Citrix upgrades XenDesktop, Branch Repeater

Citrix Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. is introducing new technology to improve the delivery of voice, video and 3D graphics to virtual desktops and to make decisions about traffic prioritization in order to boost end-user experience.

Called HDX, the technology is part of XenDesktop and XenApp that compresses streams of data to and from servers and endpoints where they are decompressed. This reduces traffic across the network and takes advantage of endpoint processing power.

HDX decides whether to render graphics either on centralized servers or on endpoints, for example, depending on which method will afford the fastest response for users.

The technology enables local devices such as USB peripherals, printers and extra monitors to be available plug-and-play to virtual desktops.

In the case of branch offices where multiple end users access virtual desktops, HDX caches frequently used data near endpoints via its Branch Repeater appliance. New software for Branch Repeater prepares data and applications drawn from central data centers for distribution among branch-office endpoints. The device now supports hosting Microsoft’s Systems Management Server in branches to improve performance.

HDX includes a feature called adaptive orchestration that, in conjunction with Branch Repeater, monitors the capabilities of endpoints as well as the status of the network in order to determine the best speed and form to send data to and from servers.

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XenDesktop 3, the new version of the software, improves the efficiency of Xen servers so the same hardware can support twice the number of virtual servers. With more virtual servers per physical server, businesses can get by with less datacenter hardware, which means less power consumption and less cooling needed, the company says.

The new version enables streaming elements of a virtual desktop to the end machine, if the machine has the processing power to handle it. This is an alternative to the end machine accessing the fully executed desktop from the server or from installing a virtual machine directly on the endpoint.

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