Citrix has released their Type-1 Hypervisor and boy is it a mess. To start things off, a Type-1 Hypervisor is a system that runs on the first layer of a machine, versus a Type-2 that runs on top of an existing OS, such as VMware Workstation or Player.
Back to the product. This thing has more bugs than the rain forest. The release notes show 59 known issues. Why in the world would Citrix release a product outside of the beta stage with 59 known issues? That I’m not sure of, but I’d suspect its a classic case of Marketing dictating product release, not the product dictating it. The release notes listing the Known Issues can be found HERE.
Second, this version requires Intel vPro equipped laptops, dwindling number of compatible systems down to 23. It also only supports VMs running Windows XP, and Vista in 32bit, and Windows 7 is both 32 and 64bit. The list of systems can be found HERE.
Another setback is the fact that major components are experimental features that seem vital to make XenClient successful. The list includes Dynamic VM Image Mode, or the ability to use a gold image shared between multiple users. 3D Graphics Support is also experimental, which HDX is a huge bonus to XenDesktop, so why would it get left out here. Secure Application Sharing, or the ability to stay in 1 VM focus and run apps out of other VMs without having to flip between them. This was an exciting feature for me, and I thought it would be a huge selling point. You can view the list of experimental features and the details about them HERE.
XenClient is available in two flavors. The first is their free version that supports clients called XenClient Express. The full version will be packaged with XenDesktop for free.
Needless to say, I think this is a big step in the wrong direction for Type-1 Hypervisors. It just seems like Citrix was racing to get their product out there and weren’t focusing on making it the best product it could be. I will be looking to avoid deploying this technology from Citrix until a lot of these issues get addressed. I am still exciting about XenClient and where it can go in the future. I just don’t think it’s quite ready for prime time yet. And hopefully, these issues wont give the technology a bad rep.