The Virtualization Practice
SSD options for Virtual (and Physical) Environments, Part II: The call to duty, SSD endurance

Let’s continue by taking a look at endurance for storing and retaining data using nand flash SSD. The importance of the first part of this series is to understand the basics of nand flash based SSD in order to make informed decisions on what is the best for your virtual or physical environment. In addition to SLC (high cost, improved duty cycles) and MLC (higher capacity, lower cost), there is also EMLC or Enterprise MLC which is striving for a balance between SLC and MLC characteristics.

Mitel and VMware combine technologies to Bring VDI to the Call Center

While desktop virtualization may never achieve the desktop dominance that was foretold by many analysts, new technologies continue to appear that both reduce costs and increase deployment opportunities. This week, Unified Communications (UC) vendor Mitel Networks announced its first foray into the virtual workspace market by announcing support for the VMware View UC APIs within its Contact Center Solution to offer contact center employees access to cloud-based unified desktop and communications services wherever they may be.

HP Delivers High Performance and Security to Thin Client Line

As Virtual Desktops become standard components of the entire desktop environment there are increasing demands on the end point devices to provide the performance of legacy desktop computers they are replacing. Devices with more memory, faster processors and expandable peripheral device support are quickly replacing the utility devices most associated with thin clients. On Monday February 13, 2012 HP announced the release a new class of thin client devices that are designed to address the end user performance needs and adds security architecture to combat increasing security threats.

The 2/9 Virtualization Security Podcast was a discussion on when would one use a virtual firewall. This was in response to being told that there are some people that would never use a virtual firewall for anything, and that got me thinking. Outside of the politics involved with using virtual vs physical firewalls, when would you use one? What are the cut offs, and best practices around using virtual firewalls. We were joined by Rob Randell of VMware to discuss this point.

DataCenterVirtualization

For a good portion of the time I have been working in the virtualization space, there has been plenty of hype about how it is just a matter of time before Microsoft “leapfrogs” ahead of VMware in the area of virtualization and with the massive upgraded version of Hyper-V 3.0 that will ship with Windows Server 8, there is thought that Microsoft might just pull off that upset. So in classic Microsoft style, let’s take a look and compare VMware today (ESX/vSphere5) with what Microsoft will have with Hyper-V 3.0 sometime possibly in the “Fall” of 2012.

SSD options for Virtual (and Physical) Environments: Part I Spinning up to speed on SSD

Solid-state devices (SSDs) are data storage memory (Figure 1) mediums that utilize semiconductor based memoires as opposed to magnetic media found in hard disk drives (HDDs) or magnetic tape. Semiconductor memories include ultra fast volatile dynamic random access memory (DRAM) commonly found as main memory (e.g. RAM) in servers along with and non-volatile memory (NVM) typically NAND flash. Nand flash based SSDs can be found in cameras (as SD cards), cell phones, iPods, and PDAs, as well as in notebooks, net books, laptops, tablets, and workstations. SSDs are also appearing in larger servers, appliances, and storage systems from consumer to enterprise level.

Quest has for many years found itself as third-place runner-up to Citrix and VMware in the VDI business. In some respects this was justified, in others much less so. Quest has neither the resources or virtualization focus of Citrix and VMware, nor does it have the same the channel depth or marketing budget of its competitors, making it too easy to paint a picture of Quest being an also ran. However, at the same time Quest has been a credible competitor to Citrix for much longer than VMware and has managed to deliver a unified VDI and RDS solution in vWorkspace – something that neither Citrix nor VMware have been able to achieve as yet. More importantly, as Citrix’s level of innovation in XenDesktop and XenApp has slowed, and VMware has focused more End User Computing resources on Horizon, Quest has sensed an opportunity and last week’s release of vWorkspace 7.5 clearly shows that it is making the most of it.

Browsium Ion: time to get going from IE6?

Reports on IE6’s death are often greatly exaggerated. IE6 is still there alive and well in a large swathe of enterprise desktops. This puts a risk on projects that look to move an organisation beyond Windows XP. Browsium’s Ion addresses the fear uncertainty and doubt many had with Unibrows. Browsium Ion gives corporate users what will likely be a vital option not just for compatibility for IE6, but to allow for changing configurations and managing web based application access to suit the business, not the application vendor.

Cloudyn Addresses the Economics of Public Cloud Computing

Cloudyn has delivered a breakthrough SaaS delivered service that does for the first time what no one else has done before. The new Cloudyn service actually tells you how to change your image provisioning and your price plans at Amazon so that you can achieve the results that you want at the lowest possible cost. This is the first time that someone has addressed the economics of public cloud computing in this manner. Ultimately this will lead to dramatically higher usage of public cloud services (as their price/performance can now be managed), and will put pressure on internal IT organizations to provide the same kind of data and management options to their internal constituents.