Citrix Trinity To Connect To Windows, VMware, Blade PC Desktops


At the Ft Lauderdale, Fla., software company's annual conference, Citrix executives said the set of Trinity technologies due to be delivered in the first quarter of 2007 will enable customers to have one platform for delivering shared desktops or dedicated virtualized or Blade PC desktops.

The Trinity technology will be offered as a new standalone product and will not require Microsoft terminal services -- for the first time, executives acknowledged.

Citrix's classic Presentation Server allows end users to access shared Windows desktops from a server farm running terminal services.

Trinity, in contrast, will allow users to connect physically to various types of desktops -- shared desktops, or dedicated virtualized or Blade PC-delivered desktops that cater to the needs of individual users. Trinity will allow customers to connect to the desktop using Citrix's Independent Client Architecture (ICA) protocol, the company said.

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While users await the delivery of Trinity, Citrix made available at iForum Monday the first piece of that technology, Desktop Broker, in the form of an add"on to Presentation Server 4.0.

Desktop Broker, available at no cost to customers with Citrix Subscription Advantage agreements, allows users to connect to various desktops, including dedicated virtualized desktops and Blade PC desktops.

Yet the broker requires use of traditional Presentation Server and terminal service technology in Microsoft Windows server, Citrix noted.

Citrix claims eventually Trinity will provide customers with one platform for dynamic desktop delivery that can be customized and tailored for different types of user groups.

"You can set up a marketing pool of desktops that are virtualized, and if sales, you can take a sales virtual desktop and broker a connection between the user and a different virtual machine, or have a unique desktop for a power user who needs horsepower," said Wess Wasson, corporate vice president of product marketing and strategy at Citrix. "Broker takes you to different desktops based on what you need and customization and personalization you need."

Citrix's latest move underscores the rapid pace at which modern desktop technologies are evolving.

Corporate customers and SMB customers have been exploring a variety of other emerging desktop technologies, such as VMware's enterprise hosted desktop and Blade PCs, as well as older thin client models, and Citrix's traditional Presentation Server, to deliver dedicated and individuated Windows desktops to each user while also reducing costs.

Customers are also evaluating software streaming and application streaming models, advocated by Microsoft's Softricity, AppStream, Ardence, and even Citrix, whose "Tarpon" technology remains under development.

At iForum, Citrix announced availability of beta 2 of its "Tarpon" application streaming technology, which was first announced at iForum last fall.

Executives said Citrix will integrate Tarpon server streaming technology in the next version of Presentation Server, code named Ohio, due in the first half of 2007.

Citrix also plans a standalone, more "lightweight" application streaming offering for the desktop, executives said.

Many Fortune 1000 companies use Citrix's Presentation server. By extending the base platform with support for new technologies, and spinning off new technologies such as Trinity and Tarpin as standalone products for new sets of users, the company hopes to retain and extend its title as a top software delivery platform provider.

Citrix's Trinity is a key pillar of the company's Dynamic Desktop strategy unveiled at iForum. At iForum, Windows access device makers including HP, Neoware and Wyse as well as servers and virtualization vendors Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, VMware Infrastructure and XenSource all announced support for the Dynamic Desktop strategy.

Still, Citrix has made a lot of desktop promises that have yet to be delivered. Its ability to execute on those promises will be closely watched in 2007, especially as the company continues work on its next set of "Constellation" services for the Windows Longhorn Server, which is due for delivery in late 2007.