Citrix Receiver One Answer to BYOD - InformationWeek
Cloud // Cloud Storage
10:49 AM
Building Security for the IoT
Nov 09, 2017
In this webcast, experts discuss the most effective approaches to securing Internet-enabled system ...Read More>>

Citrix Receiver One Answer to BYOD

Desktop virtualization tools like Citrix Receiver give employee-owned iOS and Android devices access to Microsoft Office apps and data.

Microsoft Office remains a widely used business software portfolio but, increasingly, the devices workers use for computing--smartphones and tablets--are more likely to run Apple iOS or Google Android.

Desktop virtualization aims to solve the problem of bringing together these various applications and devices. Gartner predicts that 60% of enterprises will deploy desktop virtualization in 2012, up from 10% in 2008.

"We believe more users will be using Windows apps on devices that are not running Windows," said John Fanelli, VP of product marketing for enterprise desktops and applications at Citrix, a maker of desktop virtualization software, including cloud-delivered virtualization.

Consistent with the widely noted trend of the consumerization of enterprise IT, one can expect to see more tablet computers and smartphones--as well as laptops running Apple Mac OS X or Google Chrome OS--brought into the office by workers who received them as gifts over the holidays, Fanelli said. But because Microsoft Office remains the workhorse software suite for businesses, IT managers will need to use desktop virtualization to deliver Office to those various endpoint devices.

"The role of the Windows application is just as prominent, if not more prominent, but the access [device] itself may not be running Windows," he said.

[ IT departments will need to adapt or make a last stand in the shrinking server closet. See Gartner's 2012 Forecast: Cloudy, With Widespread Consumerization. ]

Citrix Receiver is the tool enterprises can use to deliver Windows apps to a non-Windows device. But it also incorporates some of the best features of the device hosting Receiver, Fanelli added. For instance, if Receiver is running on an Apple iPad, the Windows apps are arrayed on a grid on the homescreen, just as the apps are natively arrayed on an iPad. And the Windows apps are used with the touchscreen capabilities of the iPad because the device doesn't have a USB port for a mouse.

In 2012, desktop virtualization is expected to shift from the lab to the production environment for early adopters in certain segments, according to a forecast from Enterasys, a network infrastructure and security provider. Enterasys also predicts that the so-called bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend in the workplace will heighten enterprise concern about the security of corporate data on those devices. Both Citrix and Enterasys, among others, provide security technology for those situations.

As Citrix's Fanelli describes it, in most cases the data can be viewed on the device because it's delivered through the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), but stored back at the data center, not on the device. He analogized it to a TV set whose programming is delivered by the cable or satellite service provider. In situations where data is stored on a device, it is encrypted and if the device is lost or stolen the data can be remotely wiped off the device. Another Citrix offering features a "lease" for the data, he said, which requires a user to sign in with a username and password to renew access to the data. If the lease isn't renewed within, say, 24 hours (perhaps because the device is lost or stolen) the lease expires and the data is deleted.

Like Enterasys, research firm IDC also predicts wider adoption of VDI going forward. It identifies Citrix as the only desktop infrastructure company that qualifies as a "leader" in its "Magic Quadrant" market analysis. In its "major players" quadrant, IDC includes Kaviza, Microsoft, Quest Software, VMware, and three other players. IDC expects that as the market evolves, VDI vendors will move beyond just delivering apps to desktops, delivering broader control of VDI systems in order to better coordinate management among desktops, mobile devices, and cloud services.

The evolution of virtualization has exposed complexities in application distribution and management that we couldn't have imagined in the days of disposable disk images. Our Application Virtualization report will help you get started. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
12/27/2011 | 8:47:07 PM
re: Citrix Receiver One Answer to BYOD
One caveat not mentioned in this article is that the Citrix Receiver uses a separate XenApp Services site for authenticating mobile devices. In order for Receiver to work, XenApp Service 5.0 is required, and it is only supported in XenApp 4.5 or 5.0. Resources must be devoted to upgrading (if necessary) and configuring for the devices you wish to support.

If, however, you are already providing Citrix access to employees, it may be far easier to implement than having to support (and manage) multiple devices and operating systems on an individual, per-device basis. If an employee changes or loses their device, your administration overhead is much lower. You keep your data secure using RSA and Active Directory authentication protocols, managing who has access without having to manage the individual devices they use.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll