I had a phone call with Kumar Goswami, formerly of Kaviza and now VP of Product & Strategy at Citrix about the article I wrote a few weeks ago on Citrix's VDI in a Box message. It turns out that, while some of the field messaging that we've been hearing is off-base, the message that Kumar is delivering within Citrix is pretty close to in line with what I wrote about.
Kumar agreed that the use case should determine the best solution for the organization, regardless of the size of the organization. The only place that company size comes into play is when spreading leads around to partners. In that case, they're using company size to determine which product should be used to break the ice with a customer, not as a technical restriction.
That could still be a problem if existing preconceived (or ill-conceived) notions are believed, so to deal with that, Citrix is starting to ramp up an education program for marketing and sales (which also flows down to partners) on just how to decide on the proper product for a use case. Part of that effort will be to help identify situations where VDI-in-a-Box works in large organizations with an "SMB use case" (I'm still not a fan of calling in that, but I guess you have to call it something), and vice-versa.
Kumar also explained 2011 has been spent onboarding the Kaviza team and getting the product Citrix-ified (my word, not his :). Because of this, marketing and sales haven't gotten the attention and education they need. That process begins soon, and by early 2012, they expect the "use case" message to be consistent across the board. That should deal with all the different numbers being thrown around regarding how many users VDI-in-a-Box is meant to handle.
With regards to an upgrade path to XenDestop, there a number of technical reasons that an actual software upgrade can't happen, but Citrix is hammering out the details of a license-only upgrade that will essentially allow people who have invested in VDI-in-a-Box to put that investment towards XenDesktop licenses in the future. While there is no formal package yet, Citrix is dealing with the issue on a case by case basis. So, if you want to take advantage of the upgrade, contact your rep.
A few other notes that tie up some loose ends from other conversations, not necessarily from the article:
- VDI-in-a-Box will be in the CSP (Citrix Service Provider) program next year, which is a program that covers licensing for hosted environments.
- There are no known caps on how many users/sessions/desktops VDI-in-a-Box can support. The plan is to let the market figure that out.
- They realize that there is some overlap between the two products, but the hope is that education can narrow the gray area