Citrix launches ‘iTunes' for enterprise app delivery

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Citrix launches ‘iTunes' for enterprise app delivery

Citrix has unveiled two new desktop virtualisation products aimed at bridging the gap between the enterprise and consumer user experience.

Announced at the Citrix Synergy conference in Las Vegas, the new Receiver and Dazzle software simplify the remote delivery of enterprise software and services.

Dazzle is a user-facing application that functions as a 24x7, self-service storefront from which users can choose and download the enterprise applications that are available to them.

According to Citrix CEO and president Mark Templeton, Dazzle allows users to ‘pull' relevant applications from Citrix XenApp servers, rather than having the applications ‘pushed' to them.

Allowing users to choose their own IT-enabled tools will better support business innovation, he said.

"We're inspired by iTunes," Templeton told iTnews, noting that Citrix has not collaborated with Apple over Dazzle's design.

He described a ‘consumerisation' of the enterprise IT environment that is driven by the proliferation of Web 2.0 and personal mobile devices in the workplace.

"Generation Y, software as a service, netbooks and the iPhone -- all of these trends are driving consumerisation in an inevitable way," Templeton said.

"Just like the PC disrupted the mainframe computing era, consumerisation will disrupt the distributed computing era."

Dazzle is one of several applications supported by Citrix's new Receiver, which is a universal software client that aims to deliver a high-definition, remote desktop experience on a multitude of devices.

Receiver currently runs on Windows and Mac environments, thin clients, and the iPhone. Citrix is working with partners including OKL to enable Receiver on Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile and Blackberry smartphones.

Like a Web browser, Receiver delivers applications via ‘plug-ins', instead of full software installations.

Templeton expects the remote delivery mechanism to simplify IT administration since software and upgrades need only be installed and administered on the server.

Explaining that a system's mean time between failures (MTBF) is the sum of the inverse MTBF of its components, Templeton noted that simplification could provide greater reliability by reducing components.

"At the same per-part reliability, the leverage is reducing the number of parts," he said.

Citrix is currently offering Receiver for free to customers actively subscribed to any Citrix Delivery Center product. Dazzle will be made available for free during the second half of 2009.

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