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Citrix Migration Service aims to lure VMware Horizon shops

Citrix rolled out its new Migration Service this week to make it easier for VMware Horizon customers to make the jump.

VMware Horizon customers now have an easier way to switch to Citrix XenDesktop.

Citrix rolled out its new migration service this week, which allows users to migrate from VMware's Horizon to Citrix XenDesktop in less than 15 minutes, without any interruption in productivity, according to the company.

The move follows VMware's campaign last year to get Citrix XenApp users to switch to Horizon.

Once a customer has XenDesktop licenses, they can migrate. The goal is to create a service that does not cause any difference in the end-user experience, whether it's on premises or through the cloud, a company spokesperson said.

Citrix's migration tool exports applications and desktop settings from Horizon. Users can select their Horizon reference machine and a Citrix reference machine, along with all appropriate credentials and the desktops, applications, settings, icons and other customized assets will be carried over automatically.

"Folks in IT can be hesitant to replace an entire solution because it can require a lot of heavy lifting," said Robert Young, an analyst with IDC, a research firm in Framingham, Mass. "They aren't chomping at the bit to do a migration process. There is a lot of cost to ripping out and replacing a solution."

A migration process can be a "forklift operation," Young added. Citrix needed to make a bold move to compete with VMware, who has made gains in the virtual client computing space, he said.

The new service is free and is being rolled out with a promotion of 50% off of licenses when VMware shops switch to Citrix Workspace. The Workspace software bundle includes XenDesktop and XenApp, in addition to its enterprise mobility management solution, XenMobile, and data sharing technology, ShareFile.

Most consultants that I talk to, and myself, honestly, wouldn't trust the conversions as they can carry a big amount of baggage that you didn't intend to happen.
Matt KoshtDirector of IT at an Alaskan utility company

It's interesting that Citrix even made this tool, said Matt Kosht, director of IT at an Alaskan utility company, and a Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp customer. Citrix might be  acknowledging its competition gaining traction in the market despite being so dominant in the space, Kosht said.

"It's another tool in the toolbox and it's good to have weapons like this if it makes it easier to move from VMware," he said. "Most consultants that I talk to, and myself, honestly, wouldn't trust the conversions as they can carry a big amount of baggage that you didn't intend to happen."

As IT professionals are typically not eager to make such migrations, Kosht said the Citrix Migration Service is appealing as it may take off some of the load admins are faced with.

Citrix also unveiled its Workspace Cloud Browser Apps Service last week to deliver secure remote access to both internal and external Web applications. The company said the tool allows users to deliver Web and software as a service apps without compromising performance or security.

Ramin Edmond is a News Writer for TechTarget covering the mobile enterprise space. Email him or follow him on Twitter @TheRealRamin.

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