Access any time

Citrix’s desktop virtualisation technologies are helping transform the way organisations work, says Aaron White, regional director, Middle East & Africa, Citrix.

Tags: Citrix Systems IncorporationDesktop virtualisationVirtualisation
  • E-Mail
Access any time Look closely: Aaron White, regional director, MEA, Citrix, demonstrates Windows 7 running virtually on his personal iPad. (ITP Images)
By  David Ingham Published  July 22, 2012

Citrix’s desktop virtualisation technologies are helping transform the way organisations work, says Aaron White, regional director, Middle East & Africa, Citrix.

Citrix is certainly no newcomer to the world of enterprise IT (it was founded in 1989), but it finds itself in greater demand now than ever before. The thing driving this demand is a modern workforce, equipped with tablet computers and smartphones, that wants access to applications any time and from any place. One of the ways companies can potentially achieve this is through desktop and application virtualisation, which is where Citrix comes in.

Its technologies allow end users, wherever they may be and whatever device they are using at the time, to fire up the applications and access the data they use at work. The interaction with the applications and data, however, takes place entirely virtually, through the internet, or cloud. No software or data is loaded onto the user device itself.

“There are a number of different usage cases for desktop virtualisation. One thing really driving it is the advent of slate computing. Executives want to use them, but not all the applications are available natively, so Citrix would allow access to those applications,” says Aaron White, regional director, MEA, Citrix.

“Two or three years ago desktop virtualisation was seen as ‘let’s get rid of these towers under the desk’ and use thin clients instead. That’s one usage case, but we can now give you access to applications on anything. Any application on any device, that’s what we’re trying to get to.”

One of the big benefits of virtualisation, that it empowers employee mobility, is potentially common to all industries, but it is not the only factor driving it. Keeping applications and data on the server, and off client devices, is also inherently more secure, whether the device is an iPad, laptop or desktop PC.

Running applications virtually off the server also means they are always available and do not need to be deployed locally (think installing Microsoft Office on every PC in your organisation). As White explains, different industries have different reasons for embracing virtualisation.

“Financial institutions have a high level of concern about data that could leak from the data centre onto a laptop. They want to display pixels on a screen and keep the data centralised,” he says.

“Talk to an education institution and they have different challenges. They are more concerned about delivering learning applications to students who are part of generation 2.0. They’re used to working with slates and don’t want to be sitting in a computer lab; they want to be accessing the application over a wireless network.”

“Then if you look at an airline, they have their HQ in one place but offices all over the world, so how do they manage up to 300 outstations? When they need to roll out new applications, [with virtualisation] they don’t have to fly people all around the world to install those applications.”

To illustrate what Citrix technology can do, White demonstrates Windows 7 running through virtualisation on his personal iPad. Simply firing up Windows 7 on the iPad via an application called Citrix Receiver is useful enough, but this seemingly isn’t enough for end users. Recently, Citrix introduced a product that can change the way Windows applications look to make them easier to use on a tablet.

“For certain applications, what we are able to do is reskin the icons to make them more finger friendly or stylus friendly and reposition things on the screen to make a better user experience,” says White. “Our attitude is not just: there’s Windows and it’s virtualised, we’re taking user experience very seriously at Citrix.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code