The Virtualization Practice

VMware and Microsoft approach the Small to Medium companies quite differently, but which product to buy often depends on your business needs vs cost of the products. However, there needs to be at least one major distinction: SMB vs SME.

The Small to Medium Business (SMB) is quite a bit different than the growing number of Small to Medium Enterprises (SME), and VMware knows this does Microsoft or Citrix?

VDI Printing. Is it the Nemesis it was for Terminal Services? If not, would client hypervisors help, or is it that traditional desktops delivery is the best method for dealing with printing requirements? In this, the first of two articles on VDI printing, we consider what are the issues with distributed printing and, what printing functions should you consider for your desktop architecture. You need to consider Bandwidth Prioritisation; Printer Driver Management; Universal Printer Driver; Proximity Printing and Printer Naming.

VMware’s latest effort, CloudFoundry, is not about VMware delving into the PaaS market even deeper. They have done that already with VMforce. CloudFoundry on the other hand is a fairly astute move to enable the development and rapid adoption of cloud based applications. The end goal is to sell what makes up a PaaS environment which is more enabling software. This would enable enterprises and businesses to move to the cloud. The problem with them moving now is that there are not that many applications that are cloud friendly. In effect more concentration on the application and less on the operating system which has always been VMware’s strategic direction.

Facebook (which had previously bought commodity servers and rented data center space) has opened up a whole new area of Open Source technology by publishing the full specification of both its new custom server and its new data center as “Open Source” at OpenCompute.org. Overall, Facebook claims that its new data centers are 38 per cent more efficient than its existing leased data centers, but the cost is about 20 per cent less. Published data (such as it exists) indicates that Facebook is at or ahead of rivals or peers such as Microsoft and Google. OpenCompute designs are released under new set of Open Source agreements. The intent seems to be to allow innovation within the published specification, but to ensure multiple providers of the technology. Facebook is clearly seeking to get multiple tier-1 third-party providers for both servers and data centers according to these designs, turning these Open Source specifications into a form of de-facto Standard, which could have broad impact by driving the marketplace away from shared storage models (such as Red Hat’s IAAS reference architecture) to local-storage-friendly IAAS architectures such as OpenStack or Eucalyptus.

In Applications Performance Equals Response Time, not Resource Utilization, we took the position that while for the majority of the applications deployed on physical hardware the general practice was to infer their performance by looking at normal vs. abnormal resource utilization statistics, once you virtualize an application, it becomes necessary to directly measure its response time in order to ensure adequate service to business constituents and end users.

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.

Harris Trusted Cloud – Closing the Gap

On the 4/7/2011 Virtualization Security Podcast, we were joined by Wyatt Starnes of Harris Corporation. Wyatt is the Vice President of Advanced Concepts of Cyber Integrated Solutions at Harris. What this means, is that Wyatt is one of the key folks of the Harris Trusted Cloud initiative. Trust is a funny word, and we have written about that in the past. Harris’ approach is unique in that they are attempting to ensure integrity of all components of the cloud down to the code level, not just the network with their target being the hosted private cloud and NOT the secure multi-tenant public cloud.

Podio Released. Does the social work platform herald the beginning-of-the-end of desktops?

Podio offers a service that can be readily set-up, customised and deployed: with little IT knowledge – or IT service interaction. You create a workspace, you add applications to that workspace, you invite members of your team (regardless of the fact that your team may extend beyond your organisation) and you start working. if there were more Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings such as Podio available, would they negate the need for Desktop as a Service (DaaS)? Podio is likely a game changing