Earlier this month, we wrote about the Citrix push to virtualize many of their hardware appliances, the release of the Access Gateway VPX, and the pending release of a virtualized version of the Citrix Branch Repeater – their WAN optimization appliance.
The Branch Repeater VPX is now available. As you might expect, it is less expensive than its hardware counterparts, although, like its hardware counterparts, it is licensed based on the WAN bandwidth capacity it can handle. Here’s how it breaks down at the MSRP level:
Branch Repeater VPX Model 2 (2 Mbps): $4,000
Branch Repeater Model 200 (2 Mbps): $6,000
Branch Repeater VPX Model 10 (10 Mbps): $7,000
Branch Repeater Model 300 (10 Mbps): $10,000+ (depending on options)
Branch Repeater VPX Model 45 (45 Mbps): $13,000
Citrix Repeater 8540 (45 Mbps): $19,500
Furthermore, and this is a major change, all versions of the Branch Repeater VPX (even the $4,000 Model 2) will support the Branch Repeater Plug-in for the Citrix Receiver, meaning that they will accelerate connections from individual PC clients running the Repeater Plug-in. If you’re using physical appliances, you must, at a minimum, have a Citrix Repeater Model 8520, which lists for $11,500. That’s very good news for smaller customers.
As is the case with the Access Gateway VPX, the Branch Repeater VPX depends on the underlying HA functionality of XenServer to provide High Availability. (Note that Citrix has stated its intent to support other hypervisors, but the initial release is only supported on XenServer.)
There is also no indication that there will be a virtualized version of the Branch Repeater with Windows Server (hereafter the “BRwWS” to conserve electrons). After a bit of reflection, that probably makes sense. After all, the BRwWS is intended for customers who need to support services like Domain authentication, DNS, DHCP, print services, etc., at branch offices, but do not want to place traditional servers there. If you’re running a virtual appliance, then, by definition, you have at least one (and probably more than one) virtual host at that location. Therefore you are already supporting traditional server hardware there. And you probably already have other virtual servers running on those hosts and providing the needed services (and if you don’t it’s easy enough to stand one up).
One final note about the BRwWS, while we’re on the subject: Branch Repeater with Windows Server 2008 is now available. Therefore, the Branch Repeater with Windows Server 2003 will no longer be sold as of July 31, 2010.