The Virtualization Practice

Author Archive for Simon Bramfitt

Simon Bramfitt
Simon BramfittSimon is an independent industry analyst covering enterprise desktop, mobile and application virtualization, delivery and management technologies. He is an experienced solutions architect with unmatched insight into the challenges of designing large (200,000 seat plus) high availability presentation and desktop virtualization systems. Simon was invited to join the Citrix Technology Professionals (CTP) group in May 2010 and joined the Virtualization Practice in September 2010

VirtuAll User Environment Manager Released

About 18 months ago fellow Citrix Technology Professional Pierre Marmignon realized that there was a gap in the market for a simple robust user environment management solution that could remove the continual nightmare of managing complex Windows logon scripts and user environment settings in virtual desktop environments. Skip forward to today and Pierre has just announced the release of VirtuAll User Environment Manager (VUEM), and it is excellent.

RES Software confirmed today that it is has signed an agreement with Citrix to license RES’ reverse seamless Windows technology.

Citrix confirmed that while it has a license to use RES Virtual Desktop Extender (VDX) it does not intend to integrate RES’ VDX solution into it’s own products. Instead it has taken out the license to allow it to implement its own reverse seamless solution without running afoul of the patent that RES holds on reverse seamless Windows.

I have to admit that it came as a bit of a surprise to see Ericom beating Citrix, VMware, et al to the punch last week by shipping the beta release of its HTML5-based RDP client, before any of the bigger vendors opened up their offerings to public scrutiny. I’ll being look at the operation of Ericom’s HTML5 client in more depth next week, but first we need to understand why anyone would be interested in deploying a HTML5-based remote desktop client at all.

A change to the Microsoft Client Access License (CAL) bundle is a rare event – the last time it happened was about 10 years ago; so any change to the CAL bundle has to be seen as a significant indicator of Microsoft’s core values. Or so you would think. Assuming that is right, last week’s announcement at the Microsoft Management Summit of changes to the Core and Enterprise CAL bundles need careful analysis. Changes to the CAL are a strategic driver towards new product adoption and represents a clear indication of Microsoft’s long-term goals and aspirations. With that in mind we can infer from this latest change how Microsoft views desktop virtualization.

A couple of weeks ago, you could be forgiven for not ever having even heard of webOS, but now after HP CEO Leo Apotheker confirmed that starting in 2012, every HP PC will include the ability to run webOS in addition to Windows, if you profess to having any understanding of mobile platforms you have to profess to have at least some understanding of what webOS is and why it is important.

The phenomenal growth of the tablet market has left many industry analysts scrambling to reassess sales forecasts for both tablets and PCs. Last week Gartner was forced to acknowledge that its previous forecasts were way off the mark when it issued a revised 2011 sales forecast that reduced its November 2011 PC sales growth estimate by a staggering 25%. Gartner research director, Ranjit Atwal, said his company had not fully appreciated the impact that tablet devices were having on the market, and the new figures “reflect marked reductions in expected near-term unit growth based on expectations of weaker consumer demand, due in no small part to growing user interest in media tablets such as the iPad.” Given that this is the same Gartner that in September 2010 instructed CIOs everywhere to go out and buy iPads, it shows just how badly it underestimated the tablet’s impact on the PC market. As tablet sales (and for the moment we can read that as being almost exclusively iPad sales) continue to cut in to sales of PCs and laptops, PC manufacturers are under pressure to offer their own alternatives and IT organizations are under similar pressure to provide ways to integrate tablets into their core service offerings.

When VMware first announced that it was going to license Teradici’s PCoIP protocol for inclusion in View 4.0, its most visible shortcoming was that VMware did not plan to update the View Security Server at the same time. Setting aside any debate as to the performance characteristics of PCoIP on the WAN, the lack of support for the View Security Server was a significant obstacle to widespread adoption of View in enterprise environments. So the inclusion of direct support for PCoIP tunneling through the View 4.6 Security Server comes as a most welcome update. Also included with View 4.6 are new USB enhancements, as well as support for Windows 7 SP1.

Attached as a footnote to last week’s big news of Windows 7 SP1 being released to manufacture, Microsoft also announced a new lightweight edition of Windows 7. Windows Thin PC (WinTPC) is in many respects a Windows 7-based update of Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (WinFLP), a lightweight locked down version of Windows XP SP3 that was offered to enterprise customers as an encouragement to get them to migrate away from Windows 2000 without the cost of performing a hardware refresh at the same time.

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