Citrix bolsters virtualization wares, integration with Microsoft Azure

Xen App, Xen Desktop and Xen Mobile are now tightly integrated with Microsoft Azure; Citrix buys Unidesk

Citrix and Microsoft are strengthening a long-standing partnership by making it easier for customers to use Citrix’s application and desktop virtualization products, as well as control a fleet of mobile devices, in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Citrix has kicked off its annual partner Summit in Anaheim this week with news of the expanded pact with Microsoft. The moves build on years worth of integration between the two companies, but analysts say there’s a new-found heft behind the partnership since Citrix CEO Kirill Tatarinov took over the company last year after having previously served as a Microsoft executive.

citrix Citrix Partner Network

Citrix CEO Kirill Tatarinov, left, and Microsoft Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie on stage at the Citrix Summit in Anaheim, Calif.

Specific news from the Citrix Summit include:

-Xen App Essentials: This new version of Citrix’s core application virtualization product lets customers host applications in Microsoft Azure’s IaaS public cloud and manage them with existing Xen App tools.

-Xen Desktop Essentials: Is the same idea as Xen App Essentials, but for full virtual desktops. It’s targeted specifically at running and managing Windows 10 remote desktops from Azure.

-Xen Mobile Essentials: This product integrates Citrix’s mobile management software with Microsoft’s Intune mobile management platform.

“At the end of the day, customers are looking to deal with fewer IT vendors,” says Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Mark Bowker. “Whenever the IT user or the business sees cooperation, that’s good for them because they don’t have to think about all the integration work on their own.”

In addition to the “Essentials” products, Citrix also announced a new Citrix Ready HCI Workspace Appliance. This product gives customers a virtual desktop management software pre-integrated on certain hyperconverged infrastructure platforms. The initial integration is with Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Edgeline Converged System.

In addition to the product updates, Citrix also announced at its Summit plans to acquire Unidesk, a company that helps package Windows applications and desktops. Unidesk specializes in application layering technology, which manages how apps are virtualized from their operating system so they can be centrally managed and delivered to any device.

Tatarinov took over as CEO of Citrix in January 2016 from former longtime CEO Mark Templeton; Tatarinov previously served as corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions Division.

This story, "Citrix bolsters virtualization wares, integration with Microsoft Azure " was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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