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.
Articles Tagged with VDI-in-a-Box
Earlier this year, Citrix announced plans to discontinue its VDI-in-a-Box product. VDI-in-a-Box was targeted toward the small and medium business (SMB) market as a simple, all-in-one solution focused exclusively on virtual desktops. This discontinuation has left a gaping hole in the Citrix product stack. Numerous vendors sense blood in the waters and are attacking this market with full strength.
Nivio have announced a DaaS solution aimed at SME space. Offering access to Microsoft Windows on any device, rentable applications, and data storage in the cloud, it sounds as if Nivio’s service could be just the ticket for the tablet wielding, dead-PC shunning organisations with a workforce who have their own devices, and need to team collaboration with access to Windows based applications.
The thing is, this road has been trodden before: it is a rocky one. OnLive attempted to offer a solution and failed. Even Desktone had a strategy that attempted to directly appeal to this segment but found the return on effort too miserly.
Yet, Nivio have created a service offering delivering Windows applications to Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. A web service providing common file storage to store user and group files for that can be syncronised to devices to work offline for editing directly, or automatically made available within the public cloud hosted Windows desktop service. A desktop service that has an on-demand, rentable application interface. User management is in your own hands. While Nivio are targeting their market at the 20-50 user sized organisation space which suggests small business, Nivio are getting a number of calls from project teams in larger organisations.
What are Nivio doing that is different? Will this model be successful? What, if anything, can be learned by other DaaS providers, and what in turn could be learned by Nivio?
VDI is expensive and complicated; at least it used to be. Cost is no longer the issue that it was with the cost of data center hardware falling from over $1,000 per desktop a couple of years ago to a fraction of the cost of a budget PC today. Complexity however has been rising as multiple third-party components have been integrated into the mix to bring the price down. As cost falls so VDI becomes more attractive especially to budget conscious SMB customers, at the same time though as complexity has increased, the willingness and ability of these new customers to successfully deploy and maintain VDI has fallen. This has proven to be a boon for DaaS providers who can abstract the complexity of VDI behind a simple to consumer service, and are as a consequence seeing significant increase in traction.
In the face of declining PC revenues and slowing storage sales VMworld San Francisco saw the launch of two new Wyse P Class Zero Clients, two new EqualLogic hybrid storage arrays and three new reference architectures optimized for VMware View, signaling a clear intent from Dell that it is getting serious about VDI.
The IT world is forever creating catchy new terms to label technologies in the hope that it will better communicate some vital marketing message. Sometimes this approach works, with few exceptions everybody understands what is meant by “thin client” and “zero client” even when the details of the implementation are wildly different – a Dell Wyse Xenith 2 zero client and a Pano Logic G2M zero client may have widely diverging approaches to delivering a zero configuration plug and play experience, but their appliance-like nature and operational benefits are the same. Sometimes it doesn’t; regardless of the merit of the technology it describes, type 0 hypervisor is a term that should be banished from any technical dictionary. And sometimes its too soon to tell. Microvisor is a term used to describe two very different virtualization technologies offered by Bromium and OK Labs that could conceivably compete in the same marketplace at some point in the future. So what about “Cloud Client”? Wikipedia does a good job of defining Cloud Client