Citrix Collaborates with Intel to Deliver Desktop Virtualization

Citrix Systems, a provider of enterprise desktop infrastructure solutions, announced today that it will develop application and desktop delivery solutions optimized for Intel Core 2 desktops and Centrino 2 laptops with Intel vPro technology. Under an agreement with Intel Corporation, Citrix plans to produce a new class of virtualization solutions that optimize the delivery of applications and desktops to millions of Intel Core2 and Centrino 2 processor-based devices, intended to reduce the cost of desktop management. 

The hypervisor-based virtualization solution will bring both mobile and office users the benefits of centralized desktop virtualization with a personalized PC environment. As a result, mobile and office workers will be able to take advantage of enterprise-scale virtualization without sacrificing security, manageability, ease-of-use, performance or mobility, Citrix says.

Current approaches to desktop virtualization do not provide enough protection to corporate images from other applications that may be running on end users' PCs or laptops, says Ian Pratt, Xen Project founder and VP of advanced products virtualization and management for Citrix. "Virtualization has been very successful on servers, enabling server consolidation, and all of the savings in terms of number of physical servers you need, and the cost in terms of energy and so forth," he explains. "But one of the other things its enabled is for images or virtual machines to be portable. That is very useful in a client environment, where you can create a virtual machine image and distribute it using a virtual machine monitor. The problem with this kind of approach is the security on it isn't suitable for the distribution of something like a corporate machine image, and be able run that on a host machine. The host machine can arbitrarily corrupt it and steal data from it."

At the heart of the new solution from Citrix will be a bare-metal Xen-based desktop hypervisor optimized for Intel Virtualization technology and other features of Intel vPro technology. This new client hypervisor, which will be made available to PC manufacturers and enterprises worldwide, will enable IT professionals, for the first time, to dynamically stream a centrally managed corporate desktop, and all related applications, directly into a secure, isolated client-based virtual machine (VM). This new technology will be productized in an upcoming solution from Citrix code-named "Project Independence." 

The new Xen client hypervisor resulting from this collaboration between Citrix and Intel will be optimized for bare metal virtualization and ideally suited for delivery as an embedded, small footprint component of an enterprise laptop or desktop PC, and can also be installed on existing client systems that already have an operating system installed. This collaboration between Citrix and Intel will enable PC manufacturers to include "built-in" client-side virtualization with new desktop and laptop computing systems, Citrix says.

The initial delivery of Project Independence, including the new Xen client hypervisor optimized for Intel vPro, is planned for the second half of 2009. For more information, go here.