Citrix Project Avalon, Excalibur and Merlin

I just got home from another exciting Citrix Synergy Barcelona with a lot of new announcements and surely lots of new information to process. While I was processing all the new information I wondered about the components of these three projects and how people should position these projects so I decided to write a blog post about Citrix Project Avalon, Merlin and Excalibur. I wrote a blog post on Avalon a couple of months ago: Citrix: Project Avalon.. Integration is the new innovation!

Project Excalibur

The first key component of Excalibur will be FlexCast 2.0 for Simple, Unified Service Delivery. Excalibur will introduce the new FlexCast 2.0 technology. This is the former Project Jasper which integrates the different products and consoles into one administrative console. The good old IMA will be replaced by FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA) and FMA will be used by all delivery models of XenDesktop and XenApp and the delivery of Windows images to physical desktops.

The second key component of the Excalibur release is about enhancing of HDX for Mobile and Video. These enhancements include new upgrades to HDX Broadcast, HDX RealTime and HDX MediaStream, delivering the new ‘supercodec’ (H.264). Excalibur also features improvements to the company’s HDX Adaptive technology for mobile devices, sensing the device type, processor, GPU, form factor and network connection, and applying the best delivery technology to ensure a brilliant experience at the lowest bandwidth possible.

Third key component is the renewed HDX EdgeSight for Real-time Analytics and Service Visibility. EdgeSight is redesigned so that it’s completely integrated in the new FlexCast 2.0 console. It delivers administrators analytics on the experience of end points and provides trending information.

Fourth key component is support for WS2012 and Win8. The Excalibur release of Avalon includes support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8, as well as Windows 7 and XP or Windows Server 2008 (R2).


Project Merlin

The first of the key components of Merlin is Self-service provision, management and service orchestration. Like I’ve said before automation and orchestration is a key factor in every deployment and especially in a cloud-based environment. Merlin adds this functionality by integrating into Citrix CloudPortal and the Citrix XenApp Cloud Provider pack. This creates the possibility to manage and provision applications and desktops for their different departments or roles. Next to this it will add the option of creating services for their organizations.  It will include the new version of HDX Edgesight for real-time and historic usage reports and analytics.

The second of the key components is an open, scalable, any site, and any cloud architecture. The Merlin release of Project Avalon will be able to transform application and desktop delivery into a cloud service by using CloudPlatform capabilities. By using CloudPlatform we can deliver and support true multi* (tenants, site and cloud) implementations based on specific performance thresholds and we can shift applications and desktops into any mix of public clouds like AWS or Azure.

The last of the key components of Merlin is Mix-and-Match Releases for Uninterrupted Service UpgradesMerlin will run on CloudPlatform so it adds flexibility to XenApp and XenDesktop. Merlin will enable us to mix different Windows Server and Client versions and different XenApp and XenDesktop.

Project Avalon

Basically we’ve got Project Avalon and Project Excalibur is the first release of this project, as Citrix needs a roadmap they’ve identified the second release of Project Avalon as Project Merlin.  In the first release (Excalibur) integration will occur XenApp and XenDesktop will merge into one console together with some new HDX technology as EdgeSight, RealTime and Mediastream. The second release will cloudify the first release enabling the any cloud concept and managed with a cloud-style service orchestration.





I found the following piece of information about availability:

The Excalibur release of Project Avalon will be available as a tech preview to Citrix customers with Subscription Advantage on November 1. The Merlin release of Project Avalon will be available as a tech preview to customers with Subscription Advantage in 1H2013.

Source: Citrix Unveils Next Phase of Project Avalon at Synergy

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Kees Baggerman

Kees Baggerman is a Staff Solutions Architect for End User Computing at Nutanix. Kees has driven numerous Microsoft and Citrix, and RES infrastructures functional/technical designs, migrations, implementations engagements over the years.


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