Putting the Focus on End-users: Citrix XenServer and Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform

By Sachin Chheda
| min

Nutanix CEO, Dheeraj Pandey recently blogged about companies with staying power. They start off as insurgents and bring positive disruption in the industry and as they are about to become incumbents, they re-invent themselves. This customer-centric viewpoint has been one of Nutanix’s guiding principles–from engineering to support to solution development. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of application and desktop virtualization.

Nutanix and Citrix have constantly disrupted the VDI and app virtualization and delivery space, putting IT’s focus on end-user needs. For example, at Synergy 2016, Nutanix announced a full stack, turn-key Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft Windows-based VDI solution called InstantON VDI for Citrix, which delivers an enterprise level experience at an affordable price point. The two companies have given architects and administrators the power of choice by bringing to market VDI and app virtualization solutions on several different virtualization stacks. This includes the industry’s first software defined Citrix Validated Solution for XenApp and XenDesktop–running on Microsoft Hyper-V, validated solutions with ESXi and the Citrix MCS integrated solutionleveraging the Nutanix AHV virtualization stack. We are furthering this commitment to IT with today’s news.

Together with Citrix, we are proud to announce that Nutanix will be adding support for industry leading Citrix applications including XenApp, XenDesktop, NetScaler VPX and NetScaler running on Citrix XenServer on the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform. Starting with the Nutanix Asterix release, XenServer customers will be able to run XenServer 7 as a tech preview on the Nutanix solution.

A popular choice among Citrix customers, XenServer can cater to even the largest XenApp or XenDesktop deployments. Like Nutanix AHV, which is included with the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform, Citrix XenServer does not require any specific licenses. It is included with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop — eliminating the expense of a separate virtualization stack. Its most recent version, XenServer 7 adds some compelling new features for existing customers including enhanced graphics support (vGPU for Linux and increased scalability), tighter Windows integration (Windows VM Driver updates, SCOM Integration and more) and greater security (Direct Inspect APIs).

Once the capability is released, Citrix XenServer users will find that the move to the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform will bring the benefits Nutanix customers are seeing to their own environment. These can include:

  1. Faster upfront deployment and ongoing 1-click expansion — XenServer customers can go from unboxing hardware to serving virtual desktops in as little as a few hours and gain the ability to expand existing deployments in minutes. This is akin to Hero Groupand Rush University’s experiences with Nutanix, deploying their Nutanix solution in less than 1 day.
  2. Linear scaling of users without performance bottlenecks — XenServer users can scale their Citrix deployments to support 10,000’s of users with excellent user experience, thanks to the web-scale Nutanix architecture. This is similar to St. Luke’s journey to cover thousands of users across dozens of sites. Customers can also reduce sizing and scaling risk with the refreshed Nutanix VDI Assurance service.
  3. Lower costs and operational overhead — XenServer users can slash their TCO and operation overhead by minimizing the need to actively manage infrastructure, especially storage, and simplifying tasks such as provisioning and troubleshooting. This is similar to what Yahoo! Japan experienced in terms of higher IT personnel productivity after using Citrix and Nutanix for their end-user desktops and applications.

Bottom line: Whether an organization is looking to deploy hosted shared desktops or graphics-intensive virtual desktops or give remote users fast and secure access to their applications and data, Nutanix and Citrix together are helping IT make this a reality. Today’s announcement of planned Nutanix support for XenServer is another example of how both companies are putting the focus back on serving the needs of the end-user; eliminating virtualization as a separate add-on and making infrastructure invisible.

Interested in learning more? You can download the Nutanix solution brief on XenServer support for VDI and application virtualization here. You can also send a note at to setup a customized briefing and live demonstration. Be sure to also check out the resources below for more information.


Read Calvin Hsu’s blog on how Citrix and Nutanix are helping IT manage the cost and complexity of app & desktop deployments (posted when AHV was verified to be Citrix Ready for XenApp, XenDesktop, ShareFile, NetScaler VPX and more)

Read more about the new features in XenServer 7 in the Citrix blog, XenServer 7 Launch — what you need to know.

Want to know more about the differences between PVS and MCS? Watch the Citrix Synergy session delivered by Kees Baggerman (CTP; Nutanix Solution Architect) and Martijn Bosschaart (Technical partner architect) here.

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