Citrix Summit News Round-up: Sanbolic, Linux VDA, DesktopPlayer for Windows, and Framehawk!

Citrix has been busy this week at Summit with a slew of announcements encompassing storage, XenApp, XenDesktop, and some long-awaited perks. Since Summit is a partner event that has a lot of NDA content, there's not usually a ton of information to digest, but all signs point to a busy Citrix Synergy.

Citrix has been busy this week at Summit with a slew of announcements encompassing storage, XenApp, XenDesktop, and some long-awaited perks. Since Summit is a partner event that has a lot of NDA content, there’s not usually a ton of information to digest, but all signs point to a busy Citrix Synergy. Here’s a rundown of what’s been going on so far in Las Vegas:

Citrix acquires Sanbolic

News broke Monday that Citrix acquired Sanbolic, a storage virtualization company known in the past for their Melio FS product that has transformed in the last twelve months into a software-defined storage platform that can deliver storage for application-specific workloads from clusters spread across multiple data centers or the cloud. They have ties with hardware vendors for converged storage solutions, but Sanbolic is a software solution that can fit nicely into Citrix’s list of offerings. 

Many Citrix customers already use Sanbolic as a way to create a highly available cluster for use with Provisioning Server, so you can pretty much guarantee that will be built in. It’s not much of a leap to think that this will do nicely to even the playing field with VMware vSAN, too. It will be interesting to see what else, if anything, Citrix decides to do. I’m sure there are a number of Citrix Service Providers that could benefit from the feature set as they create DaaS platforms.

XenMobile 10 was released

Jack wrote about this in detail yesterday, so I won’t spend any time on it other than to say I’m encouraged by Citrix’s efforts to streamline the backend. XenMobile has been a bit cumbersome to get up and running, let alone manage, so I’m a fan of anything that makes it easier to deploy and use.

Tech Previews for everyone!

The most exciting news to me (so far, at least) has been the announcement of Tech Previews of three products we’ve been waiting a long time for: Linux Virtual Desktop Agent, Framehawk, and DesktopPlayer for Windows. These previews aren’t available today, but should be out sometime in Q1.

The Linux VDA has been getting a lot of attention recently with VMware announcing that they are in the process of creating one. Citrix has had the Linux VDA in a limited preview since August, but it’s now going to be available to anyone. That’s good news, and aligns nicely for a Synergy release. The topic of a Linux VDA has been a divisive one, though my feeling is that Citrix and VMware aren’t creating them on a lark. If customers are asking for it, make it happen. After all, desktop virtualization is about getting our users access to the applications they need to use. If that’s Linux, so be it.

Framehawk is set to make its first appearance as a part of HDX after what feels like an incredibly long time. It’s only been a year since Citrix acquired them, and from the beginning Citrix made it clear that they intended to take the time with the integration in order to get it right. Framehawk was one of my favorite technologies before the acquisition, so I’m anxious to see what this latest iteration looks like and just how it's implemented.

Last, but not least, is DesktopPlayer for Windows. Announced back in May, I was hoping to see it sooner than ten months later, but nevertheless I’m happy that it’s finally coming out. XenClient is great, but it’s a destructive install that only works in tightly controlled scenarios. Adding a Type 2 client hypervisor to the mix expands the use case for client virtualization.

Stay tuned for more information when and if it comes out...

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