Atlantis XenApp Optimizer May Broaden Market For MSPs

Here’s a bit of technology transfer for the virtualization market: Atlantis Computing, which partners with a number of MSPs, has taken its storage optimization approach for virtual desktops and moved it in into the application virtualization space.

Service providers pursuing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) may already be familiar with Atlantis’ ILIO software. The product aims to cut the storage costs of virtual desktop installations, working in Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View environments. The storage demands -- and associated costs -- of the virtual desktop can torpedo a project. Deployments call for centralized storage and enterprise-level technology that tends to be expensive. Atlantis claims ILIO can cut storage requirements by up to 90 percent.

Last month, Atlantis launched ILIO for Citrix XenApp, transferring its technology into the application virtualization and streaming space. Atlantis says its technology takes on the storage challenges of virtualizing XenApp. What’s in it for MSPs? The product’s roll out could help Atlantis partners address a broader customer set.

Seth Knox, director of marketing at Atlantis, said many of the company’s Citrix-oriented partners focus more on XenApp than VDI. Atlantis’ XenApp offering plays to a bigger segment of those partners' client rosters.

“The XenApp installed base is much larger than the VDI installed base,” he said.

A number of Atlantis’ channel allies offer hosting and/or managed services. Those include Accelera Solutions, Bear Data Solutions, GreenPages Technology Solutions, Logicalis Group, and Presidio Inc.

Knox said his company’s XenApp storage optimizer will help those partners take on virtualization projects where the shift from local disk to shared services threatens to create a significant storage problem.

Technology Impact

Joe Brown, president of Accelera Solutions, said Atlantis makes a lot of sense around virtual desktops.

“The big thing everybody is looking at is how can they value-engineer the solution stack,” he said, observing that storage, network, and computing layers are all under cost-savings scrutiny.

Accordingly, products that reduce infrastructure costs become critical as organizations build large-scale, virtual desktop infrastructure, Brown added.

But how Atlantis’ ILIO technology applies to XenApp is somewhat less clear, Brown said, noting that the “density you get in XenApp is so much greater than you get in a virtual desktop environment.”

On the other hand, Brown said XenApp generates a high I/O workload and XenApp farms often feature many duplicate servers.

“Technically, it makes sense to dedupe these servers inline and be able to do some I/O offload with the [Atlantis] technology, Brown said. “The value ... is slightly less compelling than when you couple it with virtual desktop technology, but it is still very valuable” for scaling up XenApp farms.

MSPs will have to determine the value for themselves. In general, any technology tool that offers to wring out infrastructure costs probably rates a look.

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