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What makes Nutanix Xi Frame different than Amazon, Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware DaaS solutions?

By Ruben Spruijt

In this blog series, I’ve discussed the pros and cons of VDI and DaaS, providing some guidelines to help you make smarter choices. If you’ve read the previous blogs, you probably have a pretty good idea what your EUC goals are, what obstacles you face, and how to be successful with DaaS. This time I want to talk about Nutanix Xi Frame, our innovative DaaS platform, and explain what makes Frame unique compared to other DaaS solutions such as Amazon Workspaces, Citrix Cloud, Microsoft WVD (Windows Virtual Desktop), and VMware Horizon Cloud. 

I’ve often said, “We live in a world where everybody is working together and at the same time everybody is competing. This is the new normal.” Finding the balance between competition and partnership is healthy.  It keeps Nutanix sharp and helps us to deliver value for customers now and in the future. 

In this blog, I discuss four key factors that make Xi Frame unique among DaaS solutions:

  • Simplicity

  • Born in the cloud

  • Multi-cloud support

  • User experience

Simplicity

All DaaS vendors describe their solutions as simple and easy to use, so it is important to understand what a solution will really deliver for your business. Designing and delivering a truly successful cloud service that satisfies the needs of end-users, administrators, and developers alike is an art. Xi Frame is mastering this art. We consistently receive positive feedback from partners and customers about how simple Frame is to adopt and consume. From the start, our goal has been to deliver a simple, differentiated experience.

Frame is easy to use with a long list of functionality that delivers a great experience for both the administrator and end-user. The platform is easy to set up and operate, even in a complex hybrid cloud, multi-region configuration. The interface is well-designed and responsive, simplifying complex tasks.

Xi Frame administrative interface

A great way to understand the administrator experience is to examine the steps necessary to deploy Xi Frame, as illustrated in the following figure.

Xi Frame includes a variety of one-click integrations for cloud storage, identity/access management, enterprise user profiles, networking options, and more. Xi Frame’s Super Admin interface allows you to manage multiple Frame tenants across regions, and across different infrastructure platforms such as Nutanix AHV, Azure, AWS, and GCP. Super Admin capabilities include changing account settings, cloning systems, analytics, metering, and much more.

Xi Frame includes APIs that make it simple to:

●      Support CI/CD. The powerful, well-documented Admin API, makes it easy to automate and configure the platform for developer needs.

●      Integrate applications or desktops with existing interfaces. Frame’s Session API makes it easy to integrate with Google Shelf, Office 365 Application Launcher, or any other HTML5 interface.

The best way to understand the simplicity of Xi Frame is to try it out; I explain how at the end of this blog.

Example of an education portal that allows students to access content, Windows apps, and other applications.

Born in the Cloud

One of the things that contributes to both the uniqueness and the simplicity of Xi Frame is that it was built from scratch for the cloud age. We didn’t try to take EUC/VDI technology that was designed and built for on-premises deployments and lift and shift it for the cloud.

Cloud native means we use the latest technologies and cloud services to ensure the platform is highly available, scalable, secure by design, and cost-effective. You can start small (5 users) and grow with the speed of your business. Subscriptions can be named-user or concurrent-user with monthly, annual, or multi-year contracts. Flexible usage supports seasonality and adapts to your most demanding use cases.

Security includes easy integration with a broad range of IDaaS providers (Google, Microsoft Azure AD, Okta, or any other SAML2 IdP), as well as Classic Active Directory. End-to-end encryption protects important data and ensures privacy, while role-based access control (RBAC) further protects your organization against bad actors.

Xi Frame is compliant with a wide range of regulation and security standards including GDPR, HIPAA, and ISO. FedRAMP compliance is in progress. For U.S. government organizations handling sensitive, highly regulated information, Xi Frame supports AWS GovCloud and Azure Government.

Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Support

A huge disadvantage of most DaaS solutions is that they lock you into a single public cloud. Xi Frame gives you the ability to run virtual apps and desktops in the major public clouds: AWS, Azure, and GCP. Frame is also able to use on-premises Nutanix infrastructure to run virtual applications and desktops.

In previous blogs, I’ve noted that a hybrid approach—control plane in the cloud and ability to use public cloud and/or on-premises infrastructure to run virtual applications or desktops —is an ideal solution for many organizations. It eliminates much of the management complexity, allows you to easily support multiple sites, run applications close to the data, and reduces costs for an optimal user experience. Xi Frame gives you the ability to choose the right infrastructure for each use case.

User Experience

A good user experience is vital. With Xi Frame,  users access their virtual applications and desktops through a browser, eliminating the need to install and maintain client-side plugins, clients, receivers, or agents. An HTML5-compatible browser is all that’s required to access virtual desktops and applications. Xi Frame provides a dedicated VM to each user. This ensures consistent, top-notch performance—eliminating the effects of “noisy neighbors.”

With Xi Frame, our own Frame Remoting Protocol (FRP) is a core part of delivering the user experience, with highly performant, adaptive QoS capabilities and an adaptive codec that works well in both LAN, mobile, and WAN environments. Users are often blown away by the performance of our protocol.

A long list of functionality contributes to the user experience. For instance, the FRP can deliver high-end graphics with up to 60 fps, 4K, and multi-monitor configurations, clipboard redirection, microphone support, ability to print to client-connected printers, and HQ audio playback with audio and video in-sync.

With Xi Frame you can provide users with access to a wide range of computing resources, including burstable CPUs, multiple CPUs, and single or multiple GPUs (including NVIDIA vGPU). Many customers run high-end applications at up to 60 frames per second with GPU acceleration.

Xi Frame auto-scale functionality provides the best performance for the lowest possible cost. There’s no need for reserved instances, as Frame detects idle usage and automatically suspends the workload—saving infrastructure costs.

Xi Frame also offers native cloud storage integration, including Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, DropBox, and Box. Even more functionality is yet to come.

Xi Frame Gives You the Power of Choice

What makes Nutanix Xi Frame different than Amazon, Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware DaaS solutions? Nutanix Xi Frame gives you the power of choice, removes complexity, and makes EUC simple. A summary of key features includes:

●      Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud support (Nutanix AHV, AWS, Azure, and GCP) to support workload VMs on premises and in public clouds

●      Virtual applications and desktops powered by CPU, NVIDIA vGPU, and multi-GPU

●      Modern (SAML/Oauth) and classic AD authentication

●      Friendly user interfaces and well-documented APIs

●      Windows and Linux guest OSs

●      Persistent (personal) and non-persistent (pooled) desktops

●      Built-in enterprise user profiles, GPO/GPP, or 3rd party UEM tools

●      Native OneDrive, Box, DropBox, Google Drive integration

Try Xi Frame for Yourself

From born-in-the-cloud simplicity to user experience to multi-cloud support, I can go on and on about the advantages of Xi Frame, but at this point the best thing is for you to see Xi Frame for yourself. Click the link below to test out Xi Frame for free. You will get a great overview of both the user experience and admin experience.

To unlock a test drive with accelerated graphics, drop me an email at ruben.spruijt@nutanix.com. Share your use case and I’ll send a special invitation code that gives you 2 hours with NVIDIA GPUs so you can see first hand how Frame handles graphics and resource-intensive applications.

When you want to evaluate Xi Frame and use your own public cloud or Nutanix AHV powered infrastructure you can use the 30 day trial and sign-up here.

Blogs in This Series

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