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Citrix Launches New SMB Business for Desktop Virtualization

Today, at Citrix Summit, the premier Citrix partner training event, Citrix announced a broad new set of products, solutions and programs designed to help small and medium businesses move from the PC Era to the Cloud Era by capitalizing on the benefits of desktop virtualization. Central to the company’s new SMB initiative is the release of an all-new version of Citrix VDI-in-a-Box, the easy, affordable, all-in-one virtual desktop solution designed specifically for small and medium businesses. VDI-in-a-Box 5 is the first Citrix release of this market-leading desktop virtualization product following the acquisition of Kaviza in May 2011. In addition, Citrix announced a new solution combining Citrix VDI-in-a-Box and the Citrix GoToManage cloud-based support offering, making it easy for managed service providers and IT staff to remotely monitor and support virtual desktop deployments at multiple sites or customer locations.

To help drive further penetration in this fast-growing market segment, Citrix also announced a new channel partner specialization for the Citrix Solution Advisor Program, called SMB Specialist. SMB Specialists, which Citrix will begin certifying in January, will have access to an extensive set of sales tools, free online training and pre-sales support focused specifically on helping them successfully engage and service SMB customers.

The new Citrix SMB initiative also includes support for thousands of Citrix Ready products from leading technology partners like Dell and Wyse that will offer validated hardware and software solutions easily consumed by small and midsize business. The combination of Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5, Citrix GoToManage, the support of a strong Citrix Ready ecosystem, and a new SMB Specialists channel program, all help extend the benefits of “going virtual” at the desktop to 10s of 1000s of small and medium businesses worldwide.

Desktop Virtualization: One Size Does Not Fit All

As the industry moves from the PC Era to the Cloud Era, desktop virtualization is rapidly being adopted by cloud providers and large enterprises to centrally-manage and deliver virtual desktops and apps as a service to any user, on any device, in any location. Small and medium businesses want to adopt desktop virtualization for the same reasons large enterprises do – to reduce desktop management costs, improve security and increase business agility, but they often find enterprise-class solutions overkill for smaller environments. Citrix acquired Kaviza in May 2011 because it shared the vision with Kaviza founders that the SMB market has unique IT challenges that cannot be addressed by the one-size-fits-all approach of other vendor solutions. Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5 is purpose-built for SMB customers. Its simple all-in-one architecture eliminates over 60 percent of VDI costs without compromising features like user experience, security and high availability that are needed by customers of all sizes.

Solutions and Engagement Model Tailored for the SMB Market

Citrix is already the clear market leader in desktop virtualization for enterprise customers and cloud providers with Citrix XenDesktop. With the addition of VDI-in-a-Box 5, Citrix now offers the best virtual desktop solution for SMB customers as well, along with tailored solutions, channel programs and technology partnerships to ensure success for customers of all sizes. The new Citrix SMB initiative includes:

  • Simple, Affordable Virtual Desktops - Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5 is the easy, affordable, all-in-one virtual desktop solution for SMBs. It deploys on a single server, and includes everything Windows® administrators need to rapidly deliver centrally-managed virtual desktops to any user, anytime, on any device1- for less than the cost of new PCs. VDI-in-a-Box 5 delivers a high-definition user experience with Citrix HDX technology, supports more than one billion business and consumer devices through the Citrix Receiver™ software client, and ensures high availability. Its dramatically simplified design eliminates over 60 percent of traditional enterprise VDI infrastructure – including management servers and shared storage (SANs) - by creating a grid of off-the-shelf servers with direct-attached storage perfect for SMB environments.

The latest release adds new features aimed at radically simplifying virtual desktops - new wizards to further simplify and speed virtual desktop management for Windows® administrators, an expanded open architecture to include support for the three major hypervisors - Microsoft Hyper-V®, Citrix XenServer® and VMware vSphere™, ESX and ESXi - and is delivered as a fully integrated Citrix solution backed by the worldwide expertise and support of the market leader in desktop virtualization.

  • Remote Management and Support - To help channel partners, managed service providers and IT administrators support SMB customers, Citrix GoToManage has new dashboards and alerts that make it easy to remotely monitor and support Citrix VDI-in-a-Box servers and virtual desktop deployments anytime, from anywhere. GoToManage continually tracks key health and performance metrics on the physical and virtual infrastructure helping to keep end users productive. Alerts can be configured to provide an “early-warning-system” - giving IT pros time to troubleshoot problems and make configuration changes before users are impacted. With the GoToManage Remote Support module, it is easy to set up and securely access (over the Internet) all VDI-in-a-Box servers from a PC, Mac, or iPad.
  • SMB-focused Channel Enablement - Citrix invites partners to join the Citrix Solution Advisor program as an SMB Specialist to help SMB customers to realize all the benefits of desktop virtualization. Training is fast, online and free. SMB Specialists can quickly get an evaluation up and running for customers utilizing the free trial, as well as leverage customer videos and testimonials, key-play marketing resources and online forums with tips and best practices.
  • Partner Ecosystem to Ease Virtual Desktop Deployments - A key component to the Citrix strategy for SMBs is working with a partner ecosystem to develop validated end-to-end solutions that can be easily purchased and consumed by customers. The Dell and Citrix VDI-in-a-Box solution, available today from Dell, combines Dell validated server configurations and Citrix VDI-in-a-Box software into easy-to-use reference architectures, helping SMBs adopt desktop virtualization, while addressing implementation complexity and eliminating capital cost barriers. Wyse is offering the industry’s only zero-framework clients for VDI-in-a-Box with special partner promotions.
Product Availability

Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5 will be released this quarter. A free technology preview trial is available at www.citrix.com/vdi-in-a-box/try-it. Learn more by attending a TechTalk and product overview webinar, sign up at www.citrix.com/vdi-in-a-box.

Published Monday, October 24, 2011 4:58 PM by David Marshall
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