Putting the Infrastructure in VDI

By Preethy Padmanabhan
| min

It seems just yesterday that we just wrapped Citrix Synergy 2016 show. VMworld US 2016, also being held in Las Vegas, is coming upon us beckoning attendees to the vision of “Be TOMORROW”.

Using Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform as their foundation, IT organizations using VMware, Citrix or both can deliver desktops and applications to their end users with excellent user experience while they reap benefits such as simplified management and the ability to scale linearly with the growth of end users and sizing.

Since we started selling in 2011, Nutanix technology and platforms have been chosen to deliver as many as hundreds of thousands of hosted, virtual and shared desktops. [SC1] Customers of all sizes and industries including healthcare, financial services, government, manufacturing, high-tech, retail etc. are deploying Nutanix solutions to make VDI projects a reality and gain real world benefits such as lower TCO, faster time to value and increased end-user satisfaction.

These benefits are a function of our web-scale architecture – allowing customers to start small and linearly scale (without re-architecting their infrastructure), native VM-centric integration and operations, and our unique ability to size infrastructure in terms of end-user needs. Here are a few examples of real world customers using Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform as the foundation for their VDI deployments:

Our first example is from Texas. As the 3rd largest county in US, Harris County, Texas houses four million citizens. A year ago, the Harris County IT team embarked on an aggressive plan to implement Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop for their 600+ staff, along with other services such as Microsoft Skype for Business (formerly Lync) and Microsoft Exchange 2016. However their legacy environment was limiting their abilities to deliver user mobility, anytime access and new use cases including video storage. Running a POC with Nutanix, the Harris County IT team discovered that they can realize clear business benefits such as increased ROI, reduced footprint and technology benefits such as high performance, ease of implementation and reliable support. By implementing XenApp and XenDesktop on Nutanix, Harris County is enabling user mobility and providing secure, on the go access to desktops while benefitting from simplified management, upgrades and support for virtual desktops.

Even though it shares a name with a major city, our second example is from Georgia, USA. Houston Healthcare is a world-class healthcare system serving over 300,000 people a year in the Peach State. In order to provide quality care to such a large population, physicians required their end computing devices to be an enabler and accelerate patient care. However, with physical desktops, Houston Healthcare physicians experience long wait times leading to 20+ minutes wasted each day per physician. The Houston Healthcare IT team turned to the Nutanix VDI solution to solve the problem and as a result reduced physician login times by 60-80%. The new virtual desktops, running on Nutanix Enterprise Cloud, enabled the physicians to access patient information from a wide variety of endpoints, including mobile devices.

Additionally, Houston Healthcare was able to quickly upgrade and scale their VDI environment as a result of their patch cycles drastically reducing from days to less than 30 minutes. Dave Griffin, who was the Director of IT Infrastructure from Houston Healthcare, received an ecstatic response from physicians who were securely allowed to leverage their tablets and phones while maintaining healthcare compliance. As a result Houston Healthcare has revolutionized delivery of patient care by allowing their physicians secure, anytime, anywhere access to patient data, while realizing significant cost savings and productivity gains over legacy end user computing deployments.

Our third example is from Australia and more specifically from New South Wales. Mark Hindle, Head of Technology at the customer, Relationships Australia NSW, presented along with Sridhar Mullapudi from Citrix and our own Raghu Nandan at our 2016 .NEXT conference on the topic of best practices, tip and tricks for VDI. Relationships Australia NSW is one of the first Nutanix customers that is running their Citrix delivered end-user desktops and associated applications including VOIP on AHV. Yes, using the functionality now available in XenDesktop 7.9, end-users in this group are now using desktops that were natively deployed on Nutanix AHV. Mark added during the session that the benefits of running Citrix on AHV were clear — it delivered the 3 “S’es” of IT — Simplicity, Scalability and Security in addition to the cost benefits which were most recently estimated to be A$150,000 across all of their 23 sites. The Nutanix and Citrix technologies has enabled them on the path of digital transformation using video conferencing and more.

We are excited by what our customers have achieved with Nutanix solutions for VDI. If you are interested, you can read more success stories.

Nutanix is certified both Citrix Ready and VMware Ready and several joint reference architectures are available to benefit customers. Most recently, Nutanix made the two announcements from Citrix Synergy 2016 that are already bringing significant value to our customers:

  1. Citrix – Nutanix AHV integration – With Citrix MCS – Nutanix AHV now available with XenDesktop and XenApp 7.9, users can now perform fast provisioning, high speed image updates on Nutanix AHV directly from Citrix Desktop Studio UI. This joins our existing customer for VAAI and VCAI with VMware ESXi, as used by Citrix MCS and Horizon View/vSphere etc.
  2. Nutanix InstantON VDI for Citrix – solution announced by Bill Burley, Corporate VP and GM at Citrix, during his technical keynote for mid-market to large customers looking to deploy low-risk, cost effective VDI solutions. The option to acquire a sub $500 virtual desktop including the newly announced Citrix HDX Pi thin client, drew the attention of Global 200,000 customers of Citrix.

For our skilled channel partners, we are also bringing the Nutanix VDI deployment toolkit. The toolkit enables our partners to design, architect, and deploy VDI with both Citrix and VMware in a highly structured, simplified, and efficient manner. Moreover, this toolkit adheres to Nutanix guidelines and best-practices and is backed by Nutanix services.

What’s next for the Nutanix VDI team? We are heading over to VMworld 2016 being held at the Mandalay Bay Las Vegas from Aug 28th-31st. The Nutanix booth at VMworld 2016 features a wide range of informative sessions including ones on End User Computing, VDI and Nutanix products and solutions.

Interested in learning more? Swing by the Nutanix booth at VMworld (#2311), send us an email at or tweet us @nutanix.