Back in June, Nutanix announced its new Acropolis solution, which combines Nutanix’s own hypervisor with a new app mobility fabric that decouples apps from their hypervisor, allows users to use the Nutanix hypervisor, and massively cuts their virtualization costs. Today, Nutanix and Citrix are jointly announcing support for the complete Nutanix Acropolis solution, which has now been verified as Citrix Ready® for XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6, as well as NetScaler and ShareFile.
“We have had an ongoing alliance with Nutanix, and this is a significant extension of that to include the Acropolis hypervisor and mobility fabric,” said Calvin Hsu, VP of product marketing, desktop and apps at Citrix.
Hsu emphasized that this announcement is simply a proof point in the technical collaboration between the two companies, which will intensify going forward.
“This is just the beginning of our support for Acropolis,” he said. “As we get more embedded with their APIs, there is lots of potential for additional integration and automation. Taking on a whole other virtualization layer with the hypervisor is a good example of the deeper relationship here. There is lots of further technical potential in this relationship. It’s not just doing a matter of us doing press releases and webinars together.”
“From a workload perspective, VDI is very critical for us,” said Sachin Chheda, Senior Director, Product and Technical Marketing at Nutanix. “Citrix is the leader in the desktop virtualization space, and we do have a lot of joint customers already. However, from a solution perspective, the story is giving customers the right set of solutions to solve the problem, and getting the Acropolis hypervisor certified by Citrix was critical to this.”
Hsu said that they have already seen good momentum in deploying Nutanix and Citrix together, primarily because Nutanix addresses what was always a major challenge in VDI – the storage part of it.
“We have many joint deployments with Nutanix now, including some of quite large size, and we have seen an important trend,” he said. “Doing 5000 seat VDI deployments is something that we conquered, but doing a good 200 seat pilot was harder. Customers would start with a relatively small VDI implementation with a couple hundred seats, and if they didn’t understand storage networking, those deals would stall out. In contrast, because Nutanix is able to get up and running, and solves the storage issues, we have seen these smaller customers who have taken on Nutanix infrastructure often have a very rapid scaling after that point. The customers can see their value to the business.”
Hsu also said that this extension of the Nutanix relationship will make life even easier for their joint partners.
“It will enhance partners’ ability to get VDI implementations done reliably and simply,” he said.
Chheda said that Nutanix has had a lot of success with Citrix in vertically-specific deployments, like healthcare, public sector, education and manufacturing. One reference customer is St. Luke’s Health System in Idaho.
“St. Luke’s started very modest, and wound up scaling to thousands of users,” he said. He pointed out as well that St, Luke’s has a VMware hypervisor deployment, and that regardless of some public perception that Nutanix is going for VMware’s throat with Acropolis, the two vendors continue to collaborate effectively.
“VMware has the hypervisor market and we work closely with them for validated platforms, and that’s very well established and to our mutual benefit,” Chheda noted. “We do want to give customers choice and the Acropolis hypervisor gives them another choice option.”
Citrix and Nutanix will be doing a joint webinar on September 22.