Recently at Citrix Synergy 2016, our Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) Partners came through with a new set of HCI systems designed for mid-market customers at per-user price points that are as compelling as they have ever been. These vendors have accomplished this by eliminating the “vTax” and delivering HCI solutions that can be set up in a few hours and provide great performance with superior end user experience without breaking the bank.

Nutanix, a leader in HCI, announced their Nutanix InstantON VDI for Citrix solution, which is designed with the mid-market customer in mind. The system sets up in about 4 hours and allows customers to start with 3 nodes and grow from there. They also employ a “pay as you grow” model, so you only pay for the desktops you need at any given time. The solution is a complete HCI platform so all the compute, storage and networking you need to get your VDI environment up and running is included. The price point starts at $415 per virtual desktop and includes Citrix licenses and 3 years of support.

Between now and July 31st, they are sweetening the deal by throwing in a free upgrade to Nutanix Acropolis Ultimate and Prism Pro – a complementary sizing and planning workshop with Citrix and Nutanix pros – and free training on day to day operation of the environment.  That’s an Enterprise class Digital Workspace solution at an affordable entry level price point.

Dell, a trusted name in the industry for decades, recently introduced their Dell Appliance for Wyse – Citrix, a self-contained virtual desktop solution running on Hyper-V. The solution includes a “Quick Start Tool” that helps an IT generalist with no special skills in desktop virtualization technologies go from 0 to VDI in just 2 hours. The secret to the simplicity of setting this up is in the 4-step process outlined in the Quick Start Tool. Tony Sanchez did a great job of describing how it all works in his blog post. The environment can grow smoothly from just one appliance for around 300 users to multiple machines hosting up to 5000. Best of all, for our customers, is a price point starting at $420 per user. That’s simple, fast deployment, smooth scaling and Enterprise class support at an affordable cost.

Atlantis, the upstart that is turning heads in the HCI space, has partnered with hardware OEMs like Cisco, HPE, Dell, Lenovo and SuperMicro to produce their XenServer hosted HyperScale platform that provides excellent performance at reduced cost. Their superior technology won them two big “Best of Synergy” awards. One was for the “Desktop and Application Delivery” where Atlantis USX took top honors for their inline deduplication, pooling and tiering technologies. The other was for the “Desktop and Application Delivery Storage, Networking and Infrastructure” category where Atlantis HyperScale won for significant value, providing storage savings up to 90%, with a highly portable software solution built for scale. The price point is harder to nail down for Atlantis since they offer multiple options for the hardware, but it is safe to say they come in around the same $400 per-user point as the others (if not a bit lower). That’s award-winning performance at a significantly low cost, again.

Not to be outdone, the bigger names in hardware OEMs have thrown their hat into the HCI ring, too, with Cisco recently announcing their HyperFlex Systems solution, and HPE coming out with both Moonshot and HC380 platforms targeted at the HCI space.

But wait a minute! What about the end-point? Well, if you were paying attention at Synergy 2016 you saw our announcement of the new, extremely affordable “thinner than thin” Citrix HDX Ready Pi. This new end-point device combines the low cost Raspberry Pi platform with the Citrix HDX system-on-a-chip architecture to deliver a great end user experience for under $89 per device!

When we put all this together, we see the value that our partners are bringing to the desktop and application virtualization space. Great performance, usability, deployability and manageability are now available at about $500 per user including infrastructure, Citrix licensing and endpoint.

With Windows 10 migrations facing organizations of all sizes in the coming months, now is the best time to consider virtualizing the desktop on top of HCI with Citrix. Citrix provides AppDNA to ensure a smooth transition of the applications to Windows 10 and, together with our partners, we have delivered a fantastic opportunity to help transform our customers’ desktops to digital workspaces that users will love and IT will value for the ease of management, security and cost effectiveness both up front and over time.

We have entered a new era in affordability for app and desktop virtualization and our HCI partners are leading the way for customers of all sizes to deploy Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp in a cost effective manner.

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