How will Citrix’s acquisition of Framehawk benefit desktop virtualization users? It will take our HDX technology to the limit! Industry analyst Gunnar Berger recorded a video some months ago that shows the amazing performance of Framehawk. Integrate that with the Citrix HDX technologies and you truly get the freedom to work effectively regardless of location or device, even under extremely adverse network conditions.

Never heard of Framehawk? Framehawk was founded in 2008 by Peter Badger and Stephen Vilke to deliver enterprise applications to mobile devices in a way that would meet the experience needs of end users and the data security needs of enterprise customers. With the benefit of experience gained at NASA in communications with spacecraft, Framehawk engineers developed software to enable secure, high-performance application delivery to mobile devices such as iPads and other tablets, without risking data leakage or compromising user experience. The company came out of stealth mode in 2012 and soon caught the eye of industry analysts and pundits. Gabe Knuth of Tech Target was prompted to write an intriguing blog post, Is VMware thinking about ditching PCoIP? If so, they should look at Framehawk.

Knowledge workers today are no longer chained to their desks. But this increased freedom means they’re no longer guaranteed a highly reliable, high quality wired network connection. Even a corporate Wi-Fi network is prone to electromagnetic interference, especially in office towers in metropolitan areas. Quoting from a Cisco whitepaper, “The many wireless technologies and commonplace electric devices already in use and newly emerging impede wireless performance. RF interference can be a major inhibitor to wireless performance, creating security vulnerabilities and wireless network instability.Imagine the electromagnetic interference created by multiple competing Wi-Fi networks on the floors above and below you, not to mention the microwave oven in the kitchen area, the fluorescent lights, Bluetooth devices, wireless security cameras, etc. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are even worse, although at least you can get a good cappuccino. Hotel internet connections are notoriously bad. Even high speed home Internet connections frequently exhibit performance issues, whether due to congestion on the “last mile” when the neighborhood kids come home from school or flaky Wi-Fi (plus you can often add the impact of cordless phones, baby monitors and vacuum cleaner motors). And more and more of us are connecting to hosted apps and data via 3G or 4G cellular networks, or using inflight Internet services like Gogo.

Citrix leads the desktop virtualization industry today with the best user experience on the market, and we already hear lots of great stories about how users can access their desktops and apps from unusual locations thanks to the HDX “high definition” experience technologies included in XenDesktop and XenApp. Now imagine mixing in Framehawk’s innovations which, as Gunnar’s video shows, provide remarkable interactivity even in the most extreme access scenarios. The Framehawk technology will extend our HDX portfolio to handle even higher levels of congestion, packet loss and latency. A great win for workers on the go. And for the organization, an integrated Citrix solution means that sensitive data remains safe in the data center, application management is simplified and there’s no urgency to rewrite existing Windows applications to meet the demands of an increasingly mobile workforce.

Brett Waldman of IDC recently wrote, “Vendors that are able to provide the best end-user experience on any device over any connection will be the vendors with the most revenue at the end of the day.” (IDC: “Mobile Experience Virtualization: Bridging the Desktop to Mobile Application Gap,” Technology Assessment 245101, Brett Waldman, December 2013)

So please join me in welcoming the Framehawk team to Citrix!

Derek Thorslund
Director of Product Management, HDX