VDI Price Analysis

Posted by TJ Racherla on Jun 15, 2015

As any technology matures and becomes more widely adopted, it gets cheaper. That's what's happening with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Citrix, Microsoft and VMware all now offer reliable hypervisors, fast protocols, and robust client support. Management is the remaining gap, and how each vendor looks to fill that gap impacts cost.

VMware has acquired many different tools for application delivery, image management, provisioning, personalization, and disk space optimization, adding capabilities - as well as cost and complexity - to VMware Horizon. Citrix has tried to leverage its existing XenApp tools for XenDesktop VDI. Microsoft has chosen Unidesk as its management partner for Microsoft VDI.

What's the best way to do VDI on a budget? This table offers a VDI price analysis for a 500-user example using data from the VMware Store, Citrix Store, and Unidesk Pricing Tool.

Connectivity

with 1 year maintenance
(500 Users)

Unidesk
$206,500
Unidesk
$151,250
Unidesk
$51,000
Unidesk
$51,000
Unidesk
$48,400
Management

with 1 year maintenance
(500 Users)

Linked Clones, View Composer, Mirage, App Volumes, ThinApp, Immidio included with Horizon Enterprise for VDI management

Unidesk
$59,500

Unidesk used in place of Horizon management tools so Advanced or Standard Edition is sufficient

Unidesk
$59,500

Unidesk extends Citrix XenDesktop VDI Edition with simple, scalable management

Unidesk
$59,500

Unidesk extends Citrix XenDesktop VDI Edition with simple, scalable management

Unidesk
$59,500

Unidesk extends Microsoft RD Connection Broker with simple, scalable management

Hypervisor Unidesk
$0

vSphere for Desktops
included

Unidesk
$0

vSphere for Desktops
included

Unidesk
$32,500

$65 per user for vSphere for Desktops

Unidesk
$0

Hyper-V included with Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Unidesk
$0

Hyper-V included with Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Software Total $206,500 $210,750 $143,000 $110,500 $107,900

The first row is the cost of the brokers, which provide secure desktop connectivity. The second row is the cost of management. The last row is the cost of the hypervisor. Microsoft Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) cost is not included since it's the same for all options.

Microsoft VDI or Citrix XenDesktop VDI Edition with Unidesk on Hyper-V is the best way to do desktop virtualization on the cheap, without sacrificing functionality:

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) CALs provide access to all of the role services needed to connect to virtual desktops. Unidesk eliminates the earlier scalability limitations of RDS and provides greater flexibility and simplicity with one all-inclusive management solution.
  • Substituting Citrix XenDesktop VDI Edition for Microsoft RD Connection Broker adds only a little more cost and may give long-time Citrix customers who trust the HDX protocol more comfort.

Regardless of which option you choose, Unidesk for open, best-in-class management and Hyper-V as the underlying hypervisor are the keys to reducing VDI cost.

Topics: Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon View, Microsoft VDI, Pricing, Licensing

Posted by TJ Racherla on Jun 15, 2015

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