Citrix Expands VDI Presence with RingCube Acquisition
One of the major players in the virtualization and cloud space is getting a little bigger. Citrix has acquired RingCube, which provides a unique technology that can mitigate VDI adoption headaches when it comes to virtualization personalization and management. Can it help your own cloud and virtualization deployments? Maybe.
RingCube technology strives to bridge the gap between the issue of dedicated and personalized VM’s which can take up large amounts of space in the data center vs. the more streamlined, centralized and cheap but very non-personal style of virtualization that a central VDI approach provides, forcing users into a single preset VM.
The solution to eating your cake and having it too is fairly simple: Save the bare essential personal information and split with the difference. RingCube offers a way to achieve both central VDI management and happy employees by creating a vDisk for every user. vDisk holds “unique personal desktop” information in a separate location, and is called upon to integrate with the central VDI when a user logs on. That information includes applications and personalized settings such as the adorable kitten desktop background and icon locations, but not the entire bloat of a full-on Windows operating system. Citrix and RingCube believe that with XenDesktop at the backbone, serious cost savings can be had in both the storage space and the virtualization license space.
RingCube also cites some pretty significant user-benefits: With personal information stored in compartmentalized vDisks, IT admins can be more relaxed about users installing personal applications or otherwise customizing their experience. RingCube can also eliminate issues that arise in physical-to-virtual desktop transitions, since a vDisk can be created from an existing physical Windows install. A happy user is a happy IT admin, and a happy IT admin is someone who can spend more time managing more important problems than backing up user preferences.
Partners and customers can get their hands on RingCube today, but only XenDesktop 5 is fully supported. Fear not, existing RingCube customers, Citrix will continue to support you.
Worth noting is virtualization company Wanova, which specializes in a similar form of virtualization. Instead of using a central VDI system, Wanova works using local machines that constantly backup virtualized personal images. In the event of a lost, stolen or destroyed computer, that personal image exists in the cloud and can be instantly reapplied to any new computer regardless of hardware. The difference here is RingCube provides a more ‘true’ virtualization solution in that there is a centrally manageable VDI infrastructure.
Bottom line? The virtualization scene is becoming incredibly more robust, customizable and complex, and that’s good for virutalization and cloud providers everywhere.