Rackspace Brings Virtual Desktop Hosting To Europe


Hosted Virtual Desktop is Rackspace’s bid to tap into a growing market for mobile device access

Rackspace’s Hosted Virtual Desktop has gone live in Europe. The service allows customers’ employees to access virtual desktops from a range of mobile devices.

The Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD) offers a combination of technologies which can incorporate Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp with NetApp storage. Rackspace also has partnerships with selected desktop virtualisation companies which include Infosys, Point to Point, Centralis and Intrinsic Technology.

Nick Thurlow, vice president for Partner and Pathways at NetApp EMEA, said, “Rackspace has taken full advantage of NetApp’s Service Provider Partner Programme in order to develop this offering, which can ultimately lead to greater flexibility and efficiency for its customers.”

Tapping Into A Growth Area

The platform has been available in the US since it was announced at the Citrix Synergy Conference last May to capitalise on what could be a lucrative market. According to Gartner estimates, there will be 70 million users of virtual desktops by 2014.

David Kelly, UK managing director of Rackspace, said, “Hosting virtual desktops with Rackspace allows companies to reduce deployment times of upgrades and new desktop infrastructure while reducing capital expenditure. Simultaneously, this will allow companies to free up IT resources for more critical internal business operations.”

HVD is based on the company’s hybrid cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering, RackConnect. This allows customers to deploy a virtual desktop solution that uses a private cloud where security and compliance concerns need to be addressed. It can also use the Rackspace Cloud for scalability of XenApp environments.

“By working with partners such as Citrix and its network of nearly 9,000 global partners, enterprises now have instant access to the infrastructure they need, whether it’s a dedicated environment for virtual desktop infrastructure or for shared hosted desktops,” said Kelly.

From the customer viewpoint, Rackspace points out that it moves the desktop virtualisation from a CapEx to an OpEx charge and avoids the need to commission and maintain servers and related hardware.

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