Ever since Unidesk won a Best of Citrix Synergy award for bringing industry-leading application and image management innovations to Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, many Citrix customers have been asking when we'll support XenServer. While many are already deploying Unidesk with Citrix's desktop virtualization and application publishing solutions on Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere, a big part of the market uses XenServer as their primary hypervisor.
The wait is over. We're happy to announce that Unidesk now fully supports XenServer! Here is what "full support" means.
App Layering on XenServer
Unidesk is known as the inventor of layering - the ability to capture Windows desktop apps and operating systems as their own modular virtual disks. IT can assign layers to XenDesktop VDI desktops, XenApp servers, or XenApp user sessions in any order with simple point and click. The VHDs/VMDKs are mounted and blended together to deliver applications as if they were locally installed, but without the errors, delays, and heavy storage and CPU requirements of agent-based installations.
How do these layers get created? Unidesk automatically creates a packaging machine on your hypervisor, completely prepped and ready to go with your chosen OS and any prerequisite layers. Packagers simply install the app as they would on a regular system, click Finalize, and they have a layer.
This layering process, including the hosting of the packaging machines, can now be run entirely on XenServer.
Layered Image Support for XenServer
All large VDI deployments with XenDesktop and large published app/desktop deployments with XenApp have image management challenges. Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) and Machine Creation Services (MCS) are great at delivering images. But they don't have any way of managing image content. When IT creates different images with different combinations of apps to meet business requirements, Windows operating systems and common apps have to be patched multiple times. This adds IT cost and slows down app delivery, making IT - and the business - less responsive.
Unidesk Layered Images solve this problem. Admins simply select any combination of OS and App layers and instruct Unidesk to merge them into a single, standard disk image. Our connectors for Citrix PVS and MCS enable these existing provisioning tools to deliver the Layered Images just as they would any other image. Except with Unidesk, the OS and app layers only have to be patched, updated, or rolled back once. Unidesk will automate updating the Layered Images through PVS/MCS, completely eliminating the need to manage and patch multiple images.
Unidesk Layered Images can now be built on and delivered to XenServer through our Citrix PVS and MCS connectors.
Elastic Layering Real-Time App Delivery for XenServer
Unidesk Elastic Layering is one of the big reasons we won Best of Citrix Synergy and Best of VMworld awards this year. Elastic Layering attaches application virtual disks at login based on each user's Active Directory entitlements. It's simply the fastest way to deliver apps to users when they need them, without time-consuming installation procedures or desktop reboots.
Unidesk is the only solution that offers this real-time app delivery capability for both VDI and Citrix XenApp. Our patented Session Container technology isolates XenApp sessions, allowing different app layers to be assigned to different users logging into the same XenApp shared desktop. For the first time, XenApp shared hosted desktops can offer the same level of application customization and personalization as physical PCs or VDI, giving Citrix customers more flexibility in how they deliver hosted Windows workspaces.
Unidesk Elastic Layering now works with Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop implementations hosted on XenServer.
Unidesk Appliance Hosting on XenServer
Unidesk 4 sets a new standard for application layering scalability and reliability. A single virtual appliance - the Unidesk Enterprise Layer Manager (ELM) - is now all that is needed for simple, cost-effective application packaging and lifecycle management, no matter how many users, domains, data centers, and clouds an enterprise has. By integrating with and/or leveraging existing hypervisors, provisioning tools, and network architectures, Unidesk scales as well as the underlying virtual infrastructure. And by removing ourselves from all data paths and control paths, Unidesk adds no new failure points to the delivery of Windows apps and workspaces.
The Unidesk ELM virtual appliance can now be installed, hosted, and run natively on XenServer.
App Package and Image Portability for Easy XenServer Migration
Another innovation that sets Unidesk apart is our new Platform layers, which enable the same application layers and Layered Images to be delivered to different hypervisors and clouds without costly re-packaging. Customers see this as the way to "future-proof" their end user computing environments, since they can now migrate from one hypervisor to another or from an on-premises environment to the cloud in minutes. Simply choose a different Unidesk Platform Layer, and the exact same app that was packaged on VMware vSphere and delivered through VMware Horizon can now be delivered through Citrix XenDesktop on Citrix XenServer.
The Platform layer also makes managing across heterogenous environments simple. Enterprises that acquire new businesses with differnet hypervisors or desktop virtualization solutions can now package and deliver apps in a simple, uniform way.
Citrix XenServer is now the latest hypervisor to be supported by the Unidesk Platform layer.
Try Unidesk on XenServer
A notification will be sent out soon to our community letting them know that the new release of Unidesk 4 with support for XenServer is ready for download.
If you're one of the many Citrix customers who have been waiting for Unidesk to support XenServer, request your trial today!
If you're one of the growing number of Nutanix customers waiting for Unidesk to support Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV), that's coming next with all the same features!