McAfee and Citrix announced a strategic partnership and collaboration agreement to make secure virtual desktop and make it scalable for large enterprise deployments, according to a release. The collaboration will enable Citrix XenDesktop customers to extend management of desktop security to virtual environments using the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator platform.

As part of the solution, Citrix plans to collaborate with McAfee to develop security solutions for VDI-based virtual desktops that centralise all virus scanning and virus signature file updates, off-loading the processing intensive actions from the individual VMs.

The results of the collaboration are planned for release late in the second half of 2010 and will be designed to secure XenDesktop deployments on any of the three leading hypervisors - Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware ESX.

In addition, McAfee and Citrix are collaborating to develop hypervisor-native detection capabilities into Citrix XenClient and Citrix XenServer. The McAfee Management for Optimised Virtual Environments (MOVE) platform will take advantage of these enhanced hypervisor-native capabilities.

"Customers are looking for simpler, scalable security as they expand their virtual desktop deployments across the enterprise. With this partnership, customers will benefit from complete integration of best in class security capabilities from McAfee and the most comprehensive market-leading desktop virtualisation solution with XenDesktop.

Combined with the new hypervisor-native integration in XenClient and XenServer, we are working to raise the bar in virtual desktop security industry-wide," said Raj Dhingra, group vice president and general manager of the XenDesktop product group at Citrix.

"Together, we are delivering security solutions to make virtual desktop management simpler, more scalable and lower cost to ensure mainstream adoption of desktop virtualisation."

"The McAfee and Citrix partnership addresses the real-life scenarios of unexpected resource utilisation due to on-access scanning of files when checking for malware," said Bryan Barney, executive vice president of product operations.

"Enterprises should no longer need to choose between providing basic endpoint protection over density of virtual desktops. McAfee and Citrix are working to provide enterprises with greater operational efficiencies and cost-saving management and innovation."