HP Dives Into Client Virtualization, Offers Mobile Thin Client

Hewlett-Packard just unwrapped several new client virtualization offerings at Citrix Synergy2010, the annual user conference for Citrix, a leading maker of virtualization software. This includes new hardware as well as support for Citrix Xen software.

Specifically, HP (NYSE: HPQ) is supporting Citrix's new XenClient hypervisor technology, which is designed to extend Citrix's desktop virtualization functions further into mobile products. It provides remote access to business applications while maintaining sufficient protection of the data between the client and a secure, centrally managed virtual machine.

HP worked with Citrix to develop new virtual desktop infrastructure(VDI) reference architectures for XenDesktop and XenServer that help reduce the threat of potential data loss or theft, lower the complexity and cost of desktop management and provide end-users with the functionality of a stand-alone desktop.

"When it comes to virtualization of the client, what HP is trying to do is take a more solution-based approach to simplify client-based computing. Rather than supplying components, we're delivering a reference architecture for HP, Citrix and the desktop that lays out a pre-tested desktop. So customers know if they go to deploy this, we've already tested it end-to-end," Jeff Groudan, director of thin clients and client virtualization at HP told InternetNews.com.

The new HP and Citrix VDI reference architectures provide the functionality of a stand-alone desktop but a secured connection between client and server and providing unified management of both physical and virtual infrastructures from one console.

The VDI solution developed by HP and Citrix can handle more than 1,000 users running XenDesktop 4.0, XenServer 5.5 or Provisioning Server 5.1. It will run on HP Blade System c-Class or HP ProLiant servers along with Flex-10 virtual connect technology, HP storage and networking, and a choice of HP clients.

One of HP's new offerings today is in fact a laptop, while the others are desktops. The HP Compaq Elite 8000 Business Desktop and HP EliteBook8440p notebook PC are the first Citrix Ready platforms that support Citrix XenClient hypervisor technology.

HP also announced the HP 4320t Mobile Thin Client. Like the laptop and desktop, all three products are designed to store data on a centralized server rather than on the local PC. The HP 4320t has management software like HP ThinState tools, HP Device Manager and Altiris Deployment Solution software, all designed to let administrators manage the desktop remotely.

The HP 4320t Mobile Thin Client is expected to be available this month. The laptop and desktop are available now for $799 for the desktop and $979 for the laptop.

Andy Patrizio is a senior editor at