Citrix Acquires Virtual Desktop Provider Kaviza

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-05-23 Print this article Print

Kaviza, which makes the VDI-in-a-Box product, and Citrix have been strategic partners since April 2010, so it's not a big surprise to industry insiders that this deal was made.

Citrix Systems (Nasdaq: CTXS) revealed May 23 that it intends to acquire Cupertino, Calif.-based virtual desktop software maker Kaviza. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kaviza and Citrix, of nearby Santa Clara, Calif., have been strategic partners since April 2010, so the transaction was not a big surprise to industry insiders.

Kaviza's VDI-in-a-Box, a plug-and-play virtual desktop system that has been gaining traction, enables just about anyone (not necessarily an IT specialist) to get a deployment up and running for a small or midsize business. Kaviza's solution truly is an automated, turnkey way to do it; users install the software on a commodity server, and the software finds all the system nodes automatically.

Citrix, the world's second-largest VDI provider (behind only Hewlett-Packard), needed the IT that Kaviza brought to the table because it had not previously addressed the SMB space with a purpose-built VDI offering. Most of Citrix's customers are large enterprises.

When Kaviza is running, the virtual desktop runs in its own browser-type window with all the application functionality needed. Little or no latency is apparent. Users can continue to use their local applications as normal. Read Frank Ohlhorst's product review here.

Kaviza One of First to Do VDI on iPads

Four-year-old Kaviza, with its VDI-in-Box product, was one of the first to provide VDI support for iPads, iPhones and Android smartphones running on a data center hypervisor-Citrix Xen or VMware ESX 4.1.

The company came out with a new remote-client version, Kaviza Remote, in April. Citrix XenDesktop provides the virtual desktop connector, and Kaviza the distribution method.

With the new client-side version, automatic sync-up is available if the connectivity is cut off.

"One of the biggest differentiators for Kaviza is that we can do all this for about one-third the cost of most of the others, because we plug right into inexpensive servers, and you can use any type of existing device as the client," Krishna Subramanian, Kaviza's chief operating officer, told eWEEK.

Kaviza and Citrix are striving to keep all VDI deployments under $500 per seat, Kaviza CEO Kumar K. Goswami, who will become a Citrix vice president when the deal closes, told eWEEK via email.

"We started Kaviza with a razor-sharp mission of eliminating the cost and complexity we saw with enterprise-class VDI approaches," Goswami said.

"The Kaviza mission has been to make desktop virtualization affordable, easy and practical. As desktop workloads are very different from server workloads, we saw an opportunity to offer an easy-to-use, all-in-one VDI solution at a fraction of the cost through a purpose-built grid architecture that seamlessly scales on off-the-shelf hardware."

Kaviza was founded by virtualization and VDI veterans from HP and IBM. The company is funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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