Citrix Systems just announced its 2012 partner training calendar, including a six-week virtual desktop training course, Citrix Academy. The course is offered in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Santa Clara, Calif., and promises to guide students through basic design and troubleshooting of Citrix products such as XenServer, XenDesktop, XenApp and NetScaler. It also covers complex integrations, optimization and scalability using the same tools and methods the company uses to train its internal staff. Course graduates receive the Citrix Certified Integration Architect (CCIA), the company’s highest certification available.
As a VAR, you may be weighing whether or not this is a good time to take six weeks off of work and go to this intensive training. To help you decide, here some numbers that might help. According to the Virtualization Decisions 2011 Purchasing Intentions survey conducted by SearchServerVirtualization.com at TechTarget Inc., interest in desktop virtualization is growing, with 36% of respondents evaluating the technology, up from 27% in 2010. But actual deployments are lagging, with only 19% of respondents reporting that they had implemented desktop virtualization in 2010 or before, and only 14% planned to deploy the technology in 2011.
Further, only 3.64% of those surveyed said XenServer is their primary server virtualization platform, and 15.43% said XenDesktop is their primary desktop virtualization platform, behind VMware View (26.05%) and VMware ThinApp (16.4%).
These numbers may not reveal the true use of Citrix products for desktop virtualization as some discussions about using the XenClient hypervisor rather than XenDesktop for desktop virtualization have been happening, with security and flexibility cited as the leading reasons. For more information on using the bare metal hypervisor, BrianMadden.com covered XenClient features and functionality recently in an interview with Citrix’s Peter Blum.
Other desktop virtualization options include Citrix VDI-in-a-Box, which may actually be the best fit for small and medium-sized business customers.
Of all the courses offered, evaluating which training session to attend is a business decision I’m sure you don’t take lightly. But let me know. If you’re a Citrix partner, are you considering attending the Citrix Academy? What are the business factors that are driving that consideration? Is desktop virtualization something you are currently offering your customers? Why or why not? Leave your comments below or share your thoughts with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.