Citrix is making a play to attract small business customers with a plug-and-go desktop virtualisation package and new initiative designed to help the firm's channel partners better meet the needs of SMB customers.
The desktop virtualisation package is a new version of the VDI-in-a-Box technology that Citrix gained through its acquisition of Kaviza in May.
Available later this quarter, VDI-in-a-Box 5 adds Citrix's High Definition Experience technologies for end users via the Citrix Receiver universal client software.
Citrix said that desktop virtualisation enables large enterprises to reduce costs and improve security, and that the firm wants to bring the same advantages to smaller businesses that typically lack the expertise to deploy such a solution.
"There is pent-up demand among SMEs who want to realise the benefits of desktop virtualisation but have been underserved by existing solutions," said Krishna Subramanian, vice president of marketing for SMB solutions at Citrix.
The firm said that VDI-in-a-Box is designed to be easy to install and use, and does not require complex and costly infrastructure, such as management servers or a high-performance storage area network.
Instead, VDI-in-a-Box can be installed on just one or two off-the-shelf servers and makes use of the storage connected to each. It can easily be expanded by adding more servers to the grid, Citrix added.
The new release also adds new wizard-driven controls to simplify virtual desktop management, and supports hypervisor technology from VMware and Microsoft as well as Citrix's own XenServer.
However, Citrix said that a key factor in its strategy for SMBs is a partner ecosystem that can supply validated end-to-end systems. Dell is one partner that will now offer a VDI-in-a-Box system combining its server hardware and Citrix's software.
Meanwhile, Citrix is to introduce a new SMB Specialist programme to its Citrix Solution Advisor training for resellers and integrators. SMB Specialists will have access to free online training and pre-sales support to help them service SMB customers.
Citrix added that new support in its GoToManage tool makes it easier for managed service providers to remotely monitor and support Citrix VDI-in-a-Box servers from anywhere, along with the virtual desktops they host.
Citrix has yet to announce specific pricing details for VDI-in-a-Box 5.
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