XenDesktop 4 on ESXi. Final chapter on this saga.

As you guys do remember, a while ago I posted about my experience on trying to get Citrix XenDesktop 4 working on my VMWare ESXi environment. You can read the post that started this soap opera here and an update on what happened next here.

First of all I must say that post started quite a discussion and more than that, it is the #1 search that is now leading readers to my blog, especially because most people think that as a Citrix CTP, I am not supposed to post things like that.

It is quite the opposite actually. Of course when I started that thread, Citrix immediately contacted me but not really because I did it. They contacted me to understand how they failed on not supporting me or not getting me answers for all the issues I had at the time and promptly started working with me very closely to get that environment up and running. And in the end I must say, it DOES work and DOES work as expected.

The outcome from this post that started it all is this: Citrix today announced they are OFFICIALLYsupporting VMWare ESXi as a host solution for their Citrix XenDesktop product! You can read their official statement here: CTX124952.

Of course there are certain features regarding the integration with the Hypervisor that will not work (Pool and Power Management ones). For a small environment, with let’s say 5 to 10 users in a company, this is in my opinion, great news. It is an easy way to dip your toes into the VDI world at pretty much no cost. Build a small server running ESXi (free, or use the paid version that is on sale at $495 until June, 15th I think) and create your XP/Windows 7 VMs on it for your users. Again, for a small shop I do see this as a great solution. Pretty much all you need is there, including a Web Interface, Gateway, etc. Unbelievable value at no cost. And if down the road you do feel you need the features available on the paid versions, it is not hard at all to upgrade.

And technically, what fixed the issues I was having is all that is described on the second post on this thread ANDa ‘power’ setting on Windows 7. Apparently by default it will go into ‘Standby’ after a couple minutes. Once I changed all power settings not to turn anything off at all ever, the problem was resolved. I can now consistently logon to the Web Interface and get to my XenDesktop 4 Desktop.

So resuming: XenDesktop 4 DOESwork with VMWare ESXi ANDit is now fully supported by Citrix, thanks to your friendly neighbor CTP here. 🙂

By the way, it works beautifully.


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