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Dell, Microsoft Showcase Windows Server VDI Progress

Microsoft this week took part in the Dell World event to lay out various virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) capabilities enabled by Windows Server 2012 R2.

Dell World 2013, which kicked off on Wednesday in Austin, Texas, is the company's first event since going private in late October, according to Michael Dell, founder and CEO. Among the other solutions on display at the event were Dell's VDI solutions, enterprise management software and storage products.

On the VDI front, Windows Server 2012 R2 supports using Remote Desktop Apps for Android, iOS, Windows RT and Mac OS X devices, according to Microsoft's announcement. The VDI experience is enhanced for thin clients with Microsoft's RemoteApp, RemoteFX and DirectX 11.1 technologies.

There's also deduplication support for virtual machines in Windows Server 2012 R2, as well as a tiered "storage spaces" capability to optimize and prioritize storage media. Those technologies and more are supported in Dell's Desktop Virtualization Solution for Windows Server product.

The Dell Desktop Virtualization Solution for Windows Server solution also supports Windows 8.1 clients with Intel Haswell processors. It supports Lync 2013 unified communications, particularly with Dell Wyse thin clients D90 and Z90. There is also Lync 2013 support for new dual- and quad-core Dell Wyse thin clients, plus support for "high-end server graphics cards."

Dell and Microsoft are demonstrating some of those VDI capabilities this week at Dell's event.

New 2014 Dell Products
In recent years, Dell has expanded on the enterprise support side through various acquisitions, including Kace management appliance products, thin-client VDI products with the purchase of Wyse Technology, and migration and management solutions with its acquisition of Quest Software.

Those capabilities have come together in a new management, security and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) solution from Dell. For instance, Dell's new Enterprise Mobility Management solution includes intellectual property from Dell Kace, Dell Wyse, Dell SonicWall (a remote access gateway product) and Dell Credant (hardware- and software-based encryption), according to an announcement issued by the company.

The Enterprise Mobility Management solution supports setting policies for smartphones (Android and iOS), tablets (Android, iOS and Windows) and desktops (Linux, Mac and Windows), as well as thin clients, for mobile device management and VDI management. Dell has a couple of other solutions that can enable BYOD scenarios for end users. One is Dell Desktop Workspace, which is a "secure Microsoft Windows image" for PC and Mac end users. The other is Dell Mobile Workspace, which provides end users with "secure access to corporate data and productivity tools."

Dell plans to start selling its Enterprise Mobility Management solution in the first quarter of 2014 in U.S. and Canadian markets. It will be offered on an annual subscription basis.

Dell also highlighted a couple of new data protection products. The new NetVault Backup 10 product is a deduplication storage solution that is integrated with Dell's DR6000, which is new product in Dell's line of deduplication hardware appliances. Both products will be offered globally in the first quarter of 2014, with NetVault Backup pricing starting at $2,700 per terabyte and DR6000 pricing starting at $58,000 for nine terabytes of capacity.

A new Software as a Service (SaaS) application performance monitoring product from Dell will get a beta launch in February 2014. The Dell APM SaaS solution is designed to provide Web and mobile application performance monitoring using "machine-learning capabilities," according to Dell.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.