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Citrix answers the call for simple VDI with Kaviza acquisition

Colin Steele and Bridget Botelho, Senior Site Editors

SAN FRANCISCO -- Citrix Systems got the message loud and clear; XenDesktop is too complex and expensive for small and medium-sized IT shops to use. By acquiring Kaviza and its VDI-in-a-Box offering this week, Citrix has a virtual desktop offering that's accessible to SMBs.

Kaviza's VDI-in-a-Box

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is a virtual appliance that offers built-in features for dynamic provisioning, load balancing, management and more, with low infrastructure and licensing costs. With this all-in-one product, IT managers can set up a VDI environment with one piece of software and local server storage, and have it up and running in just a few hours. It also integrates with Citrix's desktop offerings including HDX.

"In a smaller environment, it's really going to lower the barrier to entry," said Andy Jones, group president for Advanced Technology Group, a Citrix partner in Cleveland.

Making virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) more accessible to SMBs is shaping up to be a theme at this week's Citrix Summit partner conference. The company also disclosed a new Desktop as a Service offering, called the Service Provider Automation Pack for XenApp 6, aimed at reducing the up-front costs and management headaches associated with on-premise VDI installation.

One consultant said he began researching VDI products for clients in July 2010 and discovered the small start-up company called Kaviza. Peter Ferraresso, CEO at the IT consultancy Logical Systems, looked at Citrix XenDesktop but said it was too expensive and complicated for SMBs. He stumbled upon Kaviza and recommended it to clients when he saw how easy it was to get up and running. 

"The biggest fear in investing in Kaviza licenses was that the relationship with Citrix would sour somewhere down the road," Ferraresso said. "Now that fear has lifted, it is a smart move for Citrix to compete in the SMB market. It will be interesting to see how it affects Kaviza's support for [VMware] and [Microsoft] Hyper-V in future releases."

The acquisition closed today, and the companies did not disclose terms of the deal. Kaviza CEO Kumar Goswani said in an open letter to customers and partners that all Kaviza employees will become part of a new organization within Citrix, and the acquisition will not affect support, sales, ordering or pricing processes.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Colin Steele and Bridget Botelho


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