Citrix has officially launched its XenClient laptop virtualisation technology, which enables IT departments to centrally deploy and manage corporate images on laptops without compromising the end-user experience.
Available from the end of September, XenClient is being released as an update to Citrix's existing XenDesktop client virtualisation suite, along with a new XenVault tool to protect user data created on client systems.
The technology has been in beta since the end of 2009, and was first discussed publicly at the beginning of the same year.
With XenClient soon to be available, companies can now incorporate mobile laptop users into a unified enterprise desktop virtualisation strategy, according to Citrix.
"This new release of XenDesktop represents an important next step to realising the benefits that desktop virtualisation can deliver across all users in the enterprise, including the growing number of mobile workers using laptops as their primary device," said Gordon Payne, senior vice president and general manager of Citrix's Desktop Division.
As with other machine virtualisation tools, XenClient decouples the guest operating system from the system hardware. This allows users to have a second, personal environment on their laptop that is securely isolated from their corporate desktop environment.
However, XenClient also synchronises any changes in the corporate environment back to the datacentre when there is a network connection, creating a centralised backup of all company laptops.
If a laptop is lost or stolen, users can restore their environment onto a new system, while data on the original can be remotely wiped, according to Citrix.
Dell said it will support the technology in selected Latitude laptops and OptiPlex desktops.
The client hypervisor in XenClient was developed with Intel and is optimised for its Core vPro platform.
Meanwhile, the new XenVault automatically and transparently saves any user data created by corporate applications into an encrypted folder for security.
The tool, a plug-in for the Citrix Receiver software client, is primarily aimed at firms using contractors or where staff are using employee-owned laptops that may not be fully protected in line with corporate IT policy, Citrix said.
IT managers can remotely wipe the encrypted folder if a laptop is lost or stolen, or when a contractor reaches the end of their employment with the firm.
XenClient and XenVault will ship as part of the XenDesktop 4, Feature Pack 2 release, at no additional charge for existing XenDesktop Enterprise and Platinum edition customers.
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