It’s time for the final installment of our four-part series on enabling next-generation virtual delivery infrastructures for the modern data center.
For this last entry, we’re going to discuss how we would deploy the hypothetical solution we introduced in part three of this series.
While the time-frame for deploying traditional virtual desktop and application delivery solutions is frequently measured in days, weeks, or even months, what if we could deploy a hyper-converged virtual desktop and application delivery infrastructure such as the one we described in part three of this series in a matter of hours? Yes, you read correctly… hours!
Well, if there was a way we could define the tasks necessary to construct the infrastructure, create shared storage, and build out a XenDesktop/XenApp farm, and then schedule those tasks to run at a certain time or immediately at the click of a button, we’d basically have ourselves a “cookbook” of sorts that would essentially put the deployment process on auto-pilot.
At this point, or more likely well before we reached this point, you’re probably thinking, “Man, this guy is really out there!” While that may be true, the reality is Citrix already has the ability to create “cookbooks” to automate and speed up deployments — it’s called ScaleXtreme — so I’m really not as far out there as you might think. 🙂
Can you imagine having an entire XenDesktop/XenApp farm, infrastructure and all, up and running in a matter of hours? While this would be nirvana for Citrix administrators, it would be an absolute boon for cloud providers that have customers knocking down their doors for their services as it would enable them to start realizing revenues faster than ever before!
While all of this sounds amazing, we need to keep in mind that Citrix has been and always will be a company that believes in giving its customers choices — choices pertaining to all aspects of their IT solutions. We don’t want to force our partners or our customers into selling or buying a “one-size-fits-all solution.” Why? Because at Citrix, we know there’s no such thing. Every one of our customers is unique and uniqueness requires that we take the time to consider all viable options in an effort to determine what we feel is the best solution to meet the specific requirements of each customer.
For instance, some customers may want to deploy new virtual desktop, application and mobility solutions quickly and efficiently using pre-validated systems that include compute, networking, and storage resources. A good example of this would be solutions built on the new Citrix WorkspacePod, a comprehensive software stack (Sanbolic SDx Platform) that includes enterprise-class storage management capabilities (i.e., dynamic volume expansion, data tiering, QoS, snapshots, mirroring) and advanced data services (i.e., database clustering, scale-out file services, geo-distributed disaster recovery) running on industry-standard hardware components. Such systems could be deployed in new or existing infrastructures with minimal time and effort in order to realize a much faster time-to-value.
Other customers, who may already have investments in server, networking, and storage hardware, may look to Citrix to further improve upon their existing infrastructure by consolidating existing resources, streamlining storage and data management tasks, improving workload performance and scale-out, and enabling geo-distributed clustering for desktop and application high availability and disaster recovery, all of which would allow them to greatly simplify and enhance their desktop and application delivery solutions while continuing to leverage investments in their existing hardware.
If you think about it, the Citrix “FlexCast” model we all know so well could easily apply to the various infrastructure options we make available to customers. Augmenting existing infrastructures or deploying converged, hyper-converged or even ultra-converged infrastructures, are all options that would be available to customers. The decision regarding which particular infrastructure deployment model customers choose would be based on their specific needs and the model they believe would best help them achieve their goals and objectives, similar to the way customers choose the method for delivering desktops and applications today.
So what exactly are we talking about here?
Well, we’re talking about a fundamental change in the way virtual desktop, application and mobility solutions (or any IT workload) are constructed and deployed: delivering IaaS functionality to enterprise environments that offers high availability, reliability, workload-oriented performance and scalability while significantly reducing infrastructure cost and complexity, deployment time, and ultimately, time-to-value. And while this model may seem futuristic to some, the acquisition of Sanbolic enables Citrix to integrate Sanbolic’s innovative and powerful storage technologies directly into its industry-leading virtual desktop, application and mobility solutions to bring the benefits of software-defined storage and storage commoditization to our customers a lot sooner than one might think.
Hold on to your hats, things are about to get really exciting here at Citrix!