VDI-in-a-Box is a virtualization tool that was originally introduced by Kaviza, but was purchased by Citrix in 2011 and retired in early 2015.
VDI-in-a-Box is unique because it was designed to be simple to set up and it makes use of commodity hardware. In other words, it was designed from the beginning to be cheap and easy.
VDI-in-a-Box's architecture is much simpler than typical VDI software. There are no dedicated load balancers or connection brokers. It doesn't require specialized management products or shared storage.
It is designed to be deployed to commodity servers. Each server in a VDI-in-a-Box deployment uses its own direct-attached storage. You can mix and match the server hardware and make each server in the deployment host virtual desktops based on its own capabilities. I once saw a demonstration with an enterprise class server, a desktop PC and a laptop. All three machines hosted virtual desktops, and the overall workload was automatically load balanced according to each machine's abilities.
This brings up another point. Not only does VDI-in-a-Box use automatic load balancing, it also provides high availability for virtual desktops. In addition, a VDI-in-a-Box deployment is scalable up to a few thousand virtual desktops, and the architecture helps to avoid bottlenecks because there are very few shared resources.
Another nice thing about VDI-in-a-Box is that it is suitable for organizations that use work groups rather than Active Directory domains. It fully supports Active Directory environments, but it can also use its own database for authentication in the absence of an Active Directory.
Comparing XenDesktop and VDI-in-a-Box
VDI-in-a-Box vs XenDesktop: Which is better for SMBs?
Dig Deeper on Citrix virtual desktops
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