Home Applications Citrix Announces XenDesktop 3.0: Desktop Virtualization (VDI) Solution!

Citrix Announces XenDesktop 3.0: Desktop Virtualization (VDI) Solution!

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Citrix announced the 3.0 version of their desktop virtualization (VDI) solution called XenDesktop.  The 3.0 release ships with enhancements around multimedia support, scalability, the ability to scream numerous desktops from a single gold image, added security through smart card authentication, and Citrix has added in their Citrix User Profile Manager solution to ease the pain with user personalization. 

More detailed list of what’s new in Citrix XenDesktop 3.0:

HDX Plug-n-Play
  • Ever wanted to plug in your USB HDD or stick?  Blackberry or iPhone? Well now you can plug in your favourite USB device into your XenDesktop from your Desktop Appliance or Desktop Receiver and you’re good to go.  Your USB rocket launcher even works.
  • Administrators can control access to allowed/disallowed devices via policy controls.
  • Isochronous devices are not supported (not implemented).
HDX MediaStream
  • Full windows media acceleration for DirectShow based applications
  • Supported on Linux (Desktop Appliances) and Windows clients that support RAVE.
User Driven Desktop Restart
  • Users can now restart their own desktops in case of an application crash etc rather than log a helpdesk ticket, if allowed on the desktop group.
  • Implemented on all Desktop Appliance and Desktop Receiver sessions regardless of client.
  • VM support only
Smartcard authentication to XP XenDesktops
  • SSO from domain-joined Windows endpoints
  • Smartcard to the applications
    • For Authentication, Digital Signing and Encryption
  • Smooth-roaming across endpoints
  • Support for : CAC cards, Windows-compatible cards, USB tokens
Edgesight support for Pooled Desktops
  • Agents can now report full information in a pooled XD environment
Improved quality and fixed customer escalations from 2.0 and 2.1
  • Fixed scalability issues around large numbers of Desktop Groups
  • Lots of multi-monitor related issues have been fixed
  • Added Registry Based Controller Discovery for Proof of Concepts
  • Fixed several workstation registration issues (slow, DNS and AD related)
  • Fixed replication issues in large AD deployments

To learn more and to download Citrix XenDesktop 3.0 please visit the following Citrix resources:  

  • Download Citrix XenDesktop 3.0  – Coming sometime in February 2009.
  • Citrix XenDesktop 3.0 Web Page w/ additional resources
  • Visit the XenDesktop Support Forum
 
The official Citrix XenDesktop 3.0 press release:
Citrix announced Citrix XenDesktop  3, the newest release of its market-leading desktop virtualization solution. XenDesktop 3, a key component of the Citrix Delivery Center product family, incorporates several of the company’s new Citrix® HDX™ technologies (see separate announcement today), giving virtual desktop users a richer “high-definition” experience with enhanced support for multimedia, audio and video. XenDesktop 3 also dramatically improves scalability, hosting twice as many virtual desktops per server as previous versions. And with version 3, XenDesktop becomes the first product on the market to deliver Microsoft® Windows® desktops from a common set of centrally managed images that can be run either in the datacenter (hosted), or directly on a PC or thin client device (local). This new capability gives IT organizations far more flexibility, reducing desktop management costs by making efficient use of distributed processing power across both servers and end point devices.
HDX Brings “High-Definition Experience” to Hosted Virtual Desktops
Widespread adoption of desktop virtualization requires the ability to deliver a high-performance, personalized experience for hosted virtual desktops that is as good as an installed desktop on a local PC.  To enhance this experience, XenDesktop 3 adds the new Citrix HDX MediaStream technology, which accelerates multimedia performance by sending compressed streams to endpoints and playing them locally. XenDesktop 3 also incorporates Citrix HDX Plug-and-Play technology for transparent support of MP3 players, digital cameras, smart phones, scanners and other local devices, as well as Citrix HDX Broadcast technology for reliable, high-performance acceleration of virtual desktops and applications over any network, including high-latency and low-bandwidth environments.
Twice the Number of Hosted Virtual Desktops per Server
XenDesktop 3 includes several enhancements that dramatically improve virtual machine density and efficiency in the datacenter, allowing customers to host up to twice as many hosted virtual desktops per server as previous versions.  These new optimizations cut server acquisition costs in half and dramatically reduce ongoing management and power consumption costs, allowing significantly larger deployments than before at no additional cost.
Manage Centrally, Run in the Datacenter or at the End Point
With version 3, XenDesktop becomes the first solution on the market to deliver both hosted virtual desktops and local streamed desktops from a single image store, leveraging the same delivery infrastructure. Most virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions on the market offer only hosted virtual desktops, in which each desktop runs inside a virtual machine in the datacenter. Adding support for local streamed desktops lets XenDesktop administrators stream desktops from the same golden master images, and execute them locally on any network-connected endpoint capable of running a desktop operating system. This powerful combination adds significant flexibility and cost savings, allowing IT to centrally manage desktops for office workers and run them wherever it makes the most sense, leveraging the distributed processing power of both servers and endpoint devices.
Enhanced Profile Management and Smart Card Support
XenDesktop 3 also includes a variety of new features to support simpler management, easier user personalization and enhanced security. Most significant among these new features is fully integrated user profile management, making it far easier for IT to provide a consistent, personalized experience for each unique user every time they log in. Version 3 also includes broad support for smart card security authentication systems which are widely adopted throughout government, financial services and healthcare organizations.  XenDesktop not only enables this added level of security for gaining general access to the desktop environment, it also ensures that this information is seamlessly and transparently passed through to individual applications within each virtual desktop. Additional details regarding all the new XenDesktop 3 functionality can be found at http://www.citrix.com/xendesktop3.

“The release of XenDesktop 3 will accelerate virtual desktop adoption by driving down costs through centralized management and delivery. With HDX Technology, we are providing users a true high-definition experience for their desktops, addressing a critical requirement for broad user acceptance,” said Raj Dhingra, group vice president and general manager of the Desktop Delivery Group at Citrix. “Through these innovations, we are transforming the way desktops are delivered and managed, offering a secure, high-performance and personalized desktop for our enterprise customers.”  

“Microsoft and Citrix have been delivering value to desktop customers for more than 20 years. Our joint VDI offer provides customers with the best in class virtual desktop experience through Citrix XenDesktop 3; integrated management across existing physical and virtual desktops with Microsoft System Center; and cost-effective virtualization with Windows. 
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