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Citrix invests in desktop virtualisation startup

Citrix invests in desktop virtualisation startup

Virtual Computer is going after a part of the desktop virtualisation market that Citrix has not yet addressed, analyst says.

Although Virtual Computer relies on virtualization software, the company is describing itself more broadly as a PC life-cycle management vendor.

"In the centralized server, you create one operating system," McCall says. "We try to make it as easy to manage 1,000 computers as it is to manage one."

Citrix currently does not offer a Type 1 or Type 2 desktop hypervisor, instead using a server-based virtual desktop infrastructure, which is completely centralized and streams the entire virtual machine out to clients, Cohen says.

However, Citrix recently began collaborating with Intel to create a Xen-based Type 1 desktop hypervisor, which would be more along the lines of what Virtual Computer has developed.

Virtual Computer's software can virtualize Windows and Linux, letting multiple operating systems run on the same desktop. The vendor's product does not work on thin clients, and does not work with Macs because of licensing issues.

When asked if Citrix and Virtual Computer might forge a go-to-market partnership, Cohen said the relationship is still in its "early stages." Citrix made the investment in Virtual Computer this month after being impressed by the company at last September's VMworld conference.

"The Citrix guys approached us after we launched our product at VMworld and really were interested in how we were doing things and were very attracted to the technology," McCall says.

McCall was previously co-founder of Guardent, a security services vendor acquired by VeriSign in 2004. He stayed on at VeriSign for a couple years as vice president of corporate development before founding Virtual Computer.

McCall's co-founder is CTO Alex Vasilevsky, who was previously co-founder and CTO of Virtual Iron, another Xen-based virtualization vendor. McCall says Virtual Computer plans to make its product generally available by the end of March.


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Tags desktop virtualisationCitrix

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