Citrix has developed a comprehensive line of products that provide enterprise-class manageability, scalability, and performance for virtualizing servers and for centralized delivery of Windows desktops and applications. More than 100 million people worldwide currently use Citrix technology and the company offers solutions for all major operating systems and for hardware ranging from data center servers to desktop PCs to touch-screen tablets and smartphones. For delivering virtualized Windows desktops and applications, Citrix offers XenDesktop and XenApp. For creating and managing virtual servers, Citrix offers XenServer and Citrix Essentials for Microsoft Hyper-V. Progent's Citrix-certified consultants can help you evaluate the business benefits of Citrix virtualization products and can help you plan, test, implement, troubleshoot, and support Citrix technology. Progent can assist you to maintain a legacy Citrix environment based on products such as MetaFrame and Presentation Server or plan and execute an upgrade to the latest Citrix technology. Progent can also provide custom online webinar training to help your IT staff manage your Citrix solution efficiently.
Citrix Solutions for Virtual Windows Desktops and Applications
Windows desktop and application virtualization, like server virtualization, decouples computer hardware from software. The idea behind desktop virtualization is to be able to use almost any client computer to run software located on or streamed from a centralized data center where desktop images and virtualized applications are easy to standardize, deploy, update, secure, and restore. Citrix is a long-time leader in providing virtual desktop solutions that minimize the difference in the user experience between physical and virtual environments. Citrix offers two platforms for virtualizing Windows desktops and applications, XenDesktop and XenApp.
Citrix XenDesktop can deliver standardized or custom virtual Windows desktops and applications to any personal computer, Mac, thin client, touch-screen tablet, or smartphone from a centrally managed data center. XenDesktop offers server-side and client-side options for delivering virtualized desktops and applications, allowing IT managers to support a broad mix of users that can include task workers, power users, and mobile warriors. The traditional Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) delivery option offers high performance and extensive personalization for online users. The local Virtual Machine (VM) desktop delivery option accommodates users who occasionally need to operate without an Internet connection.
Compared to earlier releases, XenDesktop 5.5 provides significant enhancements in desktop customization and management, supports a wider selection of client computers and operating systems, delivers better performance for voice and video applications, and is more efficient in utilizing online bandwidth. The new Citrix Receiver supports the current generation of touch-screen tablets and smartphones and can be used with client devices powered by Windows, IOS, Android, WebOS, Chrome OS, Mac OS, and Linux. Real-time audio streaming, webcam compression, graphics command redirection, and local rendering all combine to create the equivalent of a local experience for online users. To learn more, visit Progent's consulting support for Citrix XenDesktop.
XenApp is the latest incarnation of the original MetaFrame and Presentation Server products from Citrix. XenApp allows you to virtualize Windows applications so you can store, configure, and update single instances, or "Golden" copies, of each key program on an application hub in a datacenter. You can then make the applications available to authorized remote users without compromising security or allowing sensitive information to leave the datacenter. Performance is dependent primarily on network bandwidth and capacity is limited by user licenses. This architecture dramatically reduces management costs and eliminates lost productivity associated with client computers such as misconfigured operating systems, application incompatibilities, security gaps, and insufficient memory or storage.
For virtualizing server-based applications, an area in which Citrix is a pioneer, clients can run Windows applications on-demand over their connection to the datacenter. In this case, the applications are executed on remote datacenter servers and the online connection between the user and the datacenter is required. Alternatively, the client-side model allows users to stream virtualized applications from the datacenter to their local computers, allowing them to work offline. XenApp supports server-side and client-side delivery models as well as a mixed-mode model that can accommodate almost any class of end user. Regardless of the delivery model, the centralized management of virtualized applications made possible by XenApp can reduce IT costs by half while enhancing security and recoverability. XenApp can run on dozens of operating systems that include Mac, iPhone, and all major versions of Linux. XenApp's enterprise-class features include support for load-balanced server farms and extensive fault tolerance. To find out more, see Progent's support services for Citrix XenApp.
Citrix Virtual Server Solutions
The virtual server products offered by Citrix are built around the Xen hypervisor, a high-performance base-metal architecture that works directly with the host's hardware. This design eliminates the need for a full-featured OS on the client computer. The bare metal approach is different from Windows Hyper-V, which requires the installation of a special version of Windows Server 2008, but it is similar to the vSphere hypervisor from VMware. However, in contrast to VMware's proprietary design, the Xen hypervisor has an open architecture that has been incorporated into more than a dozen commercial server virtualization products. Notably, the Xen hypervisor powers Amazon's Elastic Cloud, which is the largest deployment of server virtualization technology in the world. XenServer's open architecture allows customers to use their current storage solution, which may support capabilities such as snapshotting, replication, and provisioning, without forcing customers to hassle with a proprietary and unfamiliar storage system.
XenServer is a powerful virtual infrastructure platform that includes server and workload management, live migration, disaster recovery, simplified support, fast installation (dubbed "10 to Xen" by Citrix), and high performance for Windows and Linux applications. Like VMware’s vSphere, Citrix offers a low-end version as a free download. The entry-level version of XenServer has no limit to the number of servers or virtual machines supported or to memory capacity, and includes enterprise-class capabilities like live migration and centralized management of multiple servers.
An important innovation of Citrix XenServer is paravirtualization, which enables the guest OS to contribute to the virtualization process. Paravirtualization improves performance, reduces the Xen hypervisor footprint, and allows XenServer to accommodate more virtual machines per physical server. Higher virtual machine density saves money by reducing the investment in physical servers, streamlining administration, and cutting datacenter environmental control and real estate costs. Citrix offers the paravirtualized Xen hypervisor for the most popular versions of Linux including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Novell SUSE, Debian, Oracle Enterprise Linux, and CentOS. XenServer can also utilize the hardware-based virtualization capabilities of Intel VT and AMD-V CPUs. For additional information, see Citrix XenServer support from Progent.
Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V
The Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V (Citrix Essentials) management suite leverages the capability of Microsoft System Center Server Management Suite to enhance storage management and dynamic provisioning in Hyper-V environments. Citrix Essentials is built on the Microsoft Management Console and works with Microsoft's Virtual Machine Manager, providing advanced management features including multi-location recovery, automated lifecycle management, dynamic provisioning, and close integration with existing storage systems.
To improve the ability to maintain Windows Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center environments, Citrix Essentials provides an extensive library of advanced management tools including StorageLink Technology for leveraging the resources and functionality of existing storage systems, StorageLink Site Recovery to facilitate disaster recovery, Dynamic Provisioning Services to simplify image management for virtual and physical workloads, and Lab Manager to streamline the creation and recycling of virtual machines for development, validation, and training. For more information, visit Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V support.
How Progent Can Help You with Citrix Virtualization Technology
Progent's Citrix-certified consultants can help you evaluate, test, install, manage, optimize, and troubleshoot Citrix virtualization technology by providing Citrix XenDesktop integration, Citrix XenApp expertise, Citrix XenServer consulting services, and Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V support. Progent can also help you integrate Citrix technology with virtual server environments from Microsoft or VMware by providing Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V consulting and VMware vSphere support.
Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network engineers can help you build a connectivity infrastructure to support your virtualization solution and Progent's disaster recovery consultants can help you develop and document a disaster recovery/business continuity plan that takes advantage of the high availability features of Citrix virtualization technology. To assess your network security and compliance, Progent's certified security engineers can provide security evaluation testing and can help you follow industry best practices in defining and enforcing security policies and controls.
To find out more about Progent's consulting services for desktop virtualization, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.