Citrix has announced the availability of Citrix DesktopPlayer for Mac, a client virtualization solution, which extends the benefits of the market-leading Citrix XenDesktop solution to mobile MacBook users. DesktopPlayer gives users the ability to work on their Windows virtual desktops in any network scenario — including over low-quality connections, congested WiFi hotspots, and even when no connection is available.
Using DesktopPlayer with XenDesktop enables users to switch between local and hosted virtual desktops with ongoing synchronization of personal profiles and data. This allows users to work on their MacBook laptop, then seamlessly switch to any other device to access their cloud-hosted virtual desktop. End users gain freedom to work anywhere, independent of network conditions, and IT gains control with the ability to centrally-manage Windows virtual desktops delivered to either corporate or personally-owned ‘bring-your-own’ (BYO) MacBooks.
The mobile worker population is expected to continue to grow as more companies enable mobile workstyles for their employees. With this growth, the presence of BYO devices is also expected to rise. According to Forrester Research, the growth of BYO is expected across many personal devices including tablets and laptops. Forrester expects sales of new laptops used for BYO will grow from over 5 million in 2014 to over 7 million by 2016, significantly expanding the number of BYO laptops already in use within enterprises.
By 2016, Forrester expects the number of employees using their own laptop or tablet to double1, significantly expanding the number of BYO laptops already in use within enterprises. In addition, a recent Citrix survey found that enterprises expect the presence of BYO MacBooks will grow from 5 percent of their employee base today to 16 percent by 20162. Given these trends, it is necessary to provide customers with the ability to extend the delivery of virtual desktops to this fast-growing segment. Unlike other solutions that currently serve this market, Citrix is the only company that can address multiple use cases via local and hosted virtual desktops with centralized management and control.
Key Highlights of Citrix DesktopPlayer
The core value of DesktopPlayer for enterprises is the Synchronizer back-end management tool, which is a robust Web-based system with granular policy controls for deploying, updating, managing and securing virtual desktops that run on a Type-2 hypervisor. With DesktopPlayer, enterprises can now:
Increase User Flexibility and Productivity – Enable mobile employees to use their personal or corporate-issued MacBook for accessing and interacting with locally-installed Windows applications and data, while keeping personal and corporate data separate and secure on the same device. Personal vDisk (PvD) technology within DesktopPlayer enables IT to provide users with the flexibility to install custom or departmental Windows applications and device and printer drivers — without losing central control over the base golden image.
Centralize Management for Corporate or BYO MacBooks – When using XenDesktop with DesktopPlayer, the same Windows virtual desktop can be deployed locally to Mac and PC laptops and managed centrally using the same virtual desktop image library and management infrastructure. With the Synchronizer, the base image is guaranteed to be consistent, significantly increasing patch and update success rates over traditional agent-based PC management. Moreover, with the Synchronizer, the updates are done at the hypervisor layer. Even if there is a problem in the base image, corrupting the OS image and rendering traditional PC management tools ineffective, the Synchronizer can still successfully update the base image.
Add Follow-me Profiles and Data on Any Device – The integration between DesktopPlayer and XenDesktop allows users to seamlessly move between their cloud-hosted and local virtual desktops when using their MacBook. User profile management integration allows for the synchronization of profiles across the hosted and offline virtual desktops. And with the addition of Citrix ShareFile, users can also securely synchronize data seamlessly across all of their devices.
Gain Control over Corporate-owned and BYO Macs – With DesktopPlayer, IT can prevent access to, expire or even remotely wipe local virtual desktops in the event of device loss, theft or when an employee or contractor leaves the company.
DesktopPlayer is the only virtual desktop solution for MacBooks that provides local and offline capabilities, full centralized management and control for IT, and data security. Used with XenDesktop, it provides a powerful combination of the ability to work in a local, offline environment optimized for laptop users, while preserving the ability to access their cloud-hosted virtual desktop from anywhere on any device – whether from a home PC, thin client or public computer.
“DesktopPlayer is the perfect solution for our BYO Mac employees. It’s easy to use and performs very well, and it allows us to provide our corporate Windows image without having to wipe the users’ devices,” says Michael Thompson, Virtualization Engineer, Raymond James Financial.
“The popularity of Apple products in businesses is clearly growing at a brisk pace. Enterprises are deploying desktop virtualization to enable mobile workstyles and manage the diversity of devices that users are bringing into the workplace. With the introduction of DesktopPlayer, these organizations can now address a rapidly growing set of users: mobile employees who need to access their virtual desktops on their MacBooks while disconnected. No other virtual desktop solution on the market provides the centralized management and security that DesktopPlayer and XenDesktop can,” says Calvin Hsu, Vice President, Product Marketing, Desktops and Apps at Citrix
DesktopPlayer is available now as a XenDesktop FlexCast add-on at $75 per user/per device. Download a 90-day free trial of DesktopPlayer and use it with Synchronizer to manage up to ten MacBook Pro or MacBook Air laptops.
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