XenDesktop 7.5: The Worlds of Cloud & VDI Collide

Update:  Today we have announced our Citrix Ready® verification for XenDesktop and have published a SolidFire & XenDesktop Reference Architecture, a SolidFire & XenDesktop Whiteboard Video, and a SolidFire & XenDesktop Datasheet. We are committed to building the highest quality storage experience for our customers’ virtual desktop infrastructure.

At SolidFire we have invested significant time and resources over the past few years to deliver an industry leading Citrix CloudPlatform integration for our service provider and enterprise customers. With the recent Cloud Platform 4.2 release we were one of the first companies to deliver a plug-in architecture allowing native provisioning and dynamic adjustment of storage quality-of-service from directly within the CloudPlatform interface.

As we have moved up the stack to more workload specific testing and validation, one of the most obvious places to start was VDI. Storage remains an unsolved problem in VDI environments. As I have written about in the past, traditional storage systems lack the adaptability, performance and scalability to keep pace with the unpredictable demands of VDI environments as they grow from proof-of-concept to production. These storage challenges are further magnified in a multi-tenant/multi-application environment. This is where SolidFire comes in.

SolidFire’s scale-out block storage system, with granular quality-of-service controls, is uniquely suited to harness the mixed and unpredictable workload profiles that exist in VDI environments. These workloads would normally require a dedicated storage system. However, SolidFire’s ability to guarantee storage performance, dynamically adjust storage resources on the fly without hardware reconfiguration, and linear and non-disruptive scale translates to significant user experience and cost benefits from within a shared storage infrastructure.

Given our existing relationship with the CloudPlatform team at Citrix, it was natural to extend our reach to include the qualification and testing of XenDesktop. Over the last few months we have validated the SolidFire solution as Citrix Ready for XenDesktop (stay tuned for more detailed results from our joint testing in the coming weeks). But we haven’t been the only ones hard at work. While we have validated SolidFire with CloudPlatform and XenDesktop individually, Citrix has been working to create a tighter alignment between these two products. XenDesktop 7.5 is the first deliverable from this effort, allowing customers to seamlessly leverage Citrix CloudPlatform powered by Apache CloudStack and XenDesktop together in the same environment. Through the integration work completed in 7.5, customers now can deploy, flex and manage their XenDesktop virtual desktop infrastructure from within CloudPlatform.

For SolidFire, Citrix’s work with the 7.5 release brings the worlds of cloud management and desktop virtualization together. Individually, we have delivered validated integrations with Citrix’s industry leading offerings in each segment. Merged together, customers can now harness the power of both XenDesktop and CloudPlatform from within a single infrastructure. With SolidFire at the basis of this infrastructure, customers benefit from the CloudPlatform integration and XenDesktop validation to ensure they can confidently support the storage demands of a virtual desktop infrastructure in a multi-tenant or multi-application environment.

– Dave Cahill

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