The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

XenDesktop at the Speed of Now

Posted by riverbedtest on April 19, 2011

Speedometer Today Riverbed announced the expansion of our abilities to accelerate and control the broadest range of virtual desktop environments over the WAN.  We are adding enhanced support for Citrix XenDesktop joining our existing coverage for the virtual desktop solutions from leading providers like Microsoft and VMware. Customers who deploy Steelhead products in a virtual desktop environment are able to overcome the WAN performance issues that bottleneck virtual desktop deployments, significantly enhancing virtual desktop end-user productivity and helping speed the adoption of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).  This announcement is particularly important in light of the many recent developments we’ve seen in the VDI space.     XenDesktopLogo

The convergence of a number of trends in the server and OS market are propelling an increased interest in desktop virtualization.  The enormous success that server virtualization projects have had at helping customers achieve the promised benefits of greater flexibility, lower costs, and improved data management have driven rapid growth in the space as well as increased interest in identifying other opportunities to realize these benefits.  Server virtualization vendors have made significant improvements in their desktop virtualization products, committing more resources and attention on them to eliminate legacy concerns regarding functionality and performance.  VDI graph The increased focus by vendors on desktop virtualization meets a surge demand for OS and client systems as organizations have anointed Windows 7 as the true successor to XP and have initiated refresh cycles.  With a total addressable market of 35 million servers vs 370-600 million enterprise desktops these contravening forces suggest continued growth in this space along with corresponding increases in emphasis by product and solution vendors. 

The primary challenges limiting the adoption of VDI are similar to the challenges of centralized architectures: application performance and bandwidth utilization.  VDI products are particularly susceptible to this as poor responsiveness typically manifests itself not merely as slow application performance but also impacts higher priority tasks leading to sluggish mouse movements and keystrokes.  Additionally, recommendations of up to 256k of bandwidth per user session, which are typically both compressed and encrypted, levies a significant bandwidth tax for usage and also limits the ability for third party technologies to try to ensure quality of service and performance.

Riverbed plays a central role-enabling server centralization and virtualization projects and is well D737~Speed-Racer-Go-Speed-Posters positioned to leverage this success in the desktop virtualization space.   One of the Steelhead products' key differentiators is the ability to optimize across applications and protocols.  That is particularly valuable as organizations rely on their networks to support multiple applications and uses.  This versatility is relevant to VDI as users often run additional applications and services outside of their network stream. 

In addition, Riverbed provides additional benefits to VDI deployments by addressing the inherent difficulties of performance and bandwidth utilization in the virtual desktop stream.  This functionality enhances software solutions from major vendor including Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp, VMware View, Microsoft RDP and RemoteFX.  By addressing the fundamental limitations of virtual desktops across vendors while also providing optimization for all other traffic on the WAN, Riverbed is strongly positioned to promote its solution in the virtual desktop space.

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