First announced more than a year and a half ago, Citrix has finally released a 1.0 version of its inaugural client hypervisor. Citrix XenClient 1.0 narrows the gap between offline and online virtual desktops and extends the benefits of desktop virtualization to mobile platforms by increasing flexibility for users and improving security and control for IT.
Originally known as Project Independence, XenClient is a high-performance, bare-metal or Type-1 hypervisor that runs directly on the client device hardware, dividing up the resources of the machine and enabling multiple operating systems to run side-by-side in isolation. As you might expect, XenClient is based on the 64-bit version of the Xen hypervisor. Citrix is officially supporting client VMs running 32-bit Windows XP and Vista as well as 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7.
[ VMware has dissed bare-metal desktop hypervisors, saying customers aren't ready. | Also on InfoWorld: Citrix XenServer 5.6 FP1 will include distributed virtual switching. | Keep up to date on virtualization with InfoWorld's Virtualization channel. ]
XenClient Express, the free edition, is being made available so individuals and organizations can download and use XenClient on as many as 10 machines. However, Citrix support for Express will be limited and there is no centralized management available with this version. Official support is being offered only when XenClient is used within the Enterprise or Platinum editions of Citrix XenDesktop. In addition to increased support, XenDesktop offers XenClient centralized management, image delivery, and backup, which is performed by a server component called Citrix Synchronizer.