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Citrix Rallies Desktop Virtualization Troops with VDI-in-a-Box 5

After quietly sitting on Kaviza since its acquisition last May, Citrix is getting some mileage out of the company by introducing an all-new version of Citrix VDI-in-a-box, and combining the new product with its cloud-based support offering, Citrix GoToManage, which will be used to remotely monitor and support virtual desktop deployments at multiple sites or customer locations.

Also bundled in with this package is news that Citrix has introduced the Citrix Solution Advisor Program, known as SMB Specialist. SMB Specialists will be given access to a vast set of sales tools, free online training and pre-sales support created to help this new group of channel partners--which Citrix will begin certifying in January--engage and service SMB customers.

Citrix further announced that its new SMB initiative also includes widespread support for thousands of Citrix-ready products from business partners such as Dell and Wyse that will offer validated hardware and software solutions consumed by small and midsize businesses.

"The combination of Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5, Citrix GoToManage, the support of a strong Citrix Ready ecosystem, and a new SMB Specialist channel program, all help to extend the benefits of going virtual at the desktop to tens of thousands of small and medium businesses worldwide," the company said.

This announcement, made at the Citrix Summit partner training even, comes at a good time for Citrix, which along with VMware has recently been under high-profile industry pressure from former Citrix employee Simon Crosby and many other critics questioning the true value of VDI due to its expense and complexity.

Citrix acquired Kaviza after president and CEO Mark Templeton met with company officials and admired the efficient, affordable technology behind VDI-in-a-Box, which at the time was renowned for coming in at $500 a seat due to its simple, all-in-one architecture which reportedly eliminated over 60 percent of VDI infrastructures, including management servers--and especially shared SANs. It did this by creating a grid of off-the-shelf servers with direct-attached storage, which clicked nicely with SMB environments.

Citrix says VDI-in-a-Box features the company's HDX technology, adds new wizards to simplify and speed up virtual desktop management, and offers an expanded architecture that supports Hyper-V, XenServer and vSphere ESX and ESXi.

Virtualization Review CTO Blogger and former Kaviza CTO Krishna Subramanian is VP, marketing & business development, SMB, Citrix, and was granted the first quote at the end of the Citrix press release, which indicates that she will likely be in charge of the new unit.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 10/25/2011 at 12:48 PM


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