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Oct 20 2013

Workplace virtualization out of the box

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Although Server Based Computing (SBC) is a well-established variety of desktop virtualization, a majority of IT departments has long treated the topic of Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI) with a mix of uncertainty and neglect. But with growing demands for flexible infrastructures, many of them are now questioning that perspective and looking for solutions that provide all the benefits of a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) while avoiding the disadvantages. That's where Fujitsu's VDI Bundles come into play – combined hard- and software packages that make implementing VDI astonishingly easy.

Workplace virtualization hasn't exactly been on top of the agenda for most CIOs and IT departments in recent years. The reasons were manifold, but may essentially be summed up in two beliefs. Number one, such projects are complicated, time-consuming and require high implementation efforts. Number two, virtualized applications don't provide the same functionality as those installed on desktop or notebook hard drives. Add to that the belief of end users who think they are restricted to using "dumb terminals" and have to deal with slow response times and other performance handicaps, and you'll understand why many organizations decided it wasn't worth the tradeoff.

Over the past decade, however, these beliefs have turned into a mere prejudice whose persistence is all the more surprising if we look at how powerful VDI has become. IT departments nowadays can deliver a seamless experience and enable users to access their personal desktop from any device they want, might it be a thin client, a tablet or even a smartphone, wherever they are, at whatever time they want. Additionally, virtualization is the foundation for many solutions we use on a daily basis, such as distributed collaboration platforms like Microsoft SharePoint or Lync.

With functionality and performance issues out of the way, there is only one problem left to solve: simplifying implementation in a way that saves man-hours and costs, but also ensures that a project succeeds. Organizations with limited staff and tight IT budgets need an affordable solution that can help them build an IT infrastructure that's simple to deploy and manage, flexible enough to operate with their current needs, and can easily scale for future growth.

This is exactly what we are trying to achieve with our selection of Fujitsu VDI Bundles, combined hard- and software packages that are available in different sizes (M, L, XL) and support from 14 to 250 virtual machines (VMs) or more if required. Our latest addition to this portfolio is Citrix® VDI-in-a-Box™, a bundle that helps to deploy workplace virtualization within hours instead of days and requires only a small setup effort.

As an M-sized package, Citrix® VDI-in-a-Box™ addresses the needs of small and medium businesses and enables desktop administrators to deliver centrally managed virtual desktops to any user. Core components include:

  • A Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX200 rack server and/or PRIMERGY TX200 tower server (rack/tower combos are possible)
  • A number of Fujitsu workplace systems to choose from, spanning FUTRO thin clients, ESPRIMO desktops, LIFEBOOK notebooks, and STYLISTIC tablets and convertibles
  • Necessary Citrix® VDI-in-a-Box™ licenses for the required amount of user connections, to be added directly in the configuration tool

These configurations are sufficient for starters, but will certainly need to scale as the business grows. That's why we offer easy expandability by simply adding more servers and licenses. Unlike other entry-level solutions, Citrix® VDI-in-a-Box™ also provides high availability using an N+1 architecture to ensure hardware failures don't lead to application downtimes and safeguard business continuity. Further key features include integrated connection brokering, load balancing, desktop provisioning, and user profile management as well as the ability to use direct-attached storage instead of expensive SAN technology. Altogether, this enables IT departments to build much cleaner infrastructures with 60 percent less overhead than traditional VDI solutions and realize massive cost cuts: storage investments may drop by up to 60 and management expenses by up to 80 percent.

With these characteristics combined, Citrix® VDI-in-a-Box™ makes for a proper addition to Fujitsu's VDI Bundle portfolio, which also encompasses solutions based on Microsoft® Hyper-V® and VMware® vSphere®/Horizon View®. Like these, it presents the following key benefits to customers and channel partners alike:

  • Simple product choice – Pick your VDI Bundle based on tangible criteria, such as number of users, network infrastructures, compatibility with operating systems/hypervisors, required functionalities, and application scenarios.
  • Ease of implementation – Our VDI Bundles are ready-to-run solutions. Simply deploy the package that best suits your needs, run the configuration wizard, and enjoy the benefits of virtualization in a matter of hours. All M Bundles come in fixed sizes, whereas L and XL editions can be tailored to customer needs.
  • Ease of administration – Each VDI Bundle includes the tools required for centralized VDI management.

Quintessence: State-of-the-art Virtual Desktop Infrastructures have nothing in common with the lack of functionality and slow performance once typical for "dumb terminals." Fujitsu's solution bundle for Citrix® VDI-in-a-Box™ is yet another proof of that fact: it's powerful, easy to implement – and it helps customers concentrate on their core business.

For detailed information, please visit our PRIMEFLEX for VMware VDI website and the PRIMEFLEX vShape website.

 

Markus Seifart

 

About the Author:

Markus Seifart

Product Marketing Manager Mobility, VDI Solutions and Competitive Product Analysis Workplace Systems at Fujitsu Technology Solutions

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