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Citrix unifies its networking products, adds to its virtualization stack

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May 25, 2016

Citrix said earlier today it has unified its networking products and made some additions to its virtualization stack, in an effort to better serve its customers.

XenServer is now in its version 7, which means it gains support for Intel's Iris Pro graphics technology. In theory, that makes XenServer a better platform for graphics-intensive desktop virtualization chores.

Citrix and Microsoft have been 'kind of close' for several years and are now getting closer with this release, which adds support for Server Message Block (SMB) for virtual machine storage.

The upshot of this is that Citrix users can now point XenServer at shared storage managed by Windows Server, which should help users to make the most out of storage assets.

Citrix is taking advantage of the combination of System Center Configuration Manager and Windows Server Update Services, as together they make it possible to update XenServer with Windows Update.

Host RAM goes up from 1 TB to 5 TB and 288 CPU cores are now permitted, double the previous count. VRAM now reaches 1.5 TB, an eightfold increase.

There's also a new agentless API allowing inspection of guest VMs' memory, the better to make sure they're not running something illegal.

And cloud-native types may appreciate the support for managing Docker from within Xen Server.

Citrix's other strong suit is networking and the company has decided it's time to bring all its offerings into a single management console.

The new “NetScaler Management and Analytics System” therefore gives users one tool with which to manage the company's CloudBridge software-defined WAN, NetScaler application delivery controller and VPN products.

CloudBridge was previously a discrete product but is now re-christened NetScaler SDWAN. The whole suite is now backed by better analytics and automation, plus templates that let you quickly cook a secure software-defined network and network optimisation environment for different applications.

Citrix isn't getting down into software-defined switching or routing, territory it is going to leave to others. But the company feels the combination it can present isn't matched and should give shoppers confidence they can deploy XenApp and XenDesktop in just about any scenario.

Citrix has strong competition in this field but looks to have buttressed itself well by making it easier to acquire and operate products needed to publish applications securely.

Source: Citrix.

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