On May 7 Citrix announced a technology preview of Project Aruba that extends Citrix VDI all-in-one proposal for the SMB market, VDI-in-a-Box, with personal vDisk technology.
VDI-in-a-Box, inherited from Kaviza acquisition in May 2011, already eliminates much of the traditional VDI infrastructure, including shared storage and dedicated load balanced connection brokers, with a simple deployment of the virtual appliance on the hypervisor of choice.
Project Aruba uses vDisks layering technology, obtained with Ringcube acquisition, to manage end-user applications and preferences allowing Virtual Desktops personalization and flexibility.
Project Aruba provides the following key features:
- Personalized virtual desktops: You no longer have to choose between consolidating management using desktop pools versus delivering end-users the flexibility to install their own applications and data. Project Aruba eliminates the need to create separate static desktops to carry forward end-user customization by coupling single-instance management with the ability to have individual user workspaces for their applications and data.
- Single instance management: Rather than juggling many persistent desktops, IT can maintain one master copy of desktop images while preserving the personalization of user applications and data. This dramatically reduces maintenance efforts and cuts datacenter storage costs up to 90 percent.
- Support for Windows 2008 R2: Project Aruba manages Windows 2008 R2, Windows 7 and Windows XP –based virtual desktops – enabling customers to select the ideal virtual desktop environment based on compatibility and costs.
- Cost-effective Windows-as-a-Service with VDI: Project Aruba extends the Citrix vision of enabling Windows-as-a-Service and adds a simple yet highly cost-effective VDI option based on Citrix VDI-in-a-Box to the already successful Citrix Service Provider (CSP) portfolio of hosted-shared desktops with XenApp, and enterprise-class desktop virtualization with XenDesktop. The newly released reference architecture for Desktops-as-a-Service provides a validated blueprint for service providers looking to deliver VDI-based Desktops-as-a-Service at a fraction of the costs of other alternatives while complying with Microsoft licensing.
- Windows 8 support (Beta): Project Aruba runs Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 virtual desktops. All features of Windows 8 including the new Metro interface are fully supported. Since Windows 8 is not yet generally available, this feature is currently in Beta.
- Simpler, more flexible: Project Aruba makes management even simpler and more efficient with added features such as access to multiple data stores for optimizing storage, and a touchless DTAgent that updates the desktop agent on all golden images and their desktop instances automatically when the VDI-in-a-Box software is upgraded.