There has been a rumor flying around the twitterverse and other social media outlets that Cisco is about to announce that it is buying Nutanix. This rumor started circulating when a report from a Portland-based equity research firm was released, opining that as a last post, John Chambers was going to buy Nutanix. Now, as good a story as this is, it is a story, as the analyst quotes no sources. He is, however, quite bullish about the possibility and argues confidently that an announcement will be made as soon as the .NEXT Conference in June.
Two weeks ago, Virtualization Practice Analyst Jo Harder mourned the passing of Citrix VDI-in-a-Box and forecasted that its target SMB market would look to hyperconverged infrastructure appliances to deliver complexity-free VDI. Dell clearly had the same thought, because just one week later, it announced the Dell Appliance for Wyse – vWorkspace (DAW vW), a self-contained hyperconverged infrastructure appliance designed specifically for small businesses and K–12 education customers (see my initial assessment: Dell Appliance for Wyse — Business-Class VDI). Capable of supporting 200 virtual desktops or 350 RDSH sessions, DAW vW is everything Jo was looking for when she asked “How will Citrix enter the hyperconverged infrastructure market and address those VDI-in-a-Box customers?” Everything except for one thing: Dell’s new appliance isn’t based on XenDesktop. It runs Dell’s universal VDI/RDSH broker, vWorkspace. But now, just seven days after it announced DAW vW, Dell has come back to answer Jo’s specific question by announcing Dell Appliance for Wyse – Citrix (DAW C), a self-contained hyperconverged infrastructure appliance designed specifically for small businesses using XenDesktop instead of vWorkspace.
Toward the beginning of last month, I compared the costs of DaaS and VDI, suggesting that the difference was too small to declare a winner. The three-year cost of a bare-bones DaaS service, like Amazon WorkSpaces, comes in at about $315,000, not so far off from the $380,000 list price of a VMware EVO:RAIL–based VDI platform with plenty of room to lower the cost of VDI to something far more attractive. I had intended to follow up with an article on how to deliver a VDI solution for less than the cost of an equivalent number of enterprise-class desktop PCs. Well, I needn’t have bothered, because Dell has announced the Dell Appliance for Wyse, a turnkey VDI solution that brings the cost of VDI down to half the cost of a desktop PC.
Dell FluidFS is a scalable NAS software storage solution sold as an independent front end to Dell’s storage offerings (Compellent and EqualLogic). FluidFS provides file-level access to Dell Compellent and EqualLogic traditional block-based arrays, using protocols like SMB and NFS. FluidFS is also where Dell has chosen to implement technologies like deduplication and compression (which it calls “Fluid Data Reduction”), as well as more complicated security protocols and models.
The Dell PowerEdge FX2 is a 2U rackmount blade chassis with a common infrastructure allowing servers and storage to share power, cooling, network switching, and chassis management. When it was announced last fall, there were two options: the FC630 two-socket, half-width Xeon blade, and the FM120x4, an Intel Atom–based microserver option. Dell quietly started shipping two additional modules this week. The FC430 is a two-socket, quarter-width Xeon blade, allowing up to eight servers in the FX2, for a total of 224 cores. The FD332 is a direct-attached disk module that contains up to two RAID controllers and sixteen 2.5-inch drives, assignable to the compute nodes inside the FX2.
It’s hard to believe, but this week’s NVIDIA showcase, the GPU Technology Conference (GTU), might be the biggest VDI conference of the year. This year, there are forty-nine sessions covering GPU virtualization for desktop workloads. Yes, that’s right: VDI is as big at GTC as it was at both Citrix Synergy and VMworld last year. Continue reading GTC: The Biggest VDI Conference of the Year