Lenovo and Citrix are teaming up for a blend of virtualization pre-built into the Think-branded line of PCs. Citrix XenClient will be supported on select Think-products like the ThinkCentre M and the ThinkPad X and T. Here are the implications and tech details...

Dave Courbanou

October 8, 2010

2 Min Read
Lenovo and Citrix Partner for XenClient Think-PCs

Lenovo and Citrix are teaming up for a blend of virtualization pre-built into the Think-branded line of PCs. Citrix XenClient will be supported on select Think-products like the ThinkCentre M and the ThinkPad X and T. Here are the implications and tech details…

Lenovo and Citrix are building an interesting relationship here. In addition to customers having the option for XenClient support on specific products, customers can also chose to have the XenClient pre-installed into a custom image through Lenovo’s “Imaging Technology Center.”

All of this starts in Q4 of 2010, designed to give IT admins the ability to provide both benefits of a physical machine and the benefits of virtual desktop solutions. In alignment with this, Lenovo has stated they’ll offer Citrix Ready servers in Q4 of 2010 to provide “the highest levels of performance” for the backbone of the Citrix XenServer on Lenovo hardware.

Lenovo’s impetus for the partnership is based on some Gartner research that shows  virtualization and cloud computing are the top priorities for 2010. (No surprises here.) But Lenovo’s smart to bet on these technologies, since increased choice among vendors is an ongoing theme for virtualization, especially when people want virtualization solutions they’re familiar with on hardware they’re familiar with.

XenClient will also be offered alongside Lenovo’s Secure Managed Client, which is Lenovo’s storage-based alternative desktop solution. It’s designed to help reduce IT costs and security risks with data being stored in a remote location, while simultaneously providing desktop PC functionality. All the hard work, however, is done on the client PC, not server side. (A bit like a ‘heavy-thin-client’, or ‘virtualization-lite’.) The benefit is the near-zero performance hit.

XenClient currently drives Windows desktop virtualization solutions, which has a focus on a corporate and enterprise-level problem solving for laptop users that IT admins need to manage in a more unified, simple environment. Both Lenovo and Citrix also tout the security, flexibility and backup benefits of using desktop virtualization for laptops or desktops.

Lastly, Lenovo and Citrix have partnered together to develop future offerings like a “diskless desktop computer” which will support XenClient (presumably through firmware), calling it a “first-of-its-kind.” This blogger politely thinks it’s a very big thin-client.

Your thoughts, dear reader?

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