Desktop virtualization may be one of the hottest IT technologies, but the love fest hasn’t captivated engineering, which is fairly adamant about maintaining ownership of its own computers and design data and frankly, more interested in acquiring as much personal processing horsepower as possible.
Citrix, a leader in the virtualization space, is the latest vendor looking to change that with a new 3-D addition to its HDX Technology. HDX 3D technology, available as a feature of Citrix XenDesktop, promises to provide a high-definition virtual desktop experience for even the most demanding professional graphics applications like CAD and simulation. These types of users have typically eschewed technologies like virtualization and thin clients because of concerns around graphics quality, performance and security surrounding critical design intellectual property.
Performance, in particular, has been a big inhibitor to adoption of virtualization technology for 3-D graphics applications. Comparative products, Citrix officials maintain, consume excessive amounts of bandwidth and deliver slow and frustrating performance, especially when it comes to user click and response time over the wide-area network (WAN). XenDesktop with HDX 3D doesn’t suffer from those same performance bottlenecks over a WAN, Citrix officials claim, and over a LAN, the technology consumes 10x less bandwidth than alternatives while still providing a high-definition user experience.
Citrix is hoping engineering departments in industries like manufacturing and architecture along with users of graphic design and animation programs will embrace the technology as a way to help geographically-dispersed teams better collaborate. With XenDesktop and the HDX 3D technology, the operating system, CAD or other 3-D applications and critical design IP can stay safely housed in the data center, while individuals are served up what they need to work on via PC terminals that deliver a desktop experience that can rival that of an individual workstation.