Citrix Desktop Server 1.0: What it is and isn't

Citrix announced the release of Citrix Desktop Server (CDS)--their brand-new dynamic desktop delivery product--last week. On Monday Gabe Knuth shared a few thoughts about it.

Citrix announced the release of Citrix Desktop Server (CDS)--their brand-new dynamic desktop delivery product--last week. On Monday Gabe Knuth shared a few thoughts about it. Earlier this week I spoke with some folks at Citrix and filled in some of the gaps in my knowledge about what exactly CDS will and will not be. I think the easiest way to share this information is just to make a list of bullets:

  • CDS Version 1.0 will be available to buy and download very soon, most likely on April 27.
  • CDS is a brand-new product from Citrix. This means that if you have subscription advantage (SA) on Citrix Presentation Server (CPS), you will not get CDS.
  • CDS will give you three options for providing remote desktops: Blades, VDI, and TS-based
    • The blade option will let you connect users to datacenter blade PCs running the desktop OS for a user.
    • The VDI option is VM vendor-agnostic, meaning that Citrix doesn't care whether you use Xen, VMware, Microsoft, Virtual Iron, etc. to power your back-end desktop VM environment.
    • The TS-based option is more-or-less like publishing a desktop in Presentation Server, where the CDS product will be an add-on to Terminal Server. Existing Presentation Server customers would probably just use regular Presentation Server for this. However, most CDS customers will be different people than CPS customers, and Citrix wanted to build CDS so that it could deliver all types of desktops to users.
  • One Citrix Web Interface site will work for both CDS and CPS deployments.
  • There will only be one "edition" of CDS (i.e. no standard, advanced, etc.). It will cost USD $75 per named user, and will include one year of SA.
  • CDS is being written by the Virtualization Systems Group (VSG) within Citrix. This is the same group that's responsible for Presentation Server and the app streaming stuff. CDS and CPS share the same codebase and much of the same architecture.

Fundamentally the technology powering CDS is not really that new for Citrix. For example, CDS Version 1 will not include the PortICA technology. At this point Version 1 is more about connecting desktops to users. Version 2, which they are already working on, will most likely include PortICA, and may even include Ardence in some way.

Longer term, Citrix has many more thoughts about the direction of CDS. Their ultimate goal is to make delivering a desktop as easy as publishing a desktop via Presentation Server today (which can be done in just a few clicks). They want to extend this "just a few clicks" simplicity into all modes of desktop delivery--VDI, TS, or blades.

I personally haven't had a chance to actually install and play with CDS yet, but I'm hoping to after BriForum (next week!).

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...so after I wrote this article, I went to Citrix.com to read the fud about CDS. And take a look at the "...Dynamic Desktops leverage the benefits of virtualization by decoupling the virtual desktop from the physical device. Desktop virtualization enables centralized delivery and management of the entire desktop. There are many benefits to this approach including ....

For many organizations, the optimum solution is to use both application virtualization and desktop virtualization together to provide

So much for DDI, eh?
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Well we can hope they fully integrate their terms soon, but it can't be easy.. now everyone just got to know the 'Access' Term and now that has been changed for App delivery, and to make matters worse they now put focus on their different underlaying parts.. like we discussed on the Streaming Server now becoming 'the streaming feature of Presentation Server' .. :)
 
Lets just hope the ones who have to bridge between Vendor and Customer are able to deliver a message which makes sense ;) in the middle of this huuuge mess that is the citrix products today :-)
 
Loving the App Delivery brand.. not so much caring for the millions of mixed messages on components, services, products etc..
 
/Rene
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Brian, thanks for the info but a few things are still unclear to me. You wrote:
 
CDS Version 1 will not include the PortICA technology
 
Does this mean it will connect to the blades and VDI using RDP? If so, will RDP be used all the way from the client or will a "double-hop" mechanism be used (ICA to RDC, RDP to target)? If it will use RDP all the way does it mean it will also use RDP to connect to the Terminal Servers? If so, what will be installed on the Terminal Servers? If double-hop is use, will CDS include Password Manager for SSO?
 
You also wrote:
 
At this point Version 1 is more about connecting desktops to users
 
I assume this means no published applications (seamless windows), correct? Also, do you know which client will be used?
 
Since there will be only one version of CDS it will be very interesting to see what it provides for $75. I guess we will find out in approximately 8 days.
 
Dan
http://ericomguy.blogspot.com
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Had to read it a couple of times earlier, and re-read the Citrix articles to get my head round it all.  I previously just figured that VDI covered three ways of desktop delivery; on VMs, on Blades or Terminal Server.  Citrix then called their version DDI, to distance it from the VM-reliant side, but then lumped the VM aspect into their DDI strategy.  Then the VM aspect is being referred to as VDI, with the Blade and TS aspects being referred to as just that, but all under the banner of VDI \ DDI. They're talking about virtualisation, but under the heading of DDI.  I was also confused how the TS part of their DDI solution differed from the current CPS, and probably only in that the TS session would be brokered.  Then add on top of all this Streaming, and things get even more interesting - streaming to workstations, terminal servers or VM or Blade VDI sessions! (sorry, shouldn't call the Blade one VDI).
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Hi,
 
PortICA means the ICA functionality will be added to XP and Vista, SpeedScreen technologies, multiple monitor support etc. can be included. We will see what will be included..
 
