Citrix announces a technology preview of Project Aruba that extends the simple affordable all-in-one Citrix VDI-in-a-Box with personal vDisk technology to reduce costs by delivering highly personalized virtual desktops with the cost-efficiency of desktop pools.  The solution delivers transforms Windows into a simple VDI-based cloud service .

The industry is rapidly moving from the PC era to the cloud era. Businesses of all sizes want to adopt desktop virtualization and realize its benefits of driving efficiencies, adopting mobile workstyles and improving continuity – but  many face tight budget and resource challenges.

Citrix VDI-in-a-Box address these needs head on.  The VDI-in-a-Box design eliminates multiple moving parts that run up the cost and complexity of VDI. The all-in-one patented VDI grid architecture runs on inexpensive off-the-shelf servers.  Scaling simply involves adding another server, with nothing to rearchitect or reconfigure.

Reduce costs

Project Aruba delivers complete end-user personalization and flexibility while dramatically lowering costs by layering end-user applications and preferences as personal vDisks on cost-efficient desktop pools.  This solution reduces costs and delivers virtual desktops for less than the cost of PCs without compromising  rich end-user experiences.  Key features include:

  • Personalized virtual desktops: You no longer have to choose between consolidating management using desktop pools versus delivering end-users the flexibility to install their own applications and data.  Project Aruba eliminates the need to create separate static desktops to carry forward end-user customization by coupling single-instance management with the ability to have individual user workspaces for their applications and data.
  • Single instance management: Rather than juggling many persistent desktops, IT can maintain one master copy of desktop images while preserving the personalization of user applications and data. This dramatically reduces maintenance efforts and cuts datacenter storage costs up to 90 percent.
  • Support for Windows 2008 R2: Project Aruba manages Windows 2008 R2, Windows 7 and Windows XP –based virtual desktops – enabling customers to select the ideal virtual desktop environment based on compatibility and costs.
  • Cost-effective Windows-as-a-Service with VDI: Project Aruba extends the Citrix vision of enabling Windows-as-a-Service and adds a simple yet highly cost-effective VDI option based on Citrix VDI-in-a-Box to the already successful Citrix Service Provider (CSP) portfolio of hosted-shared desktops with XenApp, and enterprise-class desktop virtualization with XenDesktop.  The newly released reference architecture for Desktops-as-a-Service provides a validated blueprint for service providers looking to deliver VDI-based Desktops-as-a-Service at a fraction of the costs of other alternatives while complying with Microsoft licensing.
  • Windows 8 support (Beta): Project Aruba runs Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 virtual desktops.  All features of Windows 8 including the new Metro interface are fully supported.  Since Windows 8 is not yet generally available, this feature is currently in Beta.
  • Simpler, more flexible: Project Aruba makes management even simpler and more efficient with added features such as access to multiple data stores for optimizing storage, and a touchless DTAgent that updates the desktop agent on all golden images and their desktop instances  automatically when the VDI-in-a-Box software is upgraded.

Citrix is transforming desktop virtualization into a cloud service that can run anywhere.  For smaller customers that want a simple VDI solution, this tech preview combines the  affordable all-in-one VDI-in-a-Box with personal vDisk technology to deliver personalized virtual desktops for less than the cost of PCs.

Citrix has also made available a license migration path from VDI-in-a-Box to XenDesktop for customers that want to extend beyond VDI to leverage the full flexibility of XenDesktop while preserving their investment.  The end-user experience is consistent across both products as both VDI-in-a-Box and XenDesktop use the same HDX stack and Citrix Receiver.

Access the Project Aruba Technology Preview here.