Kaviza’s VDI-in-a-Box, a plug-and-play virtual desktop system that has been gaining traction, enables just about anyone (not necessarily an IT specialist) to get a deployment up and running for a small or midsize business. Kaviza’s truly is an automated, turnkey way to do it; users install the software on a commodity server, and the software finds all the system nodes automatically.
Citrix, the world’s second-largest VDI provider (behind only Hewlett-Pacakrd[sic]), needed the IT that Kaviza brought to the table because it had not previously addressed the SMB space with a purpose-built VDI offering. Most of Citrix’s customers are large enterprises.
When Kaviza is running, the virtual desktop runs in its own browser-type window with all the application functionality needed. Little or no latency is apparent. Users can continue to use their local applications as normal. Read Frank Ohlhorst’s product review here.
Kaviza One of First to Do VDI on iPads
Four-year-old Kaviza, with its VDI-in-Box product, was one of the first to provide VDI support for iPads, iPhones and Android smartphones running on a data center hypervisor—Citrix Xen or VMware ESX 4.1.
Cameron Sturdevant lists 9 points to keep in mind when comparing virtual desktop hypervisors.
I start by identifying what will be required of the desktops, what sort of hardware (client and server) will be required to support the requirements, and then I dive into the murky, swirling world of licensing:
1. License costs
In addition to the “three C’s” one of the most important testing criteria is licensing costs. None of the competing vendors make it easy to do an apples-to-apples comparison, so you’ll need to do some noodling to get a price per-desktop, per-year figure. It makes a difference how many years you include in your calculations. I suggest looking at a minimum of three and a maximum of five years, depending on your current physical desktop or laptop formula. Speaking of physical systems, you should factor in the costs of the user devices on which the remote virtual desktops will be hosted.
An interesting study from the Burton Group on VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop. For the purposes of my current client, the administrative roles problem they outline isn’t an issue – we have only 3 administrators, and all have the same access. However, I’m interested in seeing what criteria they examined, and why View fell so far behind XenDesktop in every category.
After Simon Bramfitt and I assessed XenDesktop 4.0 and View 4.0.1, we reached a similar conclusion – neither product is ready for the demands of the large enterprise. A comparison scorecard of each product is shown below.xd-view-scorecardBoth products do not deliver what we consider to be essential features.
For example, neither product offers role based access controls RBACs to support the delegated administration models our clients expect. Offering only “User” and “Administrator” roles, for example, does not constitute delegated administration. In addition neither product offers complete administrative change logging, meaning that it is not possible to maintain an audit trail for all administrative actions.