HP To Offer Citrix XenDesktop With Blade Servers - InformationWeek

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HP To Offer Citrix XenDesktop With Blade Servers

The combined technology targets companies looking to centralize desktop applications on the server, rather than deploying and managing them on employees' individual PCs.

Hewlett-Packard on Thursday said it would offer blade servers with Citrix's XenDesktop 3 virtualization software preinstalled.

The Citrix product would be available with HP's upcoming BladeSystem bc2800 and bc2200 Blade PCs. The combined technology targets companies looking to centralize desktop applications on the server, rather than deploying and managing them on employees' individual PCs.

"Particularly in this challenging economic environment, we see client virtualization as a cost-efficient alternative for companies needing to economically update and better manage their personal computing infrastructures," Roberto Moctezuma, VP and general manager of HP's Desktop Solutions Organization, said in a statement released Wednesday.

HP's Blade PCs provide desktop applications and data to a thin client through a dedicated CPU plus graphics processor, up to 8 GB of memory, and an 80-GB hard drive. HP offers racks that hold as many as 280 blades.

The bc2200 features a single-core Advanced Micro Devices Athlon 64 processor, 520 MHz of memory speed, and integrated ATI graphics. The bc2800 features an AMD Turion X2 TL-66 dual-core processor, 767 MHz of memory speed, and integrated ATI graphics. Both blades support Windows Vista and XP and Linux.

In introducing XenDesktop 3 this month, Citrix announced plans to add to the software the ability to produce a virtual desktop in the data center and stream it to the desktop, where it will run under its own hypervisor on the end user's hardware. Most desktop virtualization schemes have the desktop image running on a central server, with just the user presentation sent down the wire.

Most of the presumed efficiency gains and cost savings are in being able to manage desktop images on central servers, rather than having to manage and maintain software on individual PCs.

Availability and pricing for the combined HP-Citrix products were not disclosed. The package would be available through HP or its resellers, or through HP-authorized Citrix resellers. The BladeSystem bc2800 and bc2200 Blade PC are scheduled to be available in March. Pricing was not disclosed.

How does VMware's blade virtualization software compare? InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of this topic. Download the report here (registration required).

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