.

"We've bundled those things together so the IT organization doesn't have to go to different vendors to get the different pieces," Payne said.

The XenServer is the actual server virtualization application that resides in the datacenter. Prior to the Citrix acquisition XenSource had called the product XenEnterprise which is a product line that XenSource has had in the market for over a year.

Citrix will also be selling the newly rebranded Citrix XenServer line as a standalone offering that will continue to compete against VMware and other virtualization vendors.

Though Citrix's XenDesktop 2.0 solution takes advantage of Open Source components, the solution itself is not open source. Payne provided the analogy of the open source Xen hypervisor as being the engine while XenServer is the car. So while the engine is open source the car is not. Additionally the XenDesktop 2.0 solution includes components from Citrix itself including the desktop broker, which provides application availability.

More news coming.

With the Citrix deal in place, business appears to continue to grow for XenSource as well. InternetNews.com has learned that on Tuesday, XenSource will announce an OEM deal with Dell and a resale support agreement with HP.

In addition to the new virtualization offering Citrix is also rolling out new voice capabilities in its product lineup. The new EasyCall feature will link in with an enterprises existing voice system to provide click to call functionality to any enterprise application delivered over Citrix technology.

Citrix is also going green with its new PowerSmart initiative. The basic idea is that Citrix provides application hooks for server vendors that will intelligently power up or power down servers in order to meet application demand.

Though Citrix currently claims to have an impressive 200,000+ customers with some 70 million total users, Payne predicts the new items being rolled out will help grow the customer base a lot more.

"Now we've got an end-to-end solution for delivering applications so an enterprise can deal with one vendor," Payne said.