Citrix acquires Unidesk to ease deployment and management through XenApp and XenDesktop



Citrix announced Monday acquisition of Unidesk, a Windows application packaging and management technology known as layering, to make it simpler and easier for partners and customers to securely deploy and manage apps and desktops through XenApp and XenDesktop.

Application layering has emerged as the best way to separate apps from the underlying operating system, so they can be managed once and delivered from any end user computing solution to any device. Application compatibility is one of the most important criteria to getting the value out of any layering solution, and Unidesk stands apart in the industry as having vastly greater application compatibility compared to the competition.

Only Unidesk offers full-stack layering technology, which enhances compatibility by layering the entire Windows workspace as modular virtual disks, including the Windows operating system itself (OS layer), apps (app layers), and a writable persistent layer that captures all user settings, apps, and data.

With its Unidesk 4.0 architecture, Citrix customers will be able to leverage the most scalable and feature-rich app-layering solution that simplifies the transition to the cloud, with the need to only manage a single app image across both on-premises and cloud-based deployments.

“Unidesk has been recognized by customers and industry analysts as the clear leader in application layering, offering multiple unique advantages that streamline secure app delivery and VDI deployments and make them easier to manage,” said Jeroen van Rotterdam, senior vice president of Engineering at Citrix. “By incorporating Unidesk technology into XenApp and XenDesktop, Citrix advances its industry leadership by offering the most powerful and easy to deploy application layering solution available for delivering and managing app and desktops in the cloud, on-premises and in hybrid deployment environments.”

“Citrix and Unidesk are a natural combination, and we see tremendous value for customers and partners, along with significant potential for growth for our solution,” said Don Bulens, president and CEO of Unidesk. “Citrix created the market for VDI and secure app and data delivery and is the clear industry leader, so it makes the most sense to integrate our offerings into a comprehensive solution that makes deployment and management easy, while delivering an unbeatable user experience.”

Citrix will continue to sell Unidesk as a standalone product for VMware Horizon and Microsoft virtual desktop deployment customers.

Citrix is introducing new packages to transition from on-premises licenses to Citrix Cloud for existing customers, services that enable Citrix and Microsoft customers to deploy Windows 10 desktops on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, services to deploy apps directly on Azure, and Smart Tools to simplify the deployment of new workspaces.

In addition, Citrix is announcing a new Citrix Ready partner initiative targeting the mid-market along with mobility and network management products and services that complement Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) and provide comprehensive security and value for Citrix and Microsoft customers.

“With these products and services, Citrix and Microsoft are meeting partners and customers wherever they are on their journey to the cloud, whether they continue to keep IT infrastructure on-premises, or they are moving to hybrid cloud or public cloud deployments,” said PJ Hough, senior vice president, Product, Citrix. “Whether they are ready to go all-in on the cloud, or they want to deploy a single app in the cloud, we have the management platform and the services they need.”

For customers who own existing XenApp or XenDesktop licenses, and want to move to the Citrix Cloud as-a-service, Citrix will be offering a comprehensive set of transition and trade-up offers that provide a smooth transition by enabling the simultaneous use and support of traditional Citrix offerings and new Citrix Cloud managed services. These cost-effective solutions enable existing Citrix customers with active subscription advantage or software maintenance to get the value of Citrix Cloud for not much more than the cost of renewing traditional software maintenance.

Citrix also announced a new pilot program for Citrix Service Providers (CSPs) who want to deploy workspaces leveraging Citrix Cloud. Later this year, CSPs will be offered pilot access to Citrix Cloud services with a monthly licensing model similar to their current licensing model for Citrix technologies. This will enable both new and existing providers of Desktops-as-a-Service and other workspace services a faster, simpler approach to deploying hosted Citrix technologies.

For those organizations seeking a simplified way to deploy Windows 10 virtual desktops in the Microsoft Azure cloud, Citrix released XenDesktop Essentials. Microsoft customers who have licensed Windows 10 Enterprise on a per-user basis will have the option to manage their Windows 10 images on Azure through its XenDesktop VDI solution. Once XenDesktop Essentials is set up and running, the service can be managed by Citrix Cloud.

For customers who want to deliver business applications directly from Azure, Citrix announced XenApp Essentials. The new Citrix XenApp Essentials Service taps XenApp technology to provide additional management, user experience, and security features. XenApp Essentials can also be a service integrated into, and managed by, Citrix Cloud. XenApp Essentials will be available in the this quarter .

“The strength of our relationship with Citrix has always been our firm commitment to making our mutual customers successful by empowering their people to achieve more,” said Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud + Enterprise at Microsoft. “By providing customers with apps and desktops deployed directly on Microsoft Azure as the preferred and strategic cloud, Citrix is helping companies mobilize their workforces to succeed in today’s highly competitive global business environment.”

Citrix offers a new advantage for customers and partners deploying and configuring apps, desktops and mobile workspaces through Citrix Cloud. As part of Citrix Customer Success Services, Citrix is introducing Smart Check, Smart Scale and other pre-configured packages and capabilities that simplify and accelerate the rollout of new virtual app and desktop services. These new offerings join the Smart Tools line, formerly known as Citrix Lifecycle Management services that make it easier to deploy and manage Citrix workspaces and workloads.

Citrix is kicking off a new Citrix Ready program that combines the advantages of Citrix Cloud with hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) from partners to greatly simplify the scalability and management of VDI environments for mid-market customers. The Citrix Ready HCI Workspace Appliance Program enables hyperconverged appliances from hardware and storage partners to connect to Citrix Cloud to automate the setup and maintenance of XenApp and XenDesktop.

As a result, Citrix solution providers can offer their mid-market customers a comprehensive and scalable workspace appliance solution that takes the entire stack into account to reduce complexity and offer the lowest total cost of ownership.

To provide enhanced mobility and security to Citrix and Microsoft customers, Citrix and Microsoft have integrated Citrix NetScaler Unified Gateway with Microsoft Intune. This solution enables IT admins to check for compliance and the state of the end user device, so they can provide policy based access control and virtual private network (VPN) capabilities to on-premises applications.

The new solution with Citrix NetScaler Unified Gateway provides greater security and flexibility for customers who need new ways to manage mobile access to sensitive data and apps, while giving administrators greater endpoint management and control.

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