Citrix is working with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Atlantis Computing to develop new hyper-converged infrastructure appliances that automate the deployment, updating, and management of virtual desktops and applications.
The company also unveiled an expansion of its partnership with Microsoft that allows clients to gain remote access to their applications and run Windows 10-based virtual desktop images via the Azure cloud.
The moves, unveiled Monday at the opening of the annual Citrix Summit conference, are aimed at making it much easier for channel partners to bring virtual desktop infrastructure solutions to clients, said Calvin Hsu, vice president of product marketing for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based virtualization technology developer.
Citrix's new HCI Workspace Appliance Program combines the management capabilities of the Citrix Cloud with hyper-converged infrastructure from partners to help simplify the scalability and management of virtual desktop infrastructure environments for mid-market customers, Hsu told CRN.
Hyper-converged infrastructure is the base on which many customers are developing virtualized desktop infrastructures, or VDI, Hsu said. For instance, customers can use a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance to start deploying 200 seats on a pilot basis and then grow from there, he said.
"We realized last year that if we did just a little more work, we could make the integration of hyper-converged infrastructure and VDI easier," he said. "Think of it as being as easy to use as iCloud. Whenever someone connects their iPhone to iCloud, several features automatically work."
The new joint solution combines an HPE Edgeline server, the Atlantis USX virtual workspace infrastructure from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Atlantis Computing, and a Citrix agent that connects the appliance to the Citrix Cloud, Hsu said.
The Citrix Ready HCI Workspace Appliance Program enables hyper-converged appliances from hardware and storage partners to connect to Citrix Cloud to automate the setup and maintenance of XenApp and XenDesktop, he said.
"The Citrix cloud is not an infrastructure-as-a-service offering," he said. "Our cloud service works on Azure to act as the management plane for XenDesktop and XenApp."
The integrated solution is based on Citrix XenServer server virtualization technology, which offers a couple of advantages over VDI technology from rival VMware, Hsu said.