Citrix Systems unveiled its new Citrix Provisioning Server solution this week at the Gartner IT Expo in Orlando, US. The solution is based on the OS-streaming technology acquired in its January 2007 purchase of Ardence, and enables IT organisations to dynamically stream datacentre and desktop operating systems and workloads to both virtual and physical machines from a central location.

The new solution enables more agile and cost-effective delivery of applications and desktops – providing an ideal complement to the company’s recently announced acquisition of virtual infrastructure vendor XenSource.
Enterprise IT managers are under increasing pressure to cut their data centre operating costs and improve IT effectiveness by reducing server count, cutting utility expenses and increasing productivity. Provisioning Server will enable organisations to stream a server OS and workload from network storage to bare-metal or virtual servers in the datacentre, and a desktop OS and workload to virtual desktops and LAN-connected diskless PCs on-demand.
By streaming a server OS and workload on-demand – rather than physically loading them on each server – Provisioning Server increases IT flexibility, reduces the need for backup servers, cuts energy costs and streamlines IT management.
“Adding OS and workload streaming functionality to our existing array of datacentre, desktop and application delivery options further demonstrates Citrix’s leadership in delivering the applications our customers need, when they need them, wherever they are located,” says Nick Keene, country manager of Citrix Southern Africa.
“By streamlining both datacentre and desktop delivery, Citrix Provisioning Server will provide significant economic and productivity benefits for enterprises. The simplified management and increased flexibility will deliver long-term benefits.”
As adoption of virtualisation technologies accelerates, demand is growing for an integrated end-to-end virtual infrastructure solution that includes reliable and secure delivery mechanisms as well as automated desktop and datacentre provisioning processes. Citrix offers this range of technologies, giving organisations a comprehensive virtualisation infrastructure that creates a computing environment far more flexible, dynamic and responsive to business changes.
Provisioning Server will be sold through the Citrix worldwide channel organisation offering multiple benefits to existing Citrix application delivery infrastructure customers.:
* Customers using Citrix Presentation Server to deliver Windows applications will be able to stream operating systems and application workloads from a single image. This makes it easy to manage OS or server upgrades, conduct compatibility tests and repurpose servers, all while reducing the number of total backup servers required.
* Customers using Citrix NetScaler to deliver Web applications will be able to stream any OS and application workload on-demand to back-end Web and application servers, eliminating the need to deploy, patch and upgrade a static OS and workload on each server.
* Customers using server and desktop virtualisation solutions from the upcoming XenSource acquisition will be able to provision virtual servers and desktops across the datacentre.
* Customers in a multi-user lab or high-security environment will be able to stream a full desktop image to diskless PCs on the network.