Release: Citrix DesktopPlayer for Mac 1.0

Citrix today announced that it has released a DesktopPlayer version for Apple Mac. DesktopPlayer is a type-2 hypervisor targeted to mobile MacBook users, and allows users to use XenDesktop with Windows whether they are online, offline of on slow network connections. By using DesktopPlayer with XenDesktop and ShareFile users are able to switch between local and hosted VMs with synchronization of profiles and data.

VMs are synchronized using Synchronizer, which only updates changes from the golden OS image in the background, all managed centrally. Also the virtual machine can be restored to its original state.

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Citrix announces acquisition of Framehawk

Citrix announced the acquisition of Framehawk, provider of a software platform for application mobilization. The acquisition is a strategic move as the Framehawk Platform enables high-performance of virtual desktops and application delivery to mobile devices, Citrix might take advantage of the Framehawk platform and use it with XenApp and XenDesktop in order to improve its performance on bad networking conditions.

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VMware has a new Chief Technology Officer: Ben Fathi

VMware finally has a new Chief Technology Officer named Ben Fathi. After Steve Herrod left the company as CTO in January 2013 the company did not have a CTO.  Paul Strong has been a  Acting Chief Technology Officer for VMware lately.

Fathi joined VMware in 2012 and most recently served as senior vice president, R&D. He has over 30 years of experience in IT.

A VMware blog on the introduction of Ben Fathi is here

Release: VMware vCenter Log Insight 1.5

VMware has released version 1.5 of its log management, aggregation and analysis solution: Log Insight. VMware is clearly speeding up the development cycle of its product due to the popularity of Splunk which provides similar functionality. Log Insights provides analytics capabilities to unstructured data and log files collected from various products.

Version 1.5 provides the following new features:

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Rakesh Narasimhan joins Citrix as Group Vice President & General Manager, Desktop & Apps

This new year started with various directive staff movements, people come and go. Yesterday January 6, Citrix announced to have a new Group VP & GM, Desktop & Apps: Rakesh Narasimhan.

While in last year we noticed a sort of exodus from VMware to other companies, such as Jerry Chen and Bogomil Balkansky, who are respectively Jerry working in Greylock and Bogomil working as a startupper.  Now, as expected, we are observing a flow of people filling positions in VMware such as former Citrix Group VP & GM, Desktop & App Bob Schultz now appointed Chief Strategy Lead & VP, End User Computing.

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Paper: Cisco Validated Design for Citrix XenDesktop 7

Cisco has published a paper titled: "Reference Architecture for 500-Seat and 1000-Seat Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Citrix XenDesktop 7 built on Cisco UCS B200-M3 Blade Servers with EMC VNXe and Microsoft Hyper-V 2012". The paper which contains 418 pages contains a reference architecture for building a VDI infrastructure which is validated by Cisco, Citrix, EMC and Microsoft.

The paper describes provides the architecture and design of a virtual desktop infrastructure that can grow from 500 users to 1000 users. The infrastructure is 100% virtualized on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 with third- generation Cisco UCS B-Series B200 M3 Blade Servers iSCSI booting from an EMC VNXe3300 storage array. The virtual desktops are powered using Citrix Provisioning Server 7 and Citrix XenDesktop 7, with a mix of hosted shared desktops (70%) and pooled desktops (30%) to support the user population. Where applicable, the document provides best practice recommendations and sizing guidelines for customer deployments of XenDesktop 7 on the Cisco Unified Computing System.

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Bob Schultz, ex Citrix, joins VMware as Chief Strategy Lead & VP, End User Computing

Two industry veterans on End User Computing leave Citrix and join VMware.

Bob Schultz joins VMware as Chief Strategy Lead & VP, End User Computing.  He is an experienced senior executive who previously worked for Citrix as Group Vice President  and General manager desktops and applications. In that role he was responsible for stategy of Citrix  market-leading desktop and application virtualization business with responsibility for a broad portfolio of products including Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenApp. Rakesh Narasimhan replaced Schultz at Citrix.

Sumit Dhawan has been appointed head of the desktop business. He is a senior business leader with 18 years of experience and a proven track record of establishing market leadership for enterprise products. He held various leadership positions at Citrix for nearly 16 years and most recently served as group vice president and general manager for the Enterprise Mobility Group at Citrix, where he was in charge of strategic product positioning, technology integration and go-to-market strategies.

Longtime VMware veteran Kit Colbert has been appointed chief technology officer (CTO) of End-User Computing, and will help drive product and technology strategy for its product portfolio.

This shows that VMware is very serious about End User Computing. In 2013 another senior executive joined VMware in the EUC division. Sanjay Poonen is General Manager of End-User Computing Business.

The VMware press release on todays news can be read here.

VMware Virsto is end of availability

VMware is announcing the End of Availability of all VMware Virsto versions, effective January 1, 2014. After this date, you will no longer be able to purchase these products.

Virsto is a software defined storage solution which accelerates storage by intercepting all of the randomized I/O at the  hypervizor level and writing them to dedicated write logs in a serialized format and later de-staged onto virtual disks on storage area networks (SAN). Virsto also optimizes capacity by provisioning each virtual disk as a thin disk.

Virsto also supports Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer.

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