With all the excitement around the upcoming XenDesktop Excalibur release, you may be wondering: what about VDI-in-a-Box? Well, the team is hard at work on many new and exciting features, and I would like to give you an opportunity for a sneak peek of what’s coming: announcing Project Curacao, a tech preview of VDI-in-a-Box.

Project Curacao is coming soon in early May and will deliver the same simple, all-in-one VDI solution that greatly reduces cost and complexity of a typical VDI deployment. The tech preview will extend VDI-in-a-Box to provide full Windows 8 support with HDX connections, personal desktops (PVD) on Windows 8, Single Sign-On for remote users through Citrix NetScaler/Access Gateway, and a new wizard-based SSL certificate installation and management. Below are details of these features:

Full Windows 8 virtual desktop support

VDI-in-a-Box has supported RDP connections to Windows 8 virtual desktops from day one when Microsoft released Windows 8. Project Curacao adds HDX connection to Windows 8 virtual desktops, along with numerous other HDX enhancements  in areas of video quality and bandwidth efficiency, H.264 encoding in HDX SuperCodec, DirectX 3D application support, etc. Now VDI-in-a-Box users can enjoy the same high-definition, high-performing HDX technology on the latest Windows platform.

We are also adding personal desktop support for Windows 8. Personal desktops integrates Citrix Personal vDisk technology with VDI-in-a-Box and provides end-users the ability to install applications as they did with their physical desktops. This feature currently works on Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere hypervisors.

Single Sign-on for remote users

Providing remote access to end-users is a key part of Citrix’s vision of enabling mobile workstyles, and Single Sign-On (SSO) is an important aspect of a remote experience. VDI-in-a-Box already enables SSO on Citrix Receiver for remote users coming in through Citrix NetScaler/Access Gateway. Project Curacao adds SSO for remote users connecting from a browser web interface through NetScaler/Access Gateway.

SSL certificate installation and management UI

The VDI-in-a-Box appliances ship with a self-signed SSL certificate that is not trusted by web browsers and devices. This results in a browser warning message every time an end-user connects to their virtual desktop, or when an administrator connects to the VDI-in-a-Box Admin Console. Also, if you use StoreFront for user logins, a trusted SSL certificate is required. Project Curacao adds an elegant, easy-to-use SSL certificate wizard to greatly simplify the creation, installation, and management of SSL certificates in a VDI-in-a-Box environment.

These are just some of the features. Project Curacao will be available to existing customers and partners in early May. Once the tech preview is released, we would like to get your feedback. You will be able to post your feedback and comments in a dedicated VDI-in-a-Box Tech Preview forum and interact with members of the VDI-in-a-Box team.

Sign up for the tech preview today at www.citrix.com/techpreview/vdi-in-a-box (requires MyCitrix login), plan your testing, and we will let you know as soon as it becomes available.