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
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.
Last year’s EVO:RAIL specification from VMware marked the commoditization of hyperconverged infrastructure appliances (HCIAs). In the months that followed, seven new HCIAs were launched, all sharing a common hardware and software specification, with only minor differentiation to distinguish one product from the next. However, while EVO:RAIL has marked the commoditization of hyperconverged infrastructure platforms for general-purpose server workloads, it has not done the same for VDI. In creating EVO:RAIL, VMware has overlooked the growing importance of support for GPU virtualization in VDI. This has left the market open for innovative appliance vendors to build new high-performance VDI appliances, for which the hardware matters just as much as the software.
For years, the Citrix Systems cheerleading team waved its pom-poms to the resounding chant of “Any, Any, Any!” Any app, anywhere, on any device, knowing all too well that while it could deliver apps anywhere and on any device, its ability to do so for anything other than Windows apps was nothing more than some well-crafted marketing hype.
Last month at the VMware EUC analyst day in Boston, I had the opportunity to discuss VMware’s extension of support for its Horizon VDI platform to enterprise Linux desktops. While what was shared is under NDA, it’s worth looking at why VMware is making this move.
During a recent briefing from a DaaS startup, I was surprised to hear the vendor report that he was seeing interest from enterprise customers looking to DaaS because they were unable to make the numbers work for a server-hosted desktop virtualization solution. This baffles me. I’m hard-pressed to think of many current circumstances where it is not possible to deliver a VDI solution for less than the cost of a comparable managed distributed desktop implementation. I’m even more puzzled that anyone believes that it is possible to deliver DaaS for less than the cost of VDI, at least not without some degree of legerdemain. I’ll come back to the question of cost comparison between VDI and distributed desktops and how to deliver low-cost, high-performance VDI next week, but for now let’s look at the DaaS vs VDI comparison.