At Summit 2015, Mark Templeton announced the prototype of a mouse named code named “X1”. The mouse is specifically designed for the iOS platform. As many of you probably know, Apple does not support pairing a bluetooth mouse with iOS devices. The X1 mouse bypasses this limitation by allowing users to pair the mouse with the Citrix Receiver app thereby enabling them to use the device with published applications, VDI and Hosted Shared Desktops.
If you look at the enterprise landscape, iOS still dominates the mobile market. While it has always been possible to access Windows applications and desktops via Citrix Receiver, its debatable whether the users are actually productive. With the mobility pack, desktops can be re-skinned to suit the form factor, but it was still not quite where it needed to be in terms of productivity. Not to mention, most native windows applications that have not been customized for the mobile form factor were generally not very usable other than viewing data. Thanks to these limitations, most of us generally had to carry a laptop in addition to our mobile device to get real work done.
The X1 mouse has fundamentally solved these problems. Users can now be fully productive on iOS devices as they can not only view data, but can also quite easily edit and manipulate data. windows applications and desktops (both VDI and hosted shared) are a lot more usable and functional. Walking around with just a tablet is now a reality. I really believe that the X1 mouse will encourage mobility and help move forward Citrix’s vision of a Software Defined Workspace!
If you are reading this, you’ve probably already heard the announcement from Citrix today with regards to the Sanbolic acquistion. I wanted to share my thoughts on how this benefits existing XA/XD customers.
When you look at enterprise customers who have invested in XA/XD, 80-90% of these customers leverage PVS for workload provisioning. One of the most common architectural and operational challenge when it comes to PVS is image management, specifically the replication of images both among local PVS servers and also across datacenters. Customers typically leverage DFS-R/robocopy or some other replication tool provided by their SAN vendor but these solutions present unique challenges and increase cost. Sanbolic’s Melio will immediately help existing customers solve this challenge while also addressing high availability. Sanbolic also helps with image management and high availability for customers leveraging MCS. Today, a number of customers have XA/XD farms built out as DR solutions that are completely under utilized. Sanbolic helps scale out existing XA and XD sites across regions in an active active configuration thereby better utilizing resources and reducing costs.
Another key feature is Sanbolic’s “Software Defined Storage” product, which aggregates and optimizes disparate storage whether in your datacenter, a private cloud, a public cloud (AWS/Amazon/Azure) or a combination of these, through the use of Melio. This will help customers reduce the overall infrastructure costs while delivering optimal performance and addressing DR and HA. Sanbolic has also partnered with Fujitsu, HP and Lenovo to offer hyper converged solutions providing cost effective scale-out solutions.
All in all, this acquisition is extremely exciting and something that will help existing and prospective XA/XD customers build highly redundant, scalable solutions at lower costs while at the same time improving operational efficiencies. Not to mention the infinite possibilities that lie ahead as far as the evolution of Sanbolic under Citrix and how it will be integrated into the Citrix virtualization stack.
No information available yet on product pricing and packaging, but we should be hearing something soon! Stay tuned!