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Virsto-XenDesktop Combo Imminent

Virsto Software announced its initial support for Hyper-V -- as opposed to VMware -- when the company debuted in 2007, but has subsequently spread the wealth across VMware and Citrix as well. In its latest announcement, Virsto is taking something of a hybrid, best-of-breed approach with an eye on VDI by unveiling a beta version of Virsto for XenDesktop on vSphere.

This move wasn't too difficult to anticipate, given the complementary nature of the Citrix and VMware products. After all, as far back as August of last year, John Fanelli, VP, Product Marketing, Enterprise Desktops and Apps for Citrix declared, "Both XenDesktop 5.5 and vSphere 5 represent the very best technology our respective companies have put forward." Definitely a Kumbaya moment.

Of course, from Virsto's perspective, this is all about using their purpose-built storage hypervisor to carve out market share while saving big bucks for customers on storage in the multi-thousand-seat VDI environments Citrix likes to brag about.

Specifically, Virsto -- which refers to itself as a close partner of Citrix, Microsoft and VMware -- claims, "Virsto is changing the economics of XenDesktop deployments by lowering the storage costs per desktop by more than 50 percent while providing performance gains of up to 10x, and storage utilization gains of up to 10x."

Keys to success here include native support for vSphere 4.1 and 5.0, along with easy-to-use storage management features including virtual machine storage, self-provisioning, automated space reclamation, thin provisioning, and tiering of golden master and user data volumes.

Virsto says that current XenDesktop users can continue using the company's software-only storage hypervisor while employing native Citrix desktop management workflows. As Virsto explains it, this is because Virsto is "seamlessly" compatible with existing workflows, and offers high-performance, space-efficient storage that is instantly provisioned, and fully supports high availability features such as failover, using any existing, block-based storage.

Like all the other vendors looking to capitalize on the burgeoning VDI market, Virsto spins horror stories about pilots failing due to miserable end-user experiences, bloated storage costs, chaotic bootstorms, and forced over-provisioning. The result is a bad situation waiting for a good answer, and Virsto thinks it has that answer.

Now in beta, Virsto for XenDesktop on vSphere will be generally available during Q3 of 2012.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 05/16/2012 at 12:48 PM


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