As a former Citrix Engineer and a member of Dell’s Cloud Client Computing PartnerDirect Program, we have worked with Dell for over 2 years to create value for our customers by delivering increasingly innovative technology solutions that improve workforce productivity and agility. XenTegra selected Dell as our hardware partner over the alternatives due to Dell’s focus on solutions in the desktop and application virtualization space verses just a pure hardware push.  XenTegra determined that Dell is the only hardware provider that is able to satisfy all of the hardware needs associated with the needs in our space and can do this for both the SMB and Enterprise spaces.  This week, we are excited to kickoff the New Year at Citrix Summit, where we’ll join Dell and other Citrix partners in exploring new trends in mobility and virtualization. Dell has been fastest-to-market for Citrix XenDesktop releases and we look forward to learning more about the following recently announced solutions later in the week. 

 

Simpler VDI deployment and management plus Dell PowerEdge VRTX

Early last month, Dell announced the availability of a new version of Dell DVS Enterprise for Citrix XenDesktop, which added scripts to make the solution easier to deploy and reduce risk. These scripts, developed on Dell hardware, reduce deployment time by approximately 50% and cut the number of steps by 80%, meaning our customers can deploy Citrix XenDesktop in as little as 1-1/2 hours versus 1-1/2 days, for up to 1,000 users. With new additional management capabilities offered through Dell vFoglight, customers can easily monitor performance, health and user experience for XenDesktop and Dell infrastructure through a “single pane of glass.” 

Dell has also recently completed the reference architecture for the DVS Enterprise VRTX for Citrix XenDesktop, which simplifies VDI infrastructure through a compact but still very robust converged IT solution, designed specifically for on-premise deployments. Customers are able to easily setup and manage the VRTX solution, which arrives cabled and pre-configured for easy installation, making it ideal for small to medium-sized customers with up to 500 users. This week, Dell launched a new training course for partners, as part of their DVS Competency that explains how this solution can benefit customers and expand channel business.

 

Graphics, small and large: any way you want it, that’s the way you need it

The ability to deliver a virtual equivalent to the desktop experience often comes down to one critical factor:  the quality of the user’s graphics experience. In 2013, Dell announced both pass through and shared graphics availability for DVS Enterprise with Citrix XenDesktop using NVIDIA K1/K2 cards and Dell R720 servers, which address the needs of customers for high performance and mid-range needs.

But, as we often hear from our enterprise customers, what about increasing graphics performance for larger numbers of users?  In December, Citrix and NVIDIA revealed the results of a development program that yields higher user densities through virtual shared graphics (vGPU) and Citrix XenServer – as many as 16 users on a single K1 card*. This approach provides a sort of hybrid shared mode, where the GPU is virtualized but the virtual machines still run the native NVIDIA video drivers for better performance, with access to many more graphics application thanks to OpenGL support. When utilizing vGPU, the graphics commands from virtual machines are passed directly to the GPU without any hypervisor translation and without sacrificing server performance. This innovation is a major leap forward in making higher-end graphics performance affordable for all users.  Dell tells us they will be delivering a tested reference architecture for this solution in the next few weeks.

 

Dell and Citrix work together to provide complete solutions

Dell understands that virtualization is not just about desktops.  Working with Dell and Citrix, our goal is to help customers easily deploy and scale next-generation desktop and application virtualization utilizing Dell DVS infrastructure solutions, Dell Wyse thin clients, and Citrix software and solutions.  I invite you to visit the Dell partner portal for more information on Dell solutions for Citrix and to download the latest reference architectures and configuration guide. I also highly recommend using the Cloud Client Computing Partner Advisor tool to configure custom end to end solutions for a variety of customer needs in only a few clicks!

* Taken from NVIDIA testing. Actual numbers on Dell infrastructure to be confirmed in the Reference Architecture.