Citrix was the first of the big players to release a Type 1 hypervisor for desktops with the first release of XenClient, but it’s limited hardware compatibility list and the high cost for the equipment it did support was a major limiting factor in it’s success. MokaFive claims to have a type 1 hypervisor but without the backing of one of the big players it is having limited success, the same goes for NXtop. VMware had promised a type one for years and has since gone back to claim that the Type 2 Workstation is the future, with options like offline mode for View being a good enough solution.
This week Citrix dropped the gauntlet on the competition with the release of XenClient2 and XenClient XT. Xen Client 2 supposedly will support 45 million systems and with the integration with Syncronizer you can truly present a enterprise and a personal computer completely isolated from each other on the bare metal of a laptop. You also get enhance video card support with the support of AMD chipsets. While the release of XenClient2 gives us more access the XenClientXT release is the one that could have some of the most impact, especially for those of us inside the Beltway. The ability to have secure access to multiple enclaves with a single device from a company that is already presenting virtual desktops within these same enclaves could result in closing a hole in the O-zone layer just by not having 5 computers under the desk of every federal employee that works with classified data.
Is the type 1 hypervisor ready for production? That is probably still to be seen, and we need some healthy competition to help us see it grow but this is definitely a significant step towards a new paradigm in endpoint computing.