Since the early days of virtualization, people have theorized about the capability of an “escape the VM” type of attack. This is a hacker’s nirvana: to take over a running virtual guest and use it as a base from which to attack the underlying virtual host.
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.
Today, Atlantis Computing moves into the hardware market with a new hyperconverged solution, HyperScale. HyperScale is based on the company’s flagship product, USX. Technically, this solution is not a revolution, but it is an evolution on Atlantis Computing’s part. This is the first time it has delivered an end-to-end bespoke solution that tightly couples certified hardware with its flagship USX product. More to the point, unlike most new entrants into this space, Atlantis has entered straight in with a full product set, multiple-hypervisor support, and three OEM deals. This is in addition to its own Supermicro-based in-house appliance. What’s more, HyperScale has a starting price that does not set your teeth on edge.
Docker recently raised another $95 million in a Round D, even though it is still burning through its Round B cash and hasn’t touched the $40 million it raised in Round C. Docker has now raised roughly $160 million dollars. Analysts have estimated its valuation is somewhere in the $1 billion range. With each round, the investors are higher up on the VC food chain. The latest round includes such big names as Goldman Sachs and Northern Trust. When I asked David Messina, Docker’s VP of enterprise marketing, about this, he said it speaks to Docker’s ability to exceed even its own expectations and to continuously increase the business value of its offerings.
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.
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. Continue reading Workload-Optimized Hyperconvergence for VDI