Intel, Citrix Team on Virtualization

Powered by the twin enterprise needs to cut costs during this recession and to improve security in the light of repeated data breaches, Intel and Citrix have teamed up to create a hypervisor that will let IT centrally manage and administer end user devices.

Will the marriage of Xen and vPro save IS departments money and improve security?

Citrix will optimize its Xen hypervisor for Intel Core 2 desktop and Centrino 2 laptop chips using Intel's vPro technology.

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The collaboration between Citrix and Intel is expected to let PC manufacturers include "built-in" client-side virtualization with new desktop and laptop computing systems. Dell said it's providing engineering support to aid in the design and testing of the new technology and plans to certify it for its computing platforms when its available for commercial release.

The new technology will go beyond the virtual desktop interface (VDI) currently being offered by VMware and Microsoft.

The first products with this new technology, being built under the Project Umbrella codename, are scheduled for delivery in the second half of the year, Raj Dhingra, group vice president and general manager of Citrix's desktop delivery group, told InternetNews.com.

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Enterprises will be able to keep one virtual image for the corporate desktop and patch and maintain only that image, cutting maintenance costs and improving security.

Security will be enhanced because IT can install the most up to date patches on the master image at the back end, also known as the golden image, and not have to wait for users to update their own patches. Many viruses, including the Downadup virus, which could be bigger than the Storm worm, spread because users fail to update their patches.

"Your desktop will always be up to date, with its management, patching, imaging, maintenance and security always done centrally," Dhingra said. More importantly, enterprises can apply policies to the virtual machines so users will not be able to, for instance, download corporate data in virtual machines on their devices onto USB sticks.

USB devices are a constant headache for corporate security because, unless extra restrictions are employed, users can download sensitive information onto them or, conversely, upload malware either accidentally or deliberately onto corporate devices.

Next page: The desktop as a service

This article was originally published on InternetNews.com.

This article was originally published on Jan 23, 2009
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