Virtualising your infrastructure can be a bit daunting, especially if you are a small or mid-sized company or a small site in a larger enterprise. I’ve seen some pretty impressive large scale VDI deployments supporting 40000 virtual machines (desktops) and a lot of the literature and reference architectures refer to these impressive deployments.

For many users though, who may be new to VDI there are simpler solutions available tailored to their needs. Solutions that mean you don’t have to seek out external consultants or require a dedicated specialist administrator on site. Just open the box and turn it on.

Citrix VDI-in-a-box is one of my absolute favourite products available on the XenServer platform, the first time I saw it I was enchanted by its simplicity, it’s one of those products you just get the point of. VDI-in-a-box also utilises the same HDX stack as XenDesktop providing unrivalled graphics and remote delivery.

I was delighted to learn that if VDI-in-a-box wasn’t simple enough they have partnered with Dell to supply a VDI solution literally IN A BOX – DVS (Desktop Virtualization Solutions) Simplified. It’s a rather nice box too, Dell will supply you an R720 (or the choice of a few other top-notch alternatives), with ViaB already installed. The R720 is a cracking server, modern, super-reliable and mainstream and likely to be around a long while, it’s actually one of the flagship platforms supporting Dell and Citrix’s GPU technologies. All you have to do is turn it on and go through the set-up screen (this step-by-step video guide on how to do this is only 6 minutes long!).

DVS Simplified comes in two sizes to support up to 150 desktops, or 75. Once setup, ViaB takes care of all the complex administrator tasks associated with VDI administration. If VDI usage in your organisation accelerates, the DVS scales, just buy another and connect it in! Being based on one of the Citrix product family, ViaB offers an entry to VDI usage that can be expanded to use XenServerXenDesktop, CloudPlatform or Netscaler SDX as your business grows from the same supplier. VDI-in-a-box launched version 5.4 a few weeks ago, you can read more here. VDI-in-a-box solutions offer an extremely low cost entry point for VDI usage.

Dell themselves detail use cases for the Dell DVS Simplified Appliance:

  • Organizations that lack in-house server and storage virtualization expertise – SMBs such as accounting firms, law firms, mortgage companies, insurance brokers, K-12 and higher education, credit unions, regional banks.
  • Organizations that must limit capital outlay or who must fit VDI into their PC refresh budget – State/Local government libraries, county/community hospitals, financial brokerages, community banks.
  • Companies that want to employ VDI for a specific user group – department deployment, specific work group, or non-enterprise wide rollouts – VDI desktops for retail stations, call centers, for departments in larger organizations such as the administration staff at a branch office, tellers at credit union retail offices.
  • Non-primary desktops or access scenarios – home office, office “hotel-ing,” mobile user access via tablets, remote service technicians, office desktop pools

For organisations whose VDI needs are genuinely more complex Dell also offer an enterprise DVS solution based on VDI-in-a-box and another based on Citrix’s flagship XenDesktop product, XenDesktop is available with recent technologies such as vGPU targeted and rich application and CAD application delivery remotely and can scale up to 50000VM.

Sometimes a lot of us in IT forget that technology is here to help businesses get on with it, not get them into a secondary business of contracting IT architects or consultants and creating new roles requiring specialist dedicated system administrators! Sometimes the simplest solutions really are the best and bring a smile to your face….. just like my furry friend Elvis!