Unlike two recently announced Dell VDI appliances, this one is aimed at the smaller market, and attractively priced for it, although by design it has very limited scalability beyond the 350 seat point.
Today at Microsoft Ignite, Dell is announcing its latest Dell Wyse VDI appliance, the Dell Appliance for Wyse vWorkspace, which is targeted at the sub-350 seat market.
“This is the third in a series of new VDI appliances we’ve been announcing,” said Dan O’Farrell, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Dell Cloud Client-Computing. It follows up the Dell XC Web-Scale Converged Appliance for VDI, a higher-end offering, and the Dell Precision Appliance for Wyse, which were announced in February and March respectively.
“The Dell Appliance for Wyse vWorkspace is designed for small to midsize organizations, with a particular focus on schools, as well as small business,” O’Farrell said.
The new appliance is powered by vWorkspace, Dell’s desktop virtualization software, which has been made even easier to use for this offering. Its value proposition is a very low price, with the caveat that it is explicitly designed for the sub-350 seat market, and has very little scalability.
“The price on a per seat basis, including all software, is about $USD 180 dollars per user,” O’Farrell said. Until very recently, VDI systems were more expensive than conventional devices. O’Farrell said that when both upfront costs plus the costs of maintenance are taken into consideration, the total cost of this device will be neutral to less expensive, compared to traditional devices.
“At that price, the cost is a major incentive, particularly for smaller schools like independent and charter schools, for whom it would be really attractive.” Law firms and real estate offices, with 50-350 people were among the small businesses O’Farrell said they are expecting to show interest.
For organizations larger than 350 people who like the low price, the Dell Appliance for Wyse vWorkspace probably isn’t a great fit.
“These devices start small and stay small, with the 350 seats being a design spec limitation,” O’Farrell said. “They are not massively scalable. A customer could buy two of them and get a 700 seat capacity, but they will be separate islands, separately managed devices. We wouldn’t recommend them for larger organizations because of that.”
Deployed as a single device, manageability is a real strength.
“What’s unique about this offering is that the deployment and setup time are dramatically reduced with a wizard,” O’Farrell said. “We have taken a system [vWorkspace] that had already been easy to use and made it even easier by more of an order of magnitude. It is made to be set up by people who are used to setting up traditional desktops and laptops.”
O’Farrell said that both the drivers behind this product and its target market make it highly channel-friendly. John Lane, CEO of Logical Front, a Salt Lake City-based solution provider with a national presence, said that it overlaps nicely with a lot of his customer base, and the easier deployment is a plus.
“These will greatly simplify management and the time our teams will take to deploy them,” Lane said. “We do sell to a lot of customers in that 200-300 range.”
Lane said that his company had been selling both vWorkspace and VMware into this smaller space previously, with Citrix being better suited for their larger customers and less pertinent in this market.
“vWorkspace doesn’t have the Citrix name as brand, but a lot of smaller customers aren’t as concerned about that,” he said. “This is simplified quite a bit from what we were selling here before, and that’s a good thing.”