2X touts virtual desktops to undercut Citrix and VMware

Digital illustration of a virtual machine

Server-based computing specialist 2X is stepping up recruitment of UK channel partners offering a desktop and application virtualisation solution it claims costs 20 percent of a comparable Citrix equivalent.

2X sells a ThinClientServer, ApplicationServer and LoadBalancer for Terminal Services which it claims offers a similar experience to Citrix's Xen product portfolio. The firm supports all the virtualisation stacks including VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and open source alternatives. It also provides a device overlay technology that it claims turns fat clients like desktops into thin clients to simplify deployment and reduce ongoing management costs.

2X believes its biggest selling point is price. “By comparison to Citrix we are talking about a twentieth of the price as we don’t charge per user - we charge per server,” explains Paul Robinson, UK managing director for 2X. “So we leave that decision to the customer or reseller on how many users they can put on a server - scaling is down to them.”

Robinson believes that this is a fundamental difference between 2X and every other vendor: “It simply comes down to cost,” he says.

The pricing model charges around £3000 per server regardless of specification. 2X then charges 18 percent for version renewal each year. Robinson estimates that typically each server will run about 35 desktops and its largest European customer, a Dutch service provider, has a load balanced cluster of over 250 servers.

The firm estimates that it has around 3500 customers in the UK and Benalux region delivering around 150,000 virtual desktops to end users. 2X has landed a number of notable wins through its 150 UK partners including Abbey National (Santander), BMW UK and Bournemouth University

The firm also recently released a survey of partners on what’s driving and inhibiting the adoption of desktop virtualisation. Cost reduction is key for 86 percent, followed by flexible working for 55 percent of respondents. Despite this, 91 percent cited lack of understanding and 59 percent named solution complexity as customer main implementation headaches.

According to 2X CEO Nikolaos Makris: “2011 sees increased market opportunity for companies selling desktop and application virtualisation solutions but they will increasingly build upon vendor technologies that can offer a point of differentiation on price, simplicity and ease of use, rather than brand loyalty.”