Dell Partners with Citrix to Deliver VDI as an Appliance

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At the Citrix Summit 2016 conference today, Dell announced that it is working with Citrix to bring a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) appliance to market capable of now supporting up to 5,000 users on a platform that fits in a 2u rack.

At the same time, Dell announced that it is adding support for Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business to thin clients running version 8.2 of the Dell Wyse ThinOS operating system.

Dan O’Farrell, senior director of product marketing for Dell Cloud Client-Computing, says while IT organizations have always liked the management flexibility enabled by thin client computing, the cost of setting up, deploying and managing VDI has always been a challenge. By working with Citrix to create a VDI appliance running Citrix XenDesktop, it is now much simpler for IT organizations to deploy and manage a VDI environment, says O’Farrell.

In addition, O’Farrell notes that because it’s configured as an appliance, acquiring a VDI platform is now much simpler because the Citrix XenDesktop software comes embedded on the appliance versus requiring IT organizations to make two separate purchases.

As a result of having an appliance, O’Farrell says Dell also expects that more IT organizations are going to be willing to pilot a VDI environment because the risks in terms of time and effort associated with deploying VDI have been substantially reduced.

In general, O’Farrell says many organizations looking to support mobile devices are taking a second look at thin client computing because running all the applications on an appliance reduces the attack surface they need to secure. In addition, all those mobile computing devices have complicated change management inside most IT organizations. O’Farrell says running everything on an appliance makes it a lot simpler to manage those changes.

Of course, there’s still a lot of resistance to VDI, given existing perceptions about the total cost of ownership associated with accessing applications over a network. But as networks get faster and servers become more robust, the economics of VDI will only continue improve.