Microsoft cosies up to Citrix

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Microsoft cosies up to Citrix

Firms expand partnership to improve application access.

Microsoft and Citrix Systems today announced plans to expand their existing partnership with the development of a new multifunction branch office appliance.

The application access device will combine Microsoft's core edge and server technologies with Citrix's application acceleration and wide area network (Wan) optimisation.

The planned products will be based on Microsoft's Windows Server operating system and Internet Security and Acceleration Server, together with the recently announced Citrix WANScaler.

Microsoft and Citrix claim that the device is a remotely managed appliance that combines Wan optimisation with consolidated branch office services.

According to the partners, the joint marketing and development plan comes amid growing trends in branch office IT consolidation and increased mobility among branch office and remote workers.

An estimated 55 per cent of enterprise employees today access all their mission-critical business applications from a remote office location, according to Citrix's research.

"The limitations of the distributed computing approach are apparent with the arrival of global competition and more focus on controlling costs and complying with regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley and Basel II," said Joe Skorupa, research vice president at Gartner.

"As a result, companies are looking for ways to get the most out of their branch office Wans by removing most IT from their branch offices.

"This is driving the need for a new appliance called a branch office box, which represents the convergence of networking, storage and servers."
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