One of the first videos we shot from the show floor at Citrix Synergy last week was that of Excalibur, which is the first release coming out of Project Avalon. Announced during the keynote, Excalibur is the unification of XenDesktop and XenApp functionality, among other things, into one package (both installation and management).
Excalibur also marks the end of some well-known facets of Citrix's offerings over the last decade or so. For starters, it leverages the FMA backend architecture, which means that IMA is no longer in the picture. For many, this is wonderful news, but there are some questions that need to be answered in terms of scalability and zones (Listen to our podcast with Shawn Bass to hear him talk about what he's watching for). Also going away is Web Interface, which has been in a death spiral for at least the last year or so. This release officially casts it aside, although it will still work in some many situations.
What's difficult to get an answer about is what, exactly, the features will be called. XenApp and XenDesktop aren't explicitly called out in any Excalibur conversations. Instead, they're referred to by their generic names, like VDI or session hosts. When asked about naming, I was told the answer was "TBD."
Either way, check out the demo, and stay tuned next week as a flurry of reviews will come in after the Tech Preview drops on November 1. Rene Vester has already started playing with Excalibur and will probably be posting information ahead of schedule.
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