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Citrix: Gordon Payne on VDI

I ran across an interesting blog from Gordon Payne, the GM of Citrix’ Delivery Systems Division. I always like to see senior managers in a company blogging although the quality can vary. I found this one to be a bit more sales-pitch oriented in tone than some other executive blogs I’ve seen… forgivable as long as the information is in there (which in this case it is.)

First a little history. I met Gordon years ago when he was heading up a VOIP startup company called Tundo and I was an analyst covering IT and telecom convergence. Gordon also had a stint with telecom giant Nortel Networks. It’s interesting to note how many people with communications backgrounds are now working in one capacity or another in the VDI space (but not particularly surprising given how telecom-intensive the market is).

A couple of data points that caught my eye:

-- A single shared server for XenApp can generally accommodate 300-400 users whereas VDI using XenDesktop) is limited to 30-50 users per server.

-- Payne says that early VMware VDI solutions “seemed designed to increase IT's spend on back end storage” but states that “XenDesktop has been architected to optimize storage requirements by dynamically assembling users' desktop at the time when they logon. The only unique storage required for each user is their profile and application data.” However, it’s worth noting that VMware is also moving in this direction.

-- Citrix is working with the Xen.org, Xen Client Initiative (XCI) to create embedded hypervisors for laptops, PC's and PDAs. It would be interesting to see how this effort squares with what VMware is up to with its acquisition of Trango.

-- A third party evaluation of XenDesktop is available at this web site (Infoworld)  

Posted by Tom Valovic on 11/30/2008 at 12:49 PM


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