Earlier this month Dell made a significant announcement about virtualizing workstation-class workloads supported by end-to-end reference architectures and a Center of Excellence (CoE) that provides support for certifying the solution with key applications for this class of users. This followed the guest blog posting and subsequent Dell release of new capabilities* around Citrix® XenDesktop® 7.1, including support and guidance via tested reference architecture for small office (with Dell VRTX) to full-scale enterprise class capabilities. It also included the release of support for vGPU and NVIDIA K1/K2 cards with Citrix XenServer®, which was highlighted in this December blog posting.
The common theme in all three announcements is graphics. Why is this significant? Because achieving broad user acceptance of VDI means delivering a graphics experience that's 'good enough' for every workload; for VDI, graphics performance IS the 'killer app'. And a story involving a viral video helps illustrate this.
At Dell World in December, a customer from a Fortune 100 corporation witnessed the current state of Citrix XenDesktop virtual desktop performance on Dell infrastructure through a variety of demos on the Expo floor. What concerned him most was the graphics experience that his "normal" desktop users would have. To demonstrate this, he asked to watch "What Does the Fox Say?" on YouTube. As it played, the quality of the graphics made it evident to him that Dell with Citrix could deliver a VDI experience that his users would embrace.
So unlike what the fox says, it's no ancient mystery that user acceptance is the controlling factor in widespread adoption of VDI. Bringing together overall improved application and graphics performance with a tested reference architecture and new features* in this new release grows the benefits of VDI while making it possible to drive increased user acceptance.
* Additional new features and capabilities include the next version of the "Active Deploy" feature which cuts the deployment of XenDesktop to 90 minutes from 1-1/2 days, a SAN-less configuration based on Dell M620 Blade Servers (M1000e chassis and SSD hard drives), guidance for the use of Atlantis ILIO for high IOPS with persistence, and a new program to support Dell sales through channel (good news for organizations which rely on these partners as trusted advisers).