Thousands of Citrix customers are already using thin client devices to access virtual desktops and apps delivered by Citrix infrastructure. These customers who have successfully deployed thin clients are getting the benefits of reducing or even eliminating their device management footprint, decreased their dependency on lifecycle management, and have reduced their power consumption by efficiently leveraging computing resources in the datacenter or server room.
There are also many customers who look at the cost of desktop virtualization and can easily justify supporting mobile workers and BYO programs. However, when it comes to replacing desktops in their offices, they may find it harder to justify purchasing a thin client when the price of the endpoint also, after all the dust settles, might be close to the replacement cost of a PC.
Delivering cost reduction
Last October, at Synergy Barcelona 2011, Citrix announced the HDX System on Chip initiative in partnership with Texas Instruments and NComputing, to create new SoC reference designs based on ARM chipsets to accelerate HDX user experience technologies in silicon. By using optimized hardware-based acceleration rather than decoding and rendering virtual desktop traffic on a general purpose processors in software, these SoCs can deliver the user experience of thin client devices costing twice as much or more while reducing power consumption, heat, and footprint. However, don’t mistake hardware-acceleration for “all-hardware.” Devices built on the HDX SoC initiative still run a Citrix Receiver in an embedded OS that permits updates to provide devices new functionality over time, further extending the expected lifecycle.
Taking cues from the living room
This direction of optimized delivery of high definition experience is no different than what many of us are seeing play out in our living rooms. Instead of collecting massive collections of videos to store in cabinets or home servers, cloud providers like NetFlix, Amazon, Apple, Hulu, Pandora, and others store media for us, allowing us us to stream in many cases real time content to our homes. This media can be displayed from TV’s using integrated “internet streaming,” from most any smartphone, tablet, or computer, or through the addition of a $50 appliance from companies like Roku that we plug into our TVs. It is this revolution in cloud entertainment services and the drive for low-cost, low-powered – long battery life devices overtaking the consumer electronics industry that Citrix can now leverage to optimize end point devices for desktop virtualization.
To learn more about these exciting, market-changing, transformative new devices being unveiled by HP, Atrust, Centerm, NComputing, and ThinLinX, please check out the HDX SoC 2012 partner page here.