Citrix has announced it can enable enterprise customers and service providers to deliver high-performance mobile apps and Windows Server-based session desktops from Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud platform with the recently announced Citrix XenDesktop 7.

With the licensing support for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) on Windows Azure, Citrix now extends session desktops to Windows Azure to support live session roaming, multiple device types and formats, and rich user-interface media experiences.

Running XenDesktop 7 in the cloud gives enterprises the ability to manage costs, extend capacity on demand, reduce lead-time for procuring and configuring hardware, and reduce hardware sizing risk as loads fluctuate.

It also gives service providers the ability to focus on service delivery rather than managing the underlying infrastructure. XenDesktop cloud-hosted session desktops enable mobile work styles, delivering any type of app, to any type of device, over any type of network.

The market for cloud-hosted session desktops is on the rise in response to enterprise and small-and-medium-business needs for flexible, cost-effective IT services that enable a mobile workforce. In fact, The 451 Group estimates the overall desktop virtualisation market to be a $5.6-billion opportunity by 2015.

In addition, it sees a 35% CAGR specifically for cloud-hosted desktop revenue through 2015.

XenDesktop cloud-hosted session desktops enable enterprises and service providers to employ more delivery options with unprecedented user experience, data security and any-device ubiquity, including traditional thin clients, as well as the growing mobile device landscape.

Delivering hosted session desktops from Windows Azure gives Citrix enterprise customers the benefit of deploying in a cloud familiar to Windows administrators and optimized for Windows workloads. Additionally, service providers benefit from being able to focus on world-class service delivery made possible by the global presence of Windows Azure, rather than having to manage infrastructure.

By leveraging existing Citrix Service Provider reference architectures for Citrix XenApp and the Citrix Design Guide for Windows Azure, service providers can rapidly create high-quality multi-tenant session desktop services based in Windows Azure. This allows businesses of all sizes to mobilise Windows apps and Windows Server-based session desktops and deliver them as a cloud service to any device.

“Customers are increasingly adopting cloud hosted session desktops to enable mobile work styles and simplify their operations. Leveraging the cloud as a deployment platform will further accelerate these major trends,” says Bob Schultz, group VP and GM, Desktops and Apps at Citrix.
“As a leading desktop virtualisation product, XenDesktop 7 enables users to have a high definition experience across a broad set of user-defined devices. We are continuing to work with Microsoft to allow both IT and service providers to choose Windows Azure for their Citrix deployments.”

“Windows Azure is an open cloud platform committed to delivering flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiencies to customers,” says Claire Fang, director, Windows Azure at Microsoft.
“Microsoft recently enabled the use of Windows Server RDS service provider license on Windows Azure, and we are excited to see Citrix support for Windows Azure as an underlying infrastructure for customers and service providers deploying virtual desktops and applications.
“Building on our strong relationship, Microsoft and Citrix are working together to deliver flexible and cost-effective ways for customers to empower workforce productivity on a variety of devices.”