Nutanix and Citrix are working together to make the combination of the Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure platform and Citrix's XenDesktop and XenApp more attractive for organisations looking to deploy virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).
The move initially sees Citrix certifying Nutanix's Xtreme Computing Platform (XCP) running the Acropolis Hypervisor as Citrix Ready for XenDesktop 7.6 and XenApp, as well as NetScaler and ShareFile. But the two firms are also working to align their respective technologies closer together and will enable customers running both platforms to go to either company for support.
However, it is not a joint go-to-market solution, according to Nutanix product manager Raghu Nandan, but a way of making it quicker and easier to deploy the two products together.
"These are still two independent products, but we are making sure by collaboration at the product level between the two companies that, when customers independently procure Nutanix and XenApp or XenDesktop, they will be comfortable running those in a pre-validated solution with reference architectures made available," he told V3.
Nutanix has already seen strong demand for its platform, which combines compute and storage resources into each node, while the software layer combines all the storage across a cluster of nodes into a shared pool. This architecture has proved well suited for new-build virtual infrastructure, especially when used for operating virtual desktops.
Earlier this year, Nutanix introduced the next generation of its technology, the Xtreme Computing Platform, which also includes Acropolis, its own hypervisor which is basically a slimmed-down version of KVM and which the firm claims can deliver lower overall infrastructure costs.
"We've heard from customers that running a workload like XenDesktop on a platform such as Nutanix has always been an attractive proposition because they have clear oversight and predictable performance, so Nutanix has already been used a lot for XenApp and XenDesktop," Nandan said.
"It's seen a very high degree of customer satisfaction in how it has seeded the entire VDI project by allowing easy capacity addition and linear scaling, and customers found troubleshooting much easier than with the traditional siloed architectures."
Thanks to the new collaboration between Nutanix and Citrix, joint customers will be able to deploy a complete VDI solution in just a few hours without requiring specialised storage skills, and scale up a pilot deployment to a full-scale production environment with tens of thousands of users, without any adverse effect on user experience, Nutanix said.
This is because a Nutanix cluster gains extra compute and storage resources every time a new node is added, so there is no degradation of performance as the cluster grows, a problem often seen with traditional scale-out storage solutions, according to the firm.
Bill Burley, Citrix's vice president for Windows app delivery, said that the collaboration will deliver greater choice for customers.
"Working with Nutanix, we are providing additional infrastructure options for deploying XenApp and XenDesktop that will accelerate customer time to value, and drive even greater efficiencies and success in app and desktop virtualisation projects," he said.
The two firms are planning to support XenApp and XenDesktop software on XCP from September. Other Nutanix solutions are already verified as Citrix Ready, and are validated to run Citrix XenDesktop, XenApp, ShareFile and NetScaler.
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