Head in the Cloud A-OK at Citrix Synergy Show

Bryan Thomas manages Lenovo’s alternative client computing and server software solutions. If there’s something happening in the world of cloud/virtualization, Bryan is typically in the middle of it. In this post, he outlines Lenovo’s involvement at Citrix Synergy, which starts today.

Today we showed off our full portfolio of cloud and virtualization offerings available at Citrix Synergy in San Francisco. It’s a great opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of our Think-branded products in addressing today's most demanding cloud and virtualization environment. We’re particularly proud of our recently announced Cloud Ready Client, a solution nominated as a finalist for the Citrix Synergy Best of Show category of "Accelerating Cloud Adoption" for improving the end-user experience by balancing compute load between the cloud and the client. Virtualization. The Real Power Behind the Cloud The heart of cloud technology lies with virtualization: our virtualization-enablement offerings range from thin ThinkPads to ThinkServers. In our booth, we’re showing off our latest thin ThinkPads with our partner, VXL that include the latest Citrix HDX capabilities, including Flash over WWAN. Our thin ThinkPads let customers deliver full virtualized desktops to their mobile workers, while simultaneously delivering the experience that customers expect from a ThinkPad.

We’re much more than a client company, as our demonstrations of RD230 and RD240 ThinkServers with Citrix XenDesktop show. This marks the third time where ThinkServers have serves as the backbone of Citrix's demonstrations. The RD230s’s strength comes as a XenDesktop host server, while the RD240’s large storage capacity is serving as storage servers for hundreds of VM being used at the event. We’re also demonstrating how our ThinkPads and ThinkCentres are leading the way for client-based virtualization. Client-based virtualization is the latest virtualization technology that fills in the gaps of VDI. It delivers on the promises of VDI to reduce IT management cost through image consolidation and central management of applications and data. Unlike VDI which is run on a server, client virtualization runs on the local client device, allowing an end-user to not be limited by network performance. Because client virtualization runs at the end point, it takes full advantage of client compute power, delivering a richer experience for multi-media and graphics intensive applications. It also supports offline use. These two areas have been a thorn in the side of VDI and have been key reasons for the high level of customer interest in this technology. Our ThinkPads and ThinkCentres are supported by the two leading vendors in this area, Virtual Computer and Citrix. We work closely with them to ensure their solutions run best on Lenovo. For example, Virtual Computer supports Lenovo's entire Think-branded laptops, including our Edge products. If you come by the booth, you’ll see Virtual Computer demonstrating their latest NxTop offering running on our ThinkPad Edge offerings.

Bright Future for Cloud I was impressed with the Tech Preview for XenClient 2. It introduces several enhancements to broaden hardware compatibility, deliver a more simplified user experience and enable larger, more complex production deployments of XenClient together with the Synchronizer for XenClient.  We’ ve worked extremely closely with Citrix to make sure our key platforms are fully supported by this latest XenClient. Customers will be able to take advantage of the  XenClient 2 Tech Preview with full support from Citrix on our latest ThinkPad and ThinkCentre Enterprise focused PCs including Lenovo ThinkPad T420, T520, L420, L520, X220 and ThinkCentre M91p. Additionally, Citrix supports  the XenClient 2 Tech Preview on all ThinkPads and ThinkCentres that were supported on the XenClient 1 SP1 HCL.  Our Imaging and Technology Center offers a custom factor install service for customers deploying  XenClient.  Speaking of provisioning, I want to mention that Citrix is also showing another result of our collaboration efforts  through their 

XenClient Automated iSCSI Deployment. Citrix supports ThinkCentre enabled with iSCSI, allowing for hands-off deployment of XenClient to desktop systems. It does this by hosting the XenClient installer system and automated answer files on a Storage Array.  This capability provides for the remote provisioning of XenClient and the user’s operating system image to the endpoint for local execution.  This approach dramatically reduces the time an administrator needs to spend at the user’s workspace to provision XenClient.  This feature will work with the ThinkCentre M90p and M91p – the only devices on the XenClient 2 Tech Preview hardware compatibility list with support for iSCSI. Finally, today Citrix announced a new edition of XenClient, the XT version – it’s designed for public sector agencies that need extreme levels of security, isolation and performance. XenClient XT enables organizations to run multiple securely isolated local virtual desktops in multiple security domains each with isolated networks on a single physical desktop or laptop.  I'm pleased that Citrix chose our ThinkCentre M90p as one of the first devices to support XenClient XT.