Dell Wants To Make VDI More Accessible
While waiting for the (IT) world as we know it to change — Dell buys EMC (expected to close in the next 4-6 months) — it’s business as usual for the former, making things easier for the mass market. In this case, it’s making VDI more attactive to the SMB market, while bringing Lync and Skype to millions of Wyse thin clients, all announced at this week’s Citrix Summit.
The announcements span a number of products and markets, Dan O’Farrell, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Dell Cloud Client-Computing, told IT Trends & Analysis. For the SMB market, the key is it’s now simpler to get started with VDI. “Instead of dipping the toe in the water, they can jump right in.”
Dell already plays in the mid to large segments, but these announcements enable it to play in the small to mid markets, “allows us and our partners to address a broader market”, he said. “The easy scale out we now have, that’s the main news.”
The company also unveiled Wyse ThinOS 8.2, which now offers Lync 2010, Lync 2013 and the Skype for Business client for Lync 2015 (UI mode) via the Citrix HDX RealTime Optimization Pack. It also released a new virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) appliance for Wyse – Citrix that simplifies and merges the server, storage and networking components required to deploy a Citrix environment into an 2U module that starts small and provides scale-out capabilities for up to 5,000 users with Citrix XenDesktop.
“With offerings like the Dell Appliance for Wyse – Citrix and ThinOS 8.2 for Wyse thin clients, Dell continues to expand the reach of desktop virtualization to small and medium-sized organizations that are starting small and scaling fast, up to 5,000 users with a single appliance architecture with Citrix XenDesktop,” said Calvin Hsu, VP Product Marketing, Windows App Delivery, Citrix, in a prepared statement. “These new solutions from Dell enable organizations to grow their business and reap the security and productivity benefits of Citrix VDI while controlling costs.”
Last summer Dell targeted the Windows 10-based VDI market with a number of hardware and software announcements. At the time O’Farrell divided the market into two segments: those that really need VDI, for security and management requirements, and “others that are happy to discover it”, including healthcare, retail, finance, government and education.
At the time, Dell was solidly in the lead in the thin and terminal client segment, with 29.7% share of shipments in Q1, followed by HP (25.3%) and NComputing (8.8%). More recent numbers paint a bleaker picture, with sales declining -6.7% year over year in the third quarter (HP with 26.9% market, down 8.2%, followed by Dell with 26% and -10.6% respectively). The future, however, looks brighter, with IDC expecting shipments to return to steady growth from 2016 through 2019, reaching 6.4 million units in 2019.
O’Farrell said Dell will continue its focus on both VDI and thin client computing, but especially VDI. “We’re not saying everybody should go virtual desktops… but most companies can benefit… if it’s easy to get there…” He also believes security will play a bigger role. “Security will be a key driver to keep VDI growing.”
ThinOS 8.2 will be available on a selection of Wyse thin clients this month, while existing ThinOS customers can access the new image at the Self Service Center. The appliance will also start shipping this month; organizations can start with one appliance and deliver XenDesktop shared sessions starting at $440 per user, or $576 per user for traditional desktop virtualization, according to Dell.