InfoWorld review: Desktop virtualization made easy

Three low-cost, low-fuss VDI solutions prove that desktop virtualization is within anyone's reach

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Overall, the Kaviza solution best combines flexibility, scalability, and virtual desktop management into a single package. I like that I am not tied to any particular endpoint, and Kaviza's VM image management is well done. My biggest knock on Kaviza is that it takes a bit of work to get your guest VMs in the system and prepped for deployment to the end-users. For an at-a-glance comparison of the three solutions, see the table below. For full details, please read the individual reviews:

Entry-level VDI solutions at a glance

 Kaviza VDI-in-a-boxNComputing vSpace and L-SeriesPano Express
Cost$125 per user RDP; $160 per user Citrix HDX (both are perpetual licenses). Does not include cost of VMware or Citrix XenServer or individual Windows licenses.$250 per seat includes vSpace virtualization software, remote access protocol, and L300 virtual desktop client hardware. Does not include cost of server hardware or Windows licenses.$24,450 for complete 50-user package. Includes server hardware, VMware ESX, Windows XP and Windows 7 licenses, and Pano Device endpoints.
PlatformVMware ESX or Citrix XenServer; RDP and HDX protocols; any client that supports RDP and HDX.Windows XP Pro or Windows Server 2003; proprietary remote access protocol and L-Series endpoints.VMware ESX or Microsoft Hyper-V; proprietary bus-extending protocol and Pano Device endpoints.
Pros
  • Easy install: Simply import Kaviza virtual machine into existing VM infrastructure
  • VM management, connection broker, and load balancing in a single package
  • Works with any client that supports RDP or HDX
  • Highly efficient virtualization software, vSpace, runs on basic hardware
  • No discrete virtual desktop images to maintain
  • Easy-to-use management console
  • Complete package at less than $500 per seat
  • Easy initial setup
  • Can use built-in connection broker or will work with third-party brokers
Cons
  • Must provide VMware ESX or Citrix XenServer infrastructure
  • Importing new VMs and creating image templates are more difficult than they should be
  • Requires proprietary endpoint hardware to connect
  • No load balancing in system
  • Requires proprietary endpoint hardware to connect

This article, "InfoWorld review: Desktop virtualization made easy," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments invirtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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