Dave Bartoletti, a senior analyst with the Taneja Group, is impressed with what he has seen so far. "If VMware is doubling down on VDI (server-hosted), then Citrix is definitely doubling down on endpoint virtualization. I think they have nothing to lose by offering even a simple client hypervisor for testing, and the buzz could drive quite a few companies to grab XenClient and download the Receiver."
Bartoletti added that Xen VMs are still necessary on a server somewhere. However, he believes the Citrix marketing materials step users through the process quite well.
Citrix announced the following new enhancements to XenClient 1.0 and Synchronizer since the last release candidate:
- Integrated Disk Encryption -- VMs that are delivered to XenClient from the Synchronizer can now be protected with AES-XTS disk encryption. This allows sensitive data to be fully protected when deployed on XenClient systems. In the event that a system is lost or stolen, all data can remain protected from unauthorized access.
- External Monitor/Project Support -- The latest generation of Intel Core i5 and i7 vPro systems provide support for external monitors and projectors, which previously required running a VM with 3D graphics support enabled.
- XenClient to Synchronizer Communication Hardening -- XenClient systems will now use client-side digital certificates along with user credentials to authenticate to the Synchronizer. All VHD files are encrypted with AES CBC encryption to allow secure delivery and caching of components over HTTP.
- VM Switching Enhancements -- The in-guest VM switcher bar has been re-skinned with updated graphics and new pull-down behavior.
- Revamped Synchronizer Web Interface -- The Synchronizer for XenClient has a revamped UI and refreshed graphics showing off the latest Citrix UI standards.
Where is VMware in all of this? Did Citrix beat them to the punch with a client-side bare-metal hypervisor? Well, sort of.
Back in July, VMware announced that it had changed its plans to create its own bare-metal client hypervisor and would instead concentrate its offline efforts on a hosted or Type-2 virtualization platform that would be included within VMware View 4.5. Doing so would better address the current install base and provide them with much broader coverage, VMware said. That's its claim to fame anyway.