Citrix Acquires Desktop Virtualization Startup Kaviza


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.

Kaviza fills an area of need for Citrix, which hasn't previously addressed the SMB space with a purpose built VDI offering, according to Tom Flink, vice president of worldwide channel and sales strategy at Citrix.

"We think desktop virtualization, and VDI specifically, have a lot of benefits to customers in that space who want to take advantage of the technology but don’t have the resources to deploy it," Flink said in a press conference Monday.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Kaviza is a Citrix partner, and VDI-in-a-box is fully integrated with Citrix's HDX protocol, which optimizes graphics and multimedia performance on virtual desktops and mobile devices.

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Kaviza will transition into the Citrix Solution Advisor program on July 1, but VDI-in-a-box is available now from Citrix and channel partners will be able to register Kaviza deals starting June 1, Flink said.

Over the next two quarters, Citrix will work on rebranding Kaviza and working out licensing and partner compensation. In the meantime, select partners will be educated on the technology and how to position it appropriately based on the size and scale of the customer, Flink added.

Kumar Goswami, co-founder and CEO of Kaviza, says VDI-in-a-box has been popular in education and vertical markets where data center virtualization just isn't an option.

"These companies are on a tight budget and have time constraints," Goswami said. "Many of these organizations are limited in terms of infrastructure and they're not looking to get trained."

One of Kaviza's biggest strengths for the channel is its ability to shorten sales cycles, said Kaviza COO Krishna Subramanian. "For some customers, desktop virtualization is still a very new concept. VDI-in-a-box is a way for them to see how the technology works, and the benefits of HDX and a rich user experience," she said.

Kaviza will help extend the work Citrix has been doing with its partner Microsoft in the area of desktop virtualization, Flink said. This work has been focused on the enterprise thus far, but Kaviza will help extend that down into Microsoft's SMS&P partner base, where partners have just begun dipping their toes in the water, he said.