Citrix Synergy 2019: Citrix launches desktop as a service tool with Microsoft Azure

Expanded partnership also means day-one Citrix support for soon-to-be-released Windows Virtual Desktop

Virtualisation firm Citrix has built on its partnership with Microsoft to launch a desktop as a service (DaaS) tool that aims to give employees access to a virtual desktop loaded with Windows-based apps.

Citrix Managed Desktops, jointly built with Citrix and Microsoft technology exclusively on the Azure public cloud platform, offers remote Windows sessions managed by Citrix. Moreover, the project aims to cut down the proximity between users and their data by tapping into Azure cloud data centres.

"While Citrix provides a broad range of powerful, flexible virtual app and desktop solutions, Citrix Managed Desktops is all about simplicity and speed of delivery," said Citrix product manager Kireeti Valicherla.

"This cloud-hosted solution is a turnkey service that enables any organization with any level of IT expertise to quickly deliver Windows-based applications and desktops to their workforce.

"Architected as a one-stop, pay-as-you-go service, it includes everything you need to securely deliver desktops and applications to any device from the cloud with simplicity."

The DaaS platform, announced at the company's annual Synergy conference, also comes in addition to day-one support for the widely-touted Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) platform that Microsoft has been teasing for several months.

Citrix's own DaaS tool will be based on a Windows Server desktop ahead of Microsoft's WVD release in order to give a seamless transition to customers. This innovation is described as the only license on the market where businesses can host Windows 10 desktops on the public cloud.

Microsoft's corporate vice president for enterprise experiences and management Brad Anderson and Citrix's chief product officer PJ Hough walked conference delegates through the service in an on-stage demonstration.

They showed audience members how Citrix Managed Desktops allows IT administrators to create a new catalogue, assign users, select an Azure region, pick out a Windows 10 image, add custom applications to it, and then invite users to the newly-created virtual desktops.

Meanwhile, the DaaS platform is being primed to appeal to Citrix's channel business, with the service being built for partners to repackage and deliver to their own customers.

"We know that's going to be really important," Hough added. "We've also thought about contingent workers, mergers and acquisitions, so we expect enterprises to receive a mixture of traditional apps and desktops and Citrix Managed Desktops."

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