Citrix Releases XenDesktop

Product portfolio details revealed at Synergy conference

With a tiered pricing structure designed to undercut VMware's offerings, Citrix has announced the availability of XenDesktop, its much anticipated and discussed product offering in the increasingly important desktop virtualization arena. At its Synergy event in Houston, the company also took the wraps off of some important product portfolio details.

The complete product line sports five different editions for various use cases. A new Express Edition provides free desktop virtualization for up to 10 users. The Standard Edition, priced at $75 per concurrent user, represents Citrix's entry-level offering for departmental implementations. The line also includes an Advanced Edition, available for IT shops that have already implemented existing application delivery solutions. The advanced edition sells for $195.

An Enterprise Edition, priced at $295, integrates application delivery with XenApp for Virtual Desktops. The Platinum Edition ($395) was announced which is optimized for IT shops looking to implement DaaS or "desktop as a service" from a data center. According to the company, the Platinum Edition adds enhancements including security and monitoring features and a VOIP-based click-to-call feature dubbed EasyCall.

VMware's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is the market leader in the desktop virtualization space. It's a niche that is becoming increasingly crowded by major vendors like Citrix, Microsoft, HP, and Sun, and a number of startups such as Desktone, PanoLogic, and Qumranet's SolidICE. Although VMware's VDI has a head start and is the most visible desktop solution, offerings from the competition usually come in at a lower price.

In desktop virtualization, a user's complete desktop environment, including operating system, applications, and personalized settings, are stored in a virtual machine on a server. The environment is then pushed out to the user, who can be using a regular desktop PC or a thin client or other "dummy" terminal.

-- Tom Valovic  (Virtualization Review Editor Keith Ward contributed to this story)