Citrix XenDesktop & XenApp supported on Nutanix Acropolis

It gives me special pleasure to talk about this announcement because this is one of the projects I have been working on for a while. With this announcement today Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp customers will be supported on the Acropolis hypervisor (AHV).

Acropolis was announced earlier this year (learn more here), but had already been in use by customers for 9+ months in production before the announcement at .NEXT conference. Today Acropolis is used by Global 2000 organizations for all types of workloads. Acropolis hypervisor is free, but a new platform is not useful without support and commitment from the partner ecosystem; for that reason, Acropolis was launched with support from many technology partners and the number of partners is continually increasing.


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Without a good VDI solution Acropolis wouldn’t be complete.





Our friends at Citrix stepped up to the plate supporting their widely used XenDesktop and XenApp products on Acropolis hypervisor. This is something that numerous Nutanix customers running Citrix products on vSphere have been requesting in order to slash hypervisor licensing costs, and ultimately drive VDI $$ per user down; at the end of the day Acropolis hypervisor is free and provides the features expected by enterprises when deploying VDI solutions.

If you are a Citrix XenDesktop or XenApp customer you now have a supported SDS solution to successfully run your deployment without incurring in vSphere or Hyper-V licenses. If your deployment is on XenServer you now have an equally free hypervisor alternative that delivers easier management and a pay-as-you-grow model with integrated SDS capabilities (Tech Reasons why Nutanix leads the VDI industry).

With the announcement today XenDesktop administrators will be able to start provisioning desktops via Acropolis PRISM user interface and manually add desktops into XenDesktop machine catalogs. The solution and deployment model will be jointly supported by Citrix and Nutanix.

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However, manual provisioning isn’t scalable and the purpose of manual provisioning is to address the deployment of static machine catalogs (aka persistent desktops). To make the administrator’s life easier until the full integration is in place Nutanix has created scripts that will allow administrators to automate the provisioning of desktops with integrated Windows sysprep and adding desktops to XenDesktop machine catalogs.

Application Remoting and RDSH via XenApp will also be supported on Acropolis hypervisor.

Soon after the initial support administrators will be able to utilize the same mechanisms and workflows they use today with Machine Creation Services (MCS) to provision and manage the lifecycle of static and random desktops (aka persistent and non-persistent).


Nutanix is Citrix Ready End-to-End


The announcement today solidity this successful partnership, granting Nutanix with the Citrix Ready badge for nearly all Citrix products. Acropolis is Citrix Ready for XenDesktop and XenApp, Sharefile Enterprise, NetScaler VPX and CloudBridge VPX.


Citrix has also spent the time with Nutanix to create the Citrix Validated Solution (CVS). The Citrix Validated Solution has been built with an understanding of the hardware and software components required to deliver virtual and hosted desktops at any scale, and using Citrix’s own best practice configuration and field experience. The CVS with Nutanix helps enterprises eliminate challenges associated with software and infrastructure selection and implementation. Citrix consulting engineers completely validated the solution and it has been pre-tested and optimized for Desktop Virtualization.


Finally, the Nutanix Plug-in for XenDesktop.

Nutanix and Citrix have collaborated to create a new innovative way to assign Service Level Agreements (SLA) for virtual desktops.  The Nutanix Plugin for XenDesktop enables Citrix administrators to answer questions like “how can I ensure my customer desktops are fully protected or guarantee that the development team desktops are getting full performance?” Read more here.


This partnership brings Citrix and Nutanix close together offering fully validated solutions with extremely attractive cost. Nutanix was already the leading platform for VDI deployments  (Tech Reasons why Nutanix leads the VDI industry) with features such as data locality, shadow cloning, performance de-duplication, VAAI, capacity de-duplication, compression, granular scalability, high consolidation and disaster recovery; and now the Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor counts with full support from a leading EUC vendor.

Really… how much better can this get? I am excited about what is to come from this partnership.Two leading vendors getting together to cut VDI costs. However, we are not stopping here and you will soon hear from many of our VDI partners getting fully involved with this new VDI stack; from user management and layering to VDI monitoring. Really Exciting stuff!

More news are coming from this partnership, but for now I suggest you to download a Citrix XenDesktop Evaluation copy (here) and the free Nutanix Community Edition (here) and start testing it away. Combining both products you will have a fully functional evaluation environment.



This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at

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