Citrix announces Provisioning Server, Dell first to OEM it

Ten months after Ardence acquisition, Citrix finally started the integration, launcing a new product called Provisioning Server.

Quoting from the official announcement:

Citrix Systems, Inc., the global leader in application delivery infrastructure, officially unveiled its new Citrix Provisioning Server solution today at the Gartner IT Expo in Orlando, Fla. Based on the innovative OS-streaming technology acquired in its January purchase of Ardence, Inc., Provisioning Server enables IT organizations to dynamically stream datacenter and desktop operating systems and workloads to both virtual and physical machines from a central location. The new solution enables more agile and cost-effective delivery of applications and desktops, and provides an ideal complement to the company’s recently announced acquisition of virtual infrastructure vendor XenSource…

Despite the new branding Ardence technologies are not expected to be integrated into Citrix main product (Presentation Server) until 2009.

At the moment there no technical details neither a release date are available despite Dell announces immediate availability of a new solution based on this product:

On-Demand Desktop Streaming is available today in the United States at an average cost of $1,100 per user. It is a tested and validated solution where operating systems, applications and data are streamed to 100 diskless desktops from a shared, standards-based server. Designed for desk-based workers, such as those in education computer labs and call centers, On-Demand Desktops Streaming eliminates almost all desk-side administration visits because software and data reside in the data center.

On-Demand Desktop Streaming differs from similar offerings by providing centralized IT control and data security without compromising end-user productivity. It also incorporates the company’s breakthrough EasyConnect technology, making client deployment easier by removing manual licensing and enabling an instant boot to the server.

Dell’s On-Demand Desktop Streaming solution is comprised of diskless OptiPlexTM 745 and OptiPlex 755 desktops (available in November), a PowerEdgeTM 2950 server, a PowerConnectTM Gigabit switch, Citrix Provisioning Server for Desktops Software, and a PowerEdge 2900 storage server. Dell is the single source for all components of the solution and offers a complete set of professional services, including pre-sales sizing, assessment, deployment and ongoing support…

This news has to be read along with details about upcoming Citrix strategy about virtualization.

It’s also worth to note how Dell is accelerating its involvement in the industry, being the first to release virtualization bundles like the ones with VMware ESX Server 3i and with Citrix XenExpress OEM Edition, and actively working on standard technologies like the OVF format and a cross-processor V2V migration solution.

Update: Citrix confirmed that at the moment Provisioning Server is the new name for existing Ardence 4.1 SP2 platform. The product will completely drop the Ardence brand once reached 4.5 version, in the near timeframe.