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VMware View, which is expected to be available next year, gives users flexibility to access their desktop from wherever they are while allowing IT managers to centralize the management of those virtual desktops and control the infrastructure, Chen said.
Next year, VMware plans to formally introduce the concept with its "universal client," which allows customers' desktops to be accessed through any device including smart phones, Chen said.
Citrix on Monday unveiled several additions to its new XenServer 5.0 server virtualization platform similar to those of VMware.
The first is high availability for virtual workloads that make sure those workloads which for some reason lock up can be automatically restarted, said David Roussain, vice president of Citrix's Virtualization and Management Division.
"If a host server workload crashes, it automatically restarts on another host," Roussain said. "Customers can assign priority so that if a host goes down, the applications are restarted in order of their priority."
The high availability function was co-developed with Marathon Technologies, a developer of technology for developing fault-tolerant physical and virtual servers, said Jerry Malmick, Marathon CTO.
Citrix and Marathon developed the technology to attach multiple host servers in a pool so that virtual machines can be migrated to another host if a problem is detected, Malmick said.
Basic high availability capabilities will come standard with the new XenServer 5.0, and customers can upgrade to component-level fault tolerance to keep applications running in case of a network I/O or a hard drive failure, or even to full fault-tolerant capabilities, Malmick said.
XenServer 5.0 also has the ability to work with third-party disaster recovery software to allow virtual workloads to be rerouted to remote sites and be available in case of a disaster, Roussain said.
Citrix is also expanding storage support so that XenServer 5.0 now supports standards-based storage regardless of whether they are direct-attach, NAS, or iSCSI or Fibre Channel SAN, he said. The changes include the ability to connect to existing storage infrastructures and to use advanced functions in storage arrays such as replication and cloning.
Citrix on Monday also unveiled Citrix Deliver Center Cloud edition, which includes consumption-based pricing that allows customers to purchase XenServer based on the number of virtual machines that have been moved to a cloud computing infrastructure, Roussain said.
"We provide the infrastructure to cloud vendors to handle the connection between the cloud and the customer," he said. "Citrix already has 200,000 customers who use Citrix technology, and we can connect them to the cloud now. We can build a seamless, end-to-end system so they can move their infrastructures to the cloud."
For example, Roussain said, customers will eventually be able to drag and drop a server workload to the cloud. "That's the vision," he said. "We are the best-able to make that happen. We do it in the enterprise today. We want to provide it to the cloud."
All the capabilities except the ability to drag-and-drop server workloads to the cloud are available now, and Cisco already has about 50 customers who can provide the cloud-related services.
Roussain said that the cloud computing initiative is not really a channel play. Instead, he said, solution providers will provide services to customers to access the cloud. "There are lots of opportunities for channel partners to provide servers and the connectivity to help make customers cloud-enabled," he said.
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