Amid the fanfare of its iForum conference at Orlando's Disney World, thin-client software vendor Citrix Systems has unveiled the latest enhancement to its MetaFrame product line. What's more, the Citrix Secure Gateway technology was developed locally in Australia.
As the name suggests, the Secure Gateway provides a secure link for users accessing a company's applications via the Web. The product will be bundled with Citrix's application delivery server, MetaFrame, or offered as a free upgrade to Citrix Subscription Advantage customers.
Development on the Secure Gateway began in April, said Martin Duursma, vice president and general manager of Citrix's Advanced Products Group, with the product expected to be ready for shipping by December.
Duursma says Secure Gateway provides existing MetaFrame users with an alternative to the vendor's standalone virtual private network (VPN) product, Extranet. The product sits between a company's firewall and its application server farm. The Secure Sockets Layer encodes the Citrix Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) traffic travelling between the user and a company's servers. ICA is the protocol used to send keystroke, screen refresh and mouse click information from the client to the server when using an application.
"We already had Extranet, but the problem there is you need to install [an ICA client] on the user's device - every notebook, every desktop and so on," says Duursma. "Customers kept asking us 'is there a way we can access applications without having to install software on the device?' "The Secure Gateway follows a number of key technologies developed in Citrix's Sydney office, including Project Jardine Citrix's Windows XP integration software, its Zero Latency technology, some NFuse modules and the ICA clients used by Citrix's new portal offering, South Beach.
Sydney is one of eight global development centres for Citrix, specialising in the vendor's more cutting edge technology.
While Duursma was reluctant to reveal how much Citrix had invested in designing Secure Gateway, a team of 12 software developers worked full time on the project.
Richard Noone travelled to Orlando as a guest of Citrix Systems