Dell and Citrix team up to blow the lid off desktop virtualization

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Note from the Editor: This is the first post in a series of guest blogs from our Alliance partners. Kumar Goswami is the vice president of products at Citrix where he leads the product strategy and development for VDI-in-a-Box. 

Imagine this: you unbox a VDI hardware appliance, power it on, add your Windows desktop images and deploy virtual desktops.  Nothing to architect, no servers to size, no software to install; no separate connection brokers, provisioning servers, Storage Area Networks, or SQL databases to deploy, coordinate or manage.  Scaling simply means adding more appliances.  And you can do all of this with transparent, linear, repeatable performance and pricing—with each virtual desktop costing less than a PC. This is now a reality.

The new Dell DVS Simplified appliance running Citrix VDI-in-a-Box is an integrated Hardware-Software appliance. It couples the grid architecture of VDI-in-a-Box with the efficiency of Dell servers to deliver a simple, cost-effective, and efficient VDI solution that delivers predictable performance and scaling.  The all-in-one design of VDI-in-a-Box eliminates the need for separate connection brokers, provisioning servers, SANs, SQL databases, and load balancers.  Each appliance comes with VDI-in-a-Box software and the hypervisor factory installed, and is validated and rated with the number of desktops it can serve.  You simply snap together as many of the appliances as you need to meet the desktop capacity you require.  High-availability is also built-in, and simply requires a spare appliance in the event of a failure.

This simple, efficient, cost-effective solution brings VDI to the masses and enables many organizations that previously lacked the skills or infrastructure to finally realize the benefits of desktop virtualization.

Why is this so much simpler than traditional desktop virtualization solutions?  Let’s look at all the steps traditionally needed to roll out VDI:

  1. Scope the deployment and determine growth over time.
  2. Architect your solution (consisting of connection brokers, load balancers, provisioning servers, management servers, clustered SQL databases, SANs, etc.)
  3. Size the infrastructure to allow for growth (i.e. over-provision)
  4. Procure all the hardware and software components (servers for running connection brokers, provisioning servers, shared storage, ensure there is proper high-speed interconnects to the shared storage, Windows Server OS, clustered SQL for high availability, VDI software, etc.)
  5. Install all the components.
  6. Configure and make all the various components work with each other.
  7. Create Windows desktop golden images and generate virtual desktops.

Once you have rolled it out and you need to scale the solution you will have to re-visit the deployment and determine which components you will need to add. Do you need more servers to handle the added desktop workload? Another connection broker?  A larger, faster SAN?  What analysis should you do to figure out what components you need to add to deliver the same performance as before?

With Dell DVS Simplified powered by Citrix VDI-in-a-Box, here are your steps for the first deployment:

  1. Scope the deployment.
  2. Buy enough Dell DVS Simplified servers (they are rated with # of desktops they can serve).
  3. Configure one appliance (using a 4 step wizard to provide your Active Directory and domain details)
  4. Create Windows desktop golden images and generate virtual desktops

The all-in-one VDI-in-a-Box architecture eliminates the expertise and resources needed to deploy desktop virtualization.  Each appliance has a built-in connection broker, provisioning software and storage … everything you need so you don’t have to think about it.   You don’t need a performance analyst, network or SAN expert to architect the solution and ensure future growth.  You save time, consulting fees (if you don’t have in-house expertise) and infrastructure costs compared to deploying traditional VDI. 

And you aren’t painting yourself in a corner with this appliance.  When you are ready to grow the deployment, just add more appliances.  This “no think” scaling is a repeatable solution delivering predictable performance whether it is deployed standalone or in a grid of many appliances.  This makes it easy on the administrator and since all that’s needed are more Dell DVS appliances, it’s also very cost effective.

We are excited to launch this solution with Dell and deliver unprecedented simplicity that will reshape the desktop virtualization market.   Try out the new DVS appliance, and let us know what you think!  And visit us at to learn more.

Bob Schultz of Citrix during the partner panel.

About the Author: Kumar Goswami

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