By now you’ve heard the exciting news about Project Avalon – the next generation platform for delivering apps, data and desktops as cloud services.  In this announcement, Citrix has detailed how we will integrate technologies like CloudStack, XenDesktop and CloudPortal to create an unprecedented system for the delivery of apps and desktops as services for both public cloud providers and Enterprises who want to run their environments like cloud providers (what we call private clouds).

At the heart of the Avalon platform is the App Orchestration solution.  This technology has already shipped and can be leveraged by the over 2000 Citrix Service Providers who are delivering Windows apps and desktops as a service to hundreds of thousands of users from their public clouds.  The current technology, which you may know of as Project Rainmaker, currently supports the orchestration of XenApp farms for Citrix Service Providers and delivers three key benefits:

  • A multi-tenant layer which gives service providers the ability to isolate customers into separate farms while managing them as one coherent system.  With this layer, service providers can isolate customers into their own farms or server worker groups, but still manage the entire environment as a single entity from a single console.
  • Multi-version management and automation.  Service providers will use the orchestration technology to automatically transition user sessions from older machines to newer ones in order to automate updates needed for patches, new versions of Citrix products, new apps, etc.  The orchestration layer handles the automatic draining of users from the older servers, allocation of new servers and redirection of users to the updated servers.  Once old servers are completely drained, they are automatically returned to the pool for use with the newly updated images.
  • Integration with CloudPortal Services Manager to enable tenant admins to add user apps or desktops that have been defined and advertised by the service provider.

In Project Avalon, we will take App Orchestration to the next logical step – App & Desktop Orchestration.  This next level of integration will extend beyond XenApp workloads to include all FlexCast models under XenDesktop, providing ultimate flexibility by enabling service providers and enterprise customers to deliver any type of desktop or app environment including hosted shared, VDI, server VDI, etc.  The orchestration layer will extend all the benefits listed above to all FlexCast models.  It will also deliver 2 new capabilities:

  • Automatic creation of user workspaces from infrastructure (via the CloudStack integration) to apps, desktops, data (via ShareFile integration) and other services like Exchange, SharePoint, etc. (via CloudPortal integration).
  • Multi-site management.  Service providers who have multiple deployments in different geographies can leverage the orchestration layer to manage those sites as one system from a single console.
  • Autonomic instantiation of user workspaces based on current demand for workspaces.

Read all about the App Orchestration technology in these blogs and keep looking for more coming in the ongoing blog series on App Orchestration:

App Orchestration: Concepts

App Orchestration: Architecture

To learn more about Project Avalon and the exciting new ideas behind it, come to a newly added Synergy session (SYN145) on Friday morning at 9:00 am in room 2008, Moscone West.