Part of how Ardence works is based on PXE Boot. The PXE standard was created in 1999 by Intel and Systemsoft. The intent was to standardize the interfaces and mechanisms to allow for different environments to be remotely booted. The idea builds heavily on DHCP and TFTP with a focus on enabling boot code to come from a server instead of a local device.
As usual, there is a great writeup on PXE at Wikipedia.
I have past experiences with network booting based on my reseller stint during 1997-99. We actually had DOS clients that were booting off of a server to connect to MetaFrame. It was tricky to setup but the standardization always made things easier and consistent.
PXE takes it to a new level and enables developers to not only build network boot systems but also to implement streaming of operating systems as well. Obviously Ardence leverages this idea.
In the coming weeks I am going to learn more about Ardence and share the results with you. I have been tipped off that Ardence is probably Citrix’s greatest untapped resource. The source is usually correct.
To give you a place to start to learn a bit more about how Ardence technology works, please check out this podcast from Brian Madden with Pete Downing.