Definition

Citrix XenClient

Citrix XenClient is a Type 1 (or bare metal) client hypervisor from software provider Citrix Systems. Citrix XenClient virtual machines (VMs) are managed with a product called Citrix Synchronizer.

A client hypervisor allows multiple guest virtual machines to run side-by-side on a single piece of host hardware. The isolated virtual machines allow users to run different operating systems, or to keep secure corporate virtual machines separated from their personal computing environment. The client hypervisor acts as an intermediary for all calls to the process, memory, disk drives, the network, audio components, and USB devices. XenClient can host 32-bit and 64-bit Windows and Linux guest operating systems, and will only run on hardware with Intel processors and certain other limitations, as concurrently running multiple virtual machines is very resource intensive.

Virtual machines hosted by XenClient can be managed by Citrix Synchronizer, which is a virtual appliance that runs on Citrix XenServer. Citrix Synchronizer can back up, synchronize, and deploy virtual machines, utilizing image layering technology and delta-only backups. These capabilities give the same centralized management benefits as a virtual desktop interface (VDI) and because the virtual machines are running locally on users’ hardware, performance is better than when accessed over a network.

XenClient allows a virtual machine to publish applications and make them available to other virtual machines running on the same host hardware, a feature Citrix calls “Secure Seamless.” XenClient is available as a part of Citrix’s XenDesktop product suite, or as a stand-alone product which is free for up to ten users.

Citrix XenClient XT is high-security version of XenClient intended for public-sector environments, augmented by hardware-assisted security features and architecture that ensures greater virtual machine isolation.

Contributor(s): Jack Madden
This was last updated in November 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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