ORLANDO: Citrix has used its Synergy 2015 conference to showcase a raft of products and updates to its virtualisation portfolio, including a Bluetooth mouse for Apple's iPad and a concierge tool for Receiver.
We have rounded up some of the most noteworthy additions and tweaks to Citrix's extensive product range below.
X1 mouse for iPad
To enable virtual desktop users to navigate operating systems designed for laptops and PCs on an iPad, Citrix launched its X1 mouse which connects to an Apple tablet through a Bluetooth connection.
Built like a traditional mouse, the X1 has been designed to make browsing fiddly Excel spreadsheets and other menu-heavy applications far easier than tapping and swiping at a touch interface.
Receiver.next is Citrix's project to expand the functionality of Receiver, its universal software client that enables access to XenDesktop and XenApp from different devices and operating systems.
Receiver was given updates across the board for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS and HTML5, which gives the client a new user-friendly look aimed at simplifying how companies access virtualised workspaces.
Citrix's revealed its Concierge tool which adds customer services into Receiver, effectivity creating a chat window so that Citrix's managed workspace service partners can answer end-user queries and requests, such as adding a new apps to a virtual desktop.
Concierge allows screens to be shared with a customer service agent and provide them with dynamic information on users' workspaces and the devices they are accessing them on; this includes screen sharing on Android and iOS devices, as well as access to cameras on mobile devices.
The new version of StoreFront, currently being offered as a technical preview, works with the updated version of Receiver to unify different versions of XenApp, XenDesktop and XenMobile.
Effectively, StoreFront 3.0 consolidates access to virtualised apps, desktops and user data across different operating systems in one place, thereby making life easier for end users.
StoreFront 3.0 also allows the user interface to be customised and branded to suit an organisation or individual, rather than having to rely on the native interface offered by Citrix.
Citrix's application virtualisation tool received several updates. XenApp 6.5 had its lifecycle extended to 2017, while a new feature pack was released that improves storage performance, and adds support for StoreFront 3.0 and the latest versions of Receiver, along with Skype for Business, Microsoft's rebrand of Lync.
These features were also added to the 7.6 versions of XenApp and XenDesktop, Citrix's virtual desktop infrastructure platform.
Citrix's XenServer has also been updated with support for 64-bit guest operating systems in XenServer 6.5 SP1, which Citrix claims will provide greater performance and scalability.
XenServer 6.5 SP1 also delivers new features such as support for Docker containers and the ability to handle up to 1,000 virtual machines.
XenMobile 10.1, Citrix's mobile device management tool, now has support for three apps: Salesforce1, WorxTasks and SlideStream.
Available in beta form in the third quarter of the year is AppDisk for XenApp, which provides an analysis tool that allows the creation of a clean virtual operating system layer where the virtualised apps that sit on top of it can be updated separately to the core system.
AppDisk works with AppDNA, another tool lets users find and solve application compatibility problems before they fully occur. The idea behind both tools is that they allow for apps to be transitioned into virtualised environments with less compatibility errors, and a reduced need for often impractical rigorous testing.
Citrix's ShareFile application, which provides a secure file sharing and storage service, was boosted with a security upgrade that provides restricted storage zones to segregate data on a device between apps designated for work use and those for personal use.
Integration with data loss prevention services from Symantec and other security firms gives ShareFile the ability to classify items based on their content, and enforce sharing restrictions based on data categories.
Citirx's also revealed the integration of ShareFile, with Sony Digital Paper (video below), an A4-sized device that records handwritten notes and annotations. The tie-up with ShareFile allows for those notes to be easily stored and transferred across a company.
Citrix also launched Workspace Cloud at the Synergy event to offer customers and partners a way to manage virtual workspaces from a cloud-based control layer.
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