Dell DVS Simplified consisting of Citrix VDI-in-a-Box on Dell’s 12th gen PowerEdge R720 server

It seems creating a VDI appliance is all in vogue these days and there are many pitching such solutions using expensive purpose-built hardware.  And that’s why I think it’s important to point out why the newly released Dell DVS Simplified running Citrix VDI-in-a-Box on their powerful 12th generation PowerEdge 720 server is the real McCoy.

When you think “appliance” you think simple, practical and cost effective. But the new spate of “VDI appliances” using expensive purpose-built hardware are anything but an appliance.  An appliance should be all-in-one with all the management components inside the box.  Solutions where half the VDI guts and gore, (the management components consisting of the connection broker, the management and provisioning servers) are left outside are not appliances at all.  Ensuring that the management components are highly available is left as homework for the customer.  We’re back to traditional VDI with redundant management components, running on clustered SQL database servers using shared storage.   Scaling these deployments is a one-off exercise for the customer also.

To create a true blue VDI appliance you must re-design the VDI software from the ground up as we did with Citrix VDI-in-a-Box.  The logic to create, deploy, connect to and manage the desktops are in one virtual appliance that you run on a server with a hypervisor.  Put two such boxes together and they talk to create a highly available grid using just the local storage on each server.  Need more desktops?  Just add more servers.  That’s it.  You don’t have to worry whether you have enough connection brokering horsepower because with VDI-in-a-Box each time you add another server you get a connection broker automatically.  You’re not left with the exercise of making the management components highly available.  The management components inside VDI-in-a-Box are designed to work with the other servers in the grid to provide high availability out of the box!

When you put VDI-in-a-Box on a server designed for VDI you create a real VDI appliance.  And that’s what you have with the newly released Dell DVS Simplified appliance powered by Dell’s 12th generation PowerEdge R720 server specifically sized and tuned to run VDI-in-a-Box.  It is very easy.  It takes the guess work out of what server to use, how much memory to buy or what sized disks to purchase.  It’s practical.  The PowerEdge R720 comes with revamped I/O capabilities to run 66% more users than the previous generation appliance.  It supports 129 basic, 100 standard and 70 premium desktops per appliance.  The R720 comes with performance enhancing, front-access PCIe SSDs that you’ll  be able to take advantage of with the next generation of VDI-in-a-Box to provide what I call “crisp” performance.

If that’s not all, what if I were to tell you that you can buy the new Dell DVS Simplified appliance on the PowerEdge R720 including Citrix VDI-in-a-Box, 3 years of support AND Dell Wyse thin clients for just $500/desktop?  “Get out!,” you say?  I know it’s hard to believe but take a look at http://content.dell.com/us/en/corp/d/secure/2012-05-25-dell-wyse-education-cloud-desktop-virtualization.aspx.   The $500 deal is good until August 31st for K12 schools in the USA.  There’s a $600 bundle with a powerful thin client for higher education and state and local governments as well.

Now which is the real VDI appliance?  Dell DVS Simplified … please stand up!