Citrix Synergy 2011 Recap: Mobile, Open Cloud & VDI

The Citrix Synergy 2011 this week spurred a lot of developments for Citrix, and focused on three major areas: desktop virtualization (VDI), the company’s core business, as well as mobile and the open cloud – two areas the company’s demonstrated a lot of interest in lately.

The jam-packed conference kicked off by a demo of Citrix’s most recent investment – the acquisition of Kaviza. Kaviza makes a specifically-built VDI offering targeting the SMB market, and its acquisition marks Citrix’s progression to this accelerating space.

VDI was Citrix’s main area of focus at Synergy 2011, where partner company V3 announced the launch the new Management Pack supporting Citrix XenDesktop 5. The pack offers better performance and simplified installation. Also at Synergy, Tal Klein, Director of Technical Marketing at Citrix Systems sat down at theCube. He highlighted, just like Richard Scannell, SVP and co-Founder at GlassHouse Technologies did in another interview from theCube,  that the demand for VDI technologies is very high. He continued to elaborate from the customer’s point of view and added that VDI represents a key component of desktop virtualization.

The hosted model behind VDI has become dominant, and puts a special emphasis on mobile. Earlier this year Citrix unveiled its Nirvana Phone concept – a combination of a smartphone and virtual desktop users would be able to use like a fully-functional machine when plugged into a keyboard and screen. At the conference this week however, Citrix VP of Solutions Development Chris Fleck said that technology is already here in the form of Motorola’s ATRIX – an Android phone which effectively does exactly this using the Citrix Receiver client. Also in mobile, Citrix launched the open beta of GoToMeeting with HD Faces.

Citrix is also investing in the open cloud. On top of its partnership with Amazon to optimize AWS for Windows and XenServer customers, the company is also making serious strides in the open source cloud with Project Olympus.