Dell AimsTo Extend Its Thin Client/VDI Leadership

A day after NComputing announced the updating of its Citrix-specific N-Series thin client/VDI lineup, Dell stepped up with its latest Citrix/thin client/VDI offerings. “We have been able to raise the bar not only in our virtualized desktops, but also in the functionalities that we bring to our data center infrastructure solutions that give users an improved computing experience and help to bring down the cost and complexity of managing a desktop virtualization environment,” said Dell’s Tarkan Maner, VP and GM, Cloud Client Computing, in a prepared statement.

Dell, who like HP has been beaten and battered by the PC industry’s current freefall, and is in the midst of trying to go private, made a number of announcements at Citrix Synergy 2013, including:

-pre-integrated end-to-end Active System VDI workload for Citrix XenDesktop;

-DVS Enterprise solutions with NVidia enhanced virtualized graphics and unified communications support for Citrix XenDesktop;

-local storage option to drive down VDI implementation costs by almost 50%;

-Wyse Xenith Pro 2, the first dual-core zero client based on Wyse Zero framework and purpose built for Citrix XenDesktop;

-the industry’s first quad-core Wyse D class and Z class thin clients; and,

-continuing partnership with Citrix to invest in mid-market focused end-user computing solutions and resources for the channel.

Launched at last year’s Citrix Synergy event, more than 700 customers have signed up for N-Series, although that pales in comparison to the more than 50,000 customers, and 20 million users in production environments NComputing currently has. That’s good enough for third place in the enterprise client devices (ECD) hardware market, according to IDC, behind Wyse (25.4%), now owned by Dell, and HP (26.2%). IDC has forecast unit shipments to grow at over 17% CAGR for the next five years, but the virtual client computing market will grow from $2.3 billion in 2011 to over $3 billion by 2015, with nearly a third of that coming from the centralized virtual desktop market (also called VDI).

However, while vendors like Dell, HP and NComputing are racking some decent numbers, the long-awaited virtual desktop revolution has yet to materialize. 2010 was going to be the year of VDI: but it turned out 2010 was just a practice, stated analyst Andrew Wood, The Virtualization Practice, in a recent blog. ‘2011 was going to the year of VDI: but 2011 was also, just a practice. We discussed if 2012 was the “year of VDI”: with a view that 2012 allowed for the supporting technologies to mature and crucially expectations to be better set as to what VDI could do. It could not save the world. It could not secure your universe. But it was a viable method of fast desktop delivery (important given that almost 40% Windows market share is still clock ticking XP ) and less cluttered maintenance and support.’

“Every year they’ve been saying this is the year of VDI, but finally, we’re starting to see it take off,” said Olivier Thierry, Pivot3 CMO. “When we ran the study we expected to see it was still politicized, the complexities still there, and the costs. Quite honestly what we got back was we get it.”

According to the report released earlier this year, 2013 is the year of VDI in the mid-market. The study found that more than 80% of respondents consider VDI as part of their IT strategy, with reduced costs and faster deployments the key adoption points.

While there are a number of reasons for looking at thin client/VDI solutions, saving money isn’t one of them, said [Network Computing’s] Art Wittmann. ‘The bottom line is you can justify VDI for a number of reasons – easier support, better security, perhaps better availability or a more appropriate system for task workers – but you can’t justify it on hardware and software savings. The numbers won’t work. If you have a large turnover in workers, or the need to frequently reconfigure desktops, or you have many remote workers, or you want to use VDI as part of a BYOD plan, then by all means take a close look. But do your homework on costs – they’ll add up.’

Dell DVS Enterprise – Active System 800 for Citrix XenDesktop, and DVS Enterprise for Citrix XenDesktop solutions are available immediately. Dell Wyse Xenith Pro 2, Wyse D90Q7 and Z90Q7, will be available at the end of June.


Disclaimer: Dell is a client of Wordslingers Ink, the marketing communications side of the business.



Author: Steve Wexler

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