Citrix can now enable enterprise customers and service providers to deliver Windows desktop sessions from Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud computing platform using XenDesktop 7, the latest release of its desktop virtualisation system.
Announced today, the ability to run XenDesktop 7 in the cloud gives enterprises greater flexibility in extending capacity on demand, reduces lead-time for procurement, and helps minimise risk as loads fluctuate, according to Citrix. The firm has a long-standing partnership with Microsoft on virtualisation, management, and remote access tools.
The move follows recent licensing changes from Microsoft to allow the use of Windows Server Remote Desktop Service (RDS) provider licenses on Windows Azure. Until now, this prevented Windows Server-based desktops from being hosted on Microsoft's cloud platform and accessed via RDS. As of 1 July, Citrix XenDesktop 7 and XenApp 6.5 support this scenario in Azure, Citrix said.
According to the firm, demand for cloud-hosted desktops is on the rise in small and medium businesses to meet the need for cost-effective IT services that enable a mobile workforce. By using Azure, service providers can meet these needs while focusing on service delivery rather than managing the underlying infrastructure.
Meanwhile, for enterprise customers, remote desktops hosted on Windows Azure offer the benefit of deployment in an environment familiar to Windows administrators and optimised for Windows workloads, the firm said.
Citrix group vice president for Desktops and Apps Bob Schultz said: "Customers are increasingly adopting cloud hosted session desktops to enable mobile workstyles and simplify their operations. Leveraging the cloud as a deployment platform will further accelerate these major trends."
XenDesktop 7 was released at Citrix's Synergy event in May, and integrates the XenApp application delivery platform with its existing virtual desktop capabilities to provide a unified framework for app and desktop delivery with a single management console.
"As a leading desktop virtualisation product, XenDesktop 7 enables users to have a high definition experience across a broad set of user-defined devices. We are continuing to work with Microsoft to allow both IT and service providers to choose Windows Azure for their Citrix deployments," Schultz said.
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