About 4 years ago when I started investigating the virtual desktops technology, there were some brave souls who were assembling the piece parts themselves to try to make something happen. A lot has happened since then – there are now viable options that customers have used to obtain large scale virtual desktop implementations.

So, what’s next? Solutions…

In order for a technology and product sets to go mainstream faster, customers need the products to be turned into solutions. This is true especially for something like desktop virtualization, which has inherent complexity due to multiple moving parts and challenges the norms of traditional desktop computing. In my assessment, for every customer who prefers to pick the best of breed products and integrate it for their own infrastructure; there are 10 (yes, I made it up – but pick you double digit number here) that prefer integrated solutions with ideally plug-n-play experience.

We are not quite there in terms of the availability of plug-n-play solutions; however, we have now entered the phase where the customers will drive the creation of these solutions – with a goal of having a simpler experience in adopting and scaling virtual desktops. And, all these solutions will continue to drive desktop virtualization to mainstream reality.

HP joins Citrix & Microsoft to offer 2 solutions and a reference architecture

Earlier this week, HP joined Citrix-Microsoft and added their own special sauce to offer customers solutions to get started with virtual desktops. Customers who are looking for easy path to virtual desktops can now leverage two offers from HP – VDI Ignite and VDI Activate.

VDI Ignite: Get your virtual desktop strategy and pilot for as little as $10K

VDI Ignite combines the Citrix and Microsoft Kick Start offer (250 seats for only $28 per user) with HP’s Client Transformation Workshop for only $10,000. Customers can get their strategic vision defined for transforming their desktop computing environment in addition to getting the software infrastructure for the first 250 users. It is a great solution for customers who are looking to define their strategy and are unsure about when and how to start.

VDI Activate: Get your virtual desktop strategy provides along with a 250 user implementation for only $26K

For only $26000, customers can not just determine the right virtual desktop strategy, but also get 250 users up and running with HP client services. VDI Activate includes the VDI Ignite offer, the 250 licenses and HP’s Client Transformation Workshop, plus it adds implementation services from HP to rapidly bring a virtual desktop solution to life in a customer’s environment. This is a perfect solution for customers who are ready to start and can now get their first 250 users implemented as a pre-packaged solution.

These offers are based on a new Reference architecture for deploying virtual desktops with XenDesktop 4 with Hyper-V on HP server and storage infrastructure. The reference configuration is the backbone of the solution – it provides the basis on which customers can implement virtual desktops. This architecture is great for customers who are just getting started or those who want to scale their server, storage and networking architecture to thousands of virtual desktops overtime. Bottom line – HP stands behind these configuration and these configurations offer proven starting points for reducing implementation risk, provide tuned configuration for predictable performance and list best practices for ensuring increased user productivity.

The availability of a scalable reference architecture and a solution with strong endorsement from Microsoft means all good news for virtual desktops, rapidly going into mainstream. Good times for all of you who are in it or are going into it now – it continues to get simpler, scalable and more cost effective.

Click for more details on VDI Ignite and VDI Activate.