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!).