Lost in the excitement surrounding the announcement of Citrix XenDesktop 7, was the announcement that the very well received Citrix VDI-in-a-Box Project Curacao will be released as VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 at the end of June. This latest release shares some important Citrix technologies with XenDesktop 7. Here is what that means to our partners and customers. 

VDI-in-a-Box is staying current:  Interested in a move to Windows 8? VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 now supports Windows 8, just like XenDesktop; Personal vDisks are now supported on Windows 8, as well as Windows 7; and you get to take advantage of the DirectX and other video improvements provided the latest HDX technologies. And it doesn’t matter what hypervisor you want to use, as we support the latest version of XenServer, as well as Hyper-V and vSphere. If you’ve been contemplating a move to Server 2012, VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 now supports it as virtual desktop with native support of VHD and the new VHDX formats.

VDI-in-a-Box continues enhancing its integration with other Citrix products:  Have you been wondering if single sign-on is supported from Citrix Access Gateway? Well the answer is “yes”. Citrix NetScaler/Access Gateway now allows your users to sign into Access Gateway, and their credentials are passed directly to VDI-in-a-Box. The IT folks will love the informational improvements to the Image Distributing Troubleshooting Tool, as well as the centralized collection of log files – instead of having to pull them individually from each server in the grid. We also tweaked the product internals quite a bit to make VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 much more robust, and with higher performance.

VDI-in-a-Box 5.3 enhances the overall IT experience:  There have been a number of improvements focused on making IT’s job simpler. We created an SSL certificate installation user interface that vastly improves the experience when dealing with the certificates. With the new Universal Print Server – the same as XenDesktop, you no longer need to load multiple network print drivers on your images. Even the End User License Agreement (EULA) acceptance process has been improved (it’s is now done in-product, consistent with other Citrix products).

For more details, Check out David Liu’s May 22nd blog (/blogs/2013/05/22/citrix-vdi-in-a-box-5-3/). 

You should also check out Dell’s DVS Simplified Appliance. It’s a true hardware appliance that comes with the hypervisor of your choice and the VDI-in-a-Box virtual machine factory installed and 3 years of Dell ProSupport – all for a price that’s less than a PC refresh. Unbox the appliance and rack it; connect it to your network; start the VDI-in-a-Box vdiManager; and you’re ready to import and prep your master image, configure your templates and assign your users. That’s all there is to going live with full virtual Windows desktops.

And, once you have completed your trial, the move to a production environment requires only the addition of more servers to support the total number of concurrent users, plus one more server to provide high-availability.

Throughout the next few weeks, the VDI-in-a-Box team will be writing about some of the new features in more detail. So stay tuned.