In a much needed change of direction, Citrix has taken the training wheels off VDI-in-a-Box (VIAB) and is allowing it to compete unfettered against XenDesktop.
Citrix has struggled to position VDI-in-a-Box since it acquired Kaviza in 2010. In a move seen by many as an attempt to protect its flagship product XenDesktop from encroachment by its internal competition, Citrix first marketing VIAB as a pure SMB solution targeted at deployments of no more than 300 desktops. This cap was later raised to 500 and then 3,000 desktops as system integrators pushed back against Citrix, recognizing that VIAB was both capable of meeting most customers needs and a far less daunting proposition to take on (and hence sell) than XenDesktop. at the same time though, Citrix hobbled VIAB by excluding it from resellers sales quotas and failing to offer a a licensing upgrade from it to XenDesktop for customers needing XenDesktop’s greater flexibility (although in practice there appears to have been a tacit understanding that customers would be allowed to upgrade if they asked).
Dell has joined the the highly competitive and technically diversified single box desktop virtualization market in partnership with Citrix to package VDI-in-a-Box as a virtual appliance. The somewhat awkwardly named Dell “DVS Simplified 1010” appliance is built on the Dell PowerEdge R710 rack server that comes pre-installed with Citrix XenServer 5.6 and VDI-in-a-Box 5.0.
Dell already offers VMware View as part of its Flexible Client Solutions offering that can be ordered online as part of a standard server package. However, the simplified in everything but name, DVS Simplified 1010 goes considerably further delivering it as a dedicated plug-and-play appliance.
The agility and scalability of virtual desktops enable use cases that are not possible with a physical desktop environment. However, introducing a virtual desktop infrastructure is complex. Time-scales can be long, resource requirements high.
In an effort to relieve the discomfort for customers and partners VMware have introduced a Rapid Desktop Program. This program looks to validate View Proof of Concept appliances to ensure that they meet criteria for performance and reliability. By removing the complexity of the “I”, an organisation can focus better on the assessment of virtual desktops and in turn deliver faster .
Pivotv3 are the first to release an appliance that has been validated by the Rapid Desktop Program. How does Pivot3’svSTAC VDI allow you to overcome common issues with VDI projects? Is this likely to improve take-up of VDI? And, this is an appliance, such devices are normally associated with big enterprise solutions – is this only a big enterprise solution?
Just in time for the major desktop virtualisation event known as VMworld, Citrix have announced the release of XenDesktop 5.5 as part of their desktop virtualisation trifecta. This latest release is truly an advanced and feature rich VDI solution, but it is not the only VDI offering Citrix has.
Like a new college student, fresh from the flush of new found freedom to expand their horizons, Citrix appear to have had a case of the munchies. First Citrix’s portfolio was extended with the acquitisition of Kaviza. More recently, the purchase of RingCube. The desktop virtualisation techhnologies acquired will help strengthen Citrix’s virtualised desktop offering. VDI-in-a-box offering simplicity of deployment, providing options for the SMB and MSP spaces; and vDesk providing a layering functionality giving greater VDI scalability with an improved personalisation offering.
While there has been little innovation in the XenApp line since v6.0 to date, the proposed next release (XA 6.5, “Iron Cove”) is slated to offer improved administration and service management – but perhaps importantly include a more “Windows 7” feel for Presentation Virtualisation (RDS/TS) sessions.
One of the initial announcements at Citrix Synergy was that Kaviza,who developed one of the first all-in-one “VDI-in-a-Box” solutions for small and medium business, have been acquired by Citrix. The acquisition adds a fast-track VDI-only solution to the Citrix portfolio. The Kaviza “VDI-in-a-Box” product is billed as complementing the Citrix’s XenDesktop product line for enterprise-class desktop virtualization.