Ruben Spruijt
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wow this is very exciting, i haven't been this excited since hmmmmmm windows 95
 
this is a great idea and it can only get greater and greater as long as citrix guys input into this
 
once they've got this on the market to sell it'll wipe the floor with microsoft in the way that microsoft can deliver apps. people will be moving to citrix hand over knuckle as it only costs $75 per user and with the way the £ is against the $ uk users will benefit even more than the usa which isn't quite fair as i bet it was usa guys that developed this.
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This Desktop Server would be cool, if there weren't already a complete end-to-end VDI Solution on the market that does all of this, published applications, SSL Gateway, web interface, plus adds all the last mile features like universal printing, USB redirect, handheld sync, performance management, profile management, environment lockdown... to TS, VM or Blade PCs, all for $100 per concurrent connection.
 
If you already have a Citrix Infrastructure, looking at Citrix for VDI solutions makes sense, but if you have no current Citrix INfrastructure, there are much better, less expensive products out there.
 
Oh yeah, I'm referring to that dirty word "Provision Networks" Virtual Access Suite (VAS).
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Brian,

What are your thoughts on the Ardence acquisition surrounding this topic.

Here are some quotes from some recent articles:

"Citrix today also joined the growing desktop virtualization fray with Citrix Desktop Server 1.0, groomed from the company's December 2006 acquisition of Ardence."
(www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3670306)
(http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/local/sfl-zcitrix12apr12,0,4194565.story?coll=sfla-business-headlines)


It will be very interesting to see where Ardence will fit into this whole picture.


Thoughts?


Pete











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Patrick,
 
In regards to your comments made about “Citrix infrastructure” – It is important to note that integration with workstation devices to Citrix Desktop Server comes by way of ICA, even if it is currently in a double-hop offering (RDP encapsulated within ICA).  This means CDS leverages a very large ICA presence through the client support at the endpoint devices.  And, no matter what solution one goes with, infrastructure such as a web server, database service, etc. will be required.
 
Frank
 
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It is true that the ICA Client is on most devices, as is the RDP client.  I guess what bothers me most is that so many people are all VDI crazed without concern about the end user experience.  If one could not put end users on thin clients w/ Citrix PS, what makes them think end users will all of a sudden love VDI connecting to a VM or blade.  In the end, users care that they can get their work done, which means they need to be able to print and use the same local devices that they used with a PC.

It's my hope that when PortICA becomes a reality that Citrix will port their UPD, TWAIN redirection, bidirectional audio... to the VMs.  Printing is a huge problem with VDI, unless the VM has a UPD.

I would imagine that companies looking at doing a big VDI implementation do not already own a thin-client for all users, so procurement of new client devices would be needed.  In this case, one can choose to align with a vendor that supports the broker of their choice,

It's worth clarifying that VDI does not necessarily assume a thin-client device, as the end user could have a PC, Apple or Linux workstation.
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ORIGINAL: citrixusa

wow this is very exciting, i haven't been this excited since hmmmmmm windows 95

this is a great idea and it can only get greater and greater as long as citrix guys input into this

once they've got this on the market to sell it'll wipe the floor with microsoft in the way that microsoft can deliver apps. people will be moving to citrix hand over knuckle as it only costs $75 per user and with the way the £ is against the $ uk users will benefit even more than the usa which isn't quite fair as i bet it was usa guys that developed this.

 
There is also the option of people going straight to the horses mouth and buying from Endeavors Technology and using the Appexpress products directly, which incidentally both Microsoft and Citrix have just recently settled out of court on patent issues for the streaming technology.  I'm sure the last time I saw a price from Endeavors it had a lower per seat price than $75, of course this could have changed.
 
Uve Gotta Laugh
www.letstalkaboutshares.blogspot.com
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very Cool
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> CDS is a brand-new product from Citrix. This means that if you have
> subscription advantage (SA) on Citrix Presentation Server (CPS), you will not get CDS

Existing CPS customers can download and install Desktop Broker 1.0 (DB) as a free download and install on any of their CPS machines. CDS instead is just a "light" version of CPS+DB which extends ICA to endpoint devices for VDI usage. It's RDP-over-ICA with a minimal middleware layer between them.

With PortICA (Desktop Broker 2.0, Desktop Server 2.0) it's very likely the same components will be available for both customer the same way as we experience today with 1.0 and *then* we'll see all the functionality like Twain, UniversalPrinting, ICA Policies, etc. that we know from core CPS products.

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Ok, for Presentation Server users, will it remain free? Desktop Broker has no charge as a part of Presentation server 4.0 and 4.5, but the user needs a PS user license to connect as it is an RDP session going through Presentation Server. For Dekstop Server, will we need a CDS license on top of the PS 4.X CAL? Also, where are the docs for CDS? If it's coming out this week, where is all the documentation?
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There are no plans announced to remove DB as a free add-on for CPS. Licensing is done based on the fact that DB establishes an ICA session to the server(s) where DB session manager is installed on. It's also likely a CPS customer never will be a CDS customer, they will buy CPS licenses instead if they extend the usage to users that previously never logged into the existing CPS environment. If they prefer buying and setting up a dedicated CDS environment instead, the answer is "yes, they need a CDS license (on top) for each CDS user"; that's a matter a fact because it's a different product and this means no options on license sharing.

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If it *is* desktop broker as a standalone product why do they have a clip of ardence 4.1 under it in the mycitrix space?
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Hi, documentation was released today (27-4-2007), see

 http://support.citrix.com/kb/entry.jspa?entryID=13095

 for the admin guide.

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