Dynamic virtualization solution provider Citrix has developed the VDI-in-a-Box 5, that entrenches a strategy that extends into a new channel specialization, an ecosystem of partners and a solution for the SME market.

blankCitrix offers a whole new and varied set of products, solutions and programs designed to help small and medium-sized businesses move from the PC era to the cloud age, capitalizing on the benefits of desktop virtualization.

A central element of the SME initiative is the new version of Citrix VDI-in-a-Box, the simple virtual desktop solution, accessible and comprehensive designed specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises. VDI-in-a-Box 5 is Citrix's first release of its market-leading desktop virtualization product following the acquisition of Kaviza in May 2011.

In addition, Citrix has announced a new solution that combines Citrix VDI-in-a-Box and the Citrix GoToManage cloud-based support offering, making it easier for managed service providers and IT staff to monitor and provide remote support for virtual desktops across multiple sites or customer locations.

To help further boost penetration in this fast-growing market segment, Citrix has also released a new channel partner specialization for the Citrix Solution Advisor Program, called SMB Specialist (SME Specialist). SME specialists will have access to a comprehensive set of sales tools, free online training and pre-sales support specifically focused on helping them convince and assist SME customers.

The new Citrix SMB initiative also includes support for thousands of Citrix Ready products from leading technology partners such as Dell and Wyse that will offer a variety of hardware and software solutions that are easy to use for small and medium-sized businesses. The combination of Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5, Citrix GoToManage, supporting a strong Citrix Ready ecosystem and a new SME specialist program will help extend the benefits of "virtual becoming" on the desktop of tens to thousands of small and medium-sized businesses around the world.

A single solution is useless for everyone
As the industry makes the move from the PC era to the era of the cloud, cloud service providers and large enterprises are using desktop virtualization to centrally manage and deliver virtual desktops and applications as a service for any user, on any device and in any location. Small and medium-sized enterprises want to adopt desktop virtualization for the same reasons as large enterprises (to reduce desktop management costs, improve security and streamline business), but they often consider enterprise-class solutions exaggerated for smaller environments.

Citrix acquired Kaviza in May 2011 because it shared its founders' view that the SME market has unique IT challenges that cannot be addressed with the "same model for all" approach. Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5 is tailor-made for SMEs customers. Its simple and complete architecture eliminates 60 percent of VDI's costs without compromising features such as the user experience, security and high availability required for customers of all sizes.

With VDI-in-a-Box 5, Citrix offers the best virtual desktop solution for SME customers, along with specially designed solutions, channel programs and technology partners that ensure success for customers of all sizes. The new Citrix SMB initiative includes cost-effective and simple virtual desktops: Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5, is the all-inclusive virtual desktop solution, simple and cost-effective for SMEs. Deploys from a single server and includes everything Windows administrators need to quickly deliver centrally managed virtual desktops anywhere, anytime, on any device – for less than the cost of acquiring new PCs.

VDI-in-a-Box 5 provides a high-definition user experience with Citrix HDX Technology, supports more than one billion consumer and business devices through the Citrix Receiver software client and ensures high availability. Its vastly simplified design eliminates more than 60 percent of traditional enterprise VDI infrastructure (including management and shared storage servers, known as SAN) by creating a set of ready-to-use servers with direct, perfect attached storage for SMEs environments.

The latest release adds new features that aim to greatly simplify virtual desktops (new wizards to further simplify and accelerate virtual desktop management for Windows administrators, an open and expanded architecture that includes support for the three major hypervisors (Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere, ESX and ESXi). Delivered as a fully integrated Citrix solution, backed by the world's recognized hands-on experience and support from the market leader in desktop virtualization.

VDI-in-a-Box 5 also provides remote support and management: to help channel partners, managed service providers and IT administrators support SMB customers, Citrix GoToManage has new dashboards and alerts that facilitate remote support and monitoring of Citrix VDI-in-a-Box servers and virtual desktop deployments at any time, from anywhere. GoToManage continuously records key health and performance data on physical and virtual infrastructure, and thus helps users always be productive. Alerts can be configured to provide an "early warning system" that gives IT professionals time to troubleshoot and make configuration changes before users are affected. With the GoToManage Remote Support module it's easy to securely establish and access (over the Internet) to all VDI-in-a-Box servers from a PC, Mac or iPad.

The app also provides a channel focused on SMEs: Citrix invites partners to join Citrix Solution Advisor program as SMB Specialist to help SMB customers discover all the benefits of desktop virtualization. Training, it's done online, it's fast and free. SMB Specialists can quickly start and develop an assessment for customers using the free trial, in addition to taking advantage of customer videos and testimonials, key marketing resources and online forums with tips and best practices.

It also has an ecosystem of partners to facilitate virtual desktop deployments: A key component of Citrix's SME strategy is working with a partner ecosystem to develop validated peer-to-peer solutions, customers can easily buy and consume. Dell and Citrix's VDI-in-a-Box solution, currently available through Dell, combines Dell-validated server configurations and Citrix VDI-in-a-Box software into easy-to-use reference architectures, thus helping SMEs adopt desktop virtualization while addressing deployment complexity and removing capital cost barriers.

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by • 15 nov, 2011
• section: Infrastructure