The US startup Kaviza announced yesterday a “strategic investment” by Citrix. The two companies didn’t disclose the sum or the terms of the deal (round of funding, technology partnership, etc.).
Kaviza offers an all-in-one VDI solution that doesn’t require a shared storage and dedicated, load balanced connection brokers.
The customer just has to deploy the vendor’s virtual appliance on its hypervisor of choice and he’s ready to go.
This VDI-in-a-box appliance uses the virtualization host local storage (and any other DAS device attached) to store the virtual desktop golden images and their linked clones.
When deployed in multiple instances, it works as a cluster, replicating/synchronizing its configuration, distributing the virtual desktops across all the available virtualization hosts, and brokering the incoming connections thanks to a patent pending grid architecture.
Last but not least, it includes a management console for virtual desktop administration: kMGR.
The whole architectures seems way simpler than the one required by Citrix XenDesktop or VMware View.
Kaviza claims that it lowers the TCO of a virtual desktop below $500 (hardware and management costs included). This price assumes the use a server with 8 cores, 32GB RAM, 250GB HD and an instance of VMware ESX (we assume the cheapest license that can support such hardware, as Kaviza doesn’t seem to require vSphere at all) that hosts no less than 30 virtual desktops.
VDI-in-a-box is priced $125 per concurrent user.
Kaviza also offers two additional, optional software pieces, just in case customers need them: a Java desktop client that doesn’t require a web browser to reach the virtual desktop, and a SSL Gateway to reach the VDI environment without set up a VPN.
The company published a 5-minutes video showing how the product works:
Why Citrix wants to control Kaviza through a strategic investment? One reason may be that VDI-in-a-box seems particularly appealing when coupled with the free and open source XenServer. While it’s clear by now that Citrix has no interest in increasing its server virtualization market share, it may be still very happy to disturb VMware.
Another reason may be that Citrix just wanted to prevent a similar move from VMware, which would disturb the Microsoft activity in the SMB market with its entry-level VDI offering.