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What are some of the best features of VDI-in-a-Box?

Citrix VDI-in-a-Box is easy to set up and scale, it has a simple architecture, and it uses automatic load balancing.

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.

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What do you like about VDI-in-a-Box? What will you do now that Citrix will retire the product?
We loved the fact that the VDI-in-a-Box servers ran off off the shelf servers, which in turn reduced the amount of money we would have invested in traditional VDI in fracture, approximately 60-percent all told. We will continue to use our VDI-in-a-Box servers for the time and wait to see what new product Citrix will release as the "replacement" to this product. With Citrix's history, their follow-up product will excel as well.
Hi Carol -- were you surprised to hear that Citrix was getting rid of VDI-in-a-Box? And what will you do if Citrix doesn't offer a replacement product? Thanks for the comment!
Yes, it came as a surprise. We have been researching the Citrix proposals of replacing VDI-in-a-Box with a pared down version, stripping away much of the extras that were not terribly popular with customers and users. When the replacement is released, my company's intentions are to buy the product for a testing period and then weigh out if it is still providing us with what we need.
When the time comes, I'd love to hear what you think about the alternative and whether it'll work for you -- if that's something you're interested in talking about! My email address is in my bio.
VMware has offerings that are just as easy to set up. This is a great white paper that explains why VDI works for end users and why it is still relevant.



Karen J. Bannan, commenting on behalf of IDG and VMware.