Citrix Bolsters VDI Portfolio With RingCube Acquisition


Citrix Systems on Wednesday acquired RingCube Technologies, a Mountain View, Calif.-based desktop virtualization vendor whose technology tackles challenges in large-scale virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

RingCube's flagship vDesk product preserves personalization of user settings, reduces storage costs for VDI deployments and speeds migrations from physical to virtual environments, John Fanelli, vice president of product marketing for Citrix's Enterprise Desktops and Apps division, said in a conference call staged to discuss the deal.

Dedicated VDI, in which desktops run in a data center on a virtual machine, maintains users' settings from session to session but is expensive. Pooled VDI, the version many call centers use, is a cheaper alternative but doesn't maintain settings, according to Fanelli.

RingCube combines the advantage of each of these VDI models with its "personal vDisk" feature, which puts users' preferences, data and applications into a separate container that's stored in Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format. This container makes it possible to move users' data and settings from physical to virtual environments, said Fanelli.

RingCube is being folded into Citrix's Enterprise Desktops and Applications division, which is led by Bob Schultz, vice president and general manager. vDesk is compatible with Microsoft Hyper-V, App-V and System Center, and with user and workspace virtualization offerings from AppSense, Liquidware Labs, and Tricerat, Fanelli said.

RingCube will help Citrix by addressing the workspace and user virtualization requirement within the VDI model, according to Brian Lesniakowski, CTO at AEC Group, a Bridgeville, Pa.-based solution provider.

"By integrating the pooled VDI capabilities of VDesk into the XenDesktop solution stack, IT can provide common pooled desktops from a single provisioned image while extending full application, data and workspace customization capabilities found in dedicated private images," said Lesniakowski.

While some of these capabilities are available today through third party add-ons, adding RingCube to the XenDesktop family will enable Citrix to deliver this in end-to-end fashion, Lesniakowski added.

RingCube's channel-oriented business model also fits well within the Citrix landscape. According to partner information on RingCube's Web site, the company has a 100 percent channel fulfillment model that gives partners access to recurring revenue from services and license renewals, sales and technology training, lead distribution and sales support.

Citrix in May acquired Kaviza, a startup whose VDI-in-a-box product has been making headway in the SMB space. VDI-in-a-box, a virtual desktop appliance that runs on commodity server hardware with local storage, allows SMBs to deploy VDI without getting bogged down in the cost and complexity involved with the technology.