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'Ultra-converged' infrastructure opportunity for HP and Citrix partners

The ink was barely dry on the paper when on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Citrix Summit 2015 in Las Vegas, the vendor announced a new high-end ultra-converged infrastructure solution that leverages software-defined storage capability from recently acquired Sanbolic. Citrix completed the acquisition on Jan. 12.

The new Citrix WorkspacePod powered by HP is what Citrix referred to as “ultra-converged” infrastructure – integrating compute, storage and networking with accelerators such as graphics processing units (GPUs). The preconfigured system is designed to deliver mobile workspaces and applications including Windows, Web and Linux. An entry-level unit, Citrix Workspace Pod powered by DataON, was also introduced.

Stating that Citrix hasn’t been addressing the opportunity of VDI as it should, company CEO Mark Templeton told partners in his keynote address that Citrix will build new pre-engineered WorkspacePod systems “so that you can spend less time setting up and configuring and more time connecting these systems to solutions that allow customers to be more competitive and drive a better user experience.”

The new Citrix WorkspacePod, a fully integrated solution for delivering modern workspaces, includes preconfigured software, one-source partner support and a 90-day white-glove partner program for about 25 partners — either HP partners, Citrix partners or those solution providers that partner with both vendors — to get up to speed on the new offerings. Citrix and HP have been technology partners for two decades.

Citrix said it might announce general product availability at Citrix Synergy 2015 in May.

According to Citrix, the new WorkspacePod system targets two types of customer requirements: one for companies with branch offices or retail stores; and the other for the main core data center for verticals such as healthcare, retail, and universities and research sites, for example. The first offering will target from 10 to a few hundred users while the other will serve 500 to thousands of users.

While this initial converged infrastructure solution demonstrates a Citrix and HP partnership, Citrix is offering this solution as a Citrix-led engineering stack so partners can expect to see the vendor join forces with other technology partners in the future.