New Dell VDI appliance designed to bring Citrix to smaller customers

At Citrix Synergy, Dell also announced new versions of two related software solutions, Dell Wyse Device Manager 5.5 and Foglight for Virtualization 8.2.

Dan O Farrell 200

Dan O’Farrell, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Dell Cloud Client-Computing.

ORLANDO — Today at Citrix Synergy, Dell announced several new desktop virtualization solutions designed specifically for Citrix environments. The catchiest is a new VDI appliance, the Dell Appliance for Wyse – Citrix. Two upgraded software solutions were also announced, Dell Wyse Device Manager (WDM) 5.5 and Foglight for Virtualization 8.2, an application and infrastructure monitoring solution which has been specifically enhanced to work optimally with Citrix.

“Like the Dell Appliance for Wyse vWorkspace we announced last week at Microsoft Ignite, the Dell Appliance for Wyse – Citrix is a VDI appliance designed for small to midsize companies, and we view it as highly channel-friendly,” said Dan O’Farrell, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Dell Cloud Client-Computing.

The appliance has basically the same hardware as the vWorkspace appliance, a 2U rackmountable device also available in tower form.

“It’s the same hardware, but is for those who prefer a Citrix-based back end,” O’Farrell said. It includes a Dell custom set of wizards to speed the deployment of the infrastructure and Citrix XenDesktop, and has Windows server software and a Microsoft hypervisor.

“The key design driver behind the design is cost, which is why we leverage as much as from Microsoft as we can,” O’Farrell said. “This makes it easier than ever for those who didn’t think they had the technical wherewithal or budget to move towards VDI.”

“Our whole appliance approach here is designed to addressed these cost concerns, because they are the reason we haven’t been able to touch that smaller market before,” said Eric Selken, Global Channel Marketing Manager- Dell Cloud Client Computing. “There’s a lot of opportunities there.”

Like the vWorkspace appliance, which has a ceiling of 300 users, the Dell Appliance for Wyse – Citrix is deliberately capped at a small size. O’Farrell said that will be from 150 to a little over 200 users, depending if the environment is persistent or non-persistent VDI, or a combination of both.

John Lane, CEO of Logical Front, a Salt Lake City-based solution provider with a national presence, said this offering is simple and inexpensive enough to make Citrix a real option for smaller customers, which he said it has not been up to now.

“Most of my larger environments are Citrix,” Lane said. “Citrix is a more comprehensive solution, but is also more complex, so for small environments, we have not been as comfortable recommending it. This is a simple product, that will help make Citrix fit in smaller environments.”

Dell also announced Foglight for Virtualization 8.2, which lets Citrix administrators quickly pinpoint and resolve performance bottlenecks by providing a complete view of the underlying XenDesktop and XenApp infrastructure, as well as performance data from platforms such as Active Directory, storage and network infrastructure.

“Foglight has been recently updated to be very Citrix friendly, and provides admins with more insight and understanding end-to-end,” O’Farrell said.

Finally, Dell Wyse Device Manager 5.5 provides centralized management of Dell Wyse thin and zero clients, allowing IT teams to easily issue software images, patches, updates and add-ons from a single console to more than 50,000 devices.

New features include a new Health Monitor interface, which offers an easy and consolidated view of critical performance statistics, and simplified installation, with more pre-requisite checks, fewer steps and easier configuration of peripherals such as keyboards and mice.

Dell Wyse Device Manager 5.5 is available in a free Workgroup Edition for smaller organizations, or a paid Enterprise Edition for customers with larger VDI deployments. The free edition has been improved significantly, as users can now simultaneously update up to 250 images — ten times more than in previous versions.

The Dell Appliance for Wyse – Citrix will be available in Summer 2015. The price for the solution, with the appliance, hardware, Citrix XenDesktop and datacentre licensing, starts at $USD 410 per user.

Dell Wyse Device Manager version 5.5 will be available in the coming months.

The newest release of Dell Foglight for Virtualization is available now and starts at a price of $USD 7 per seat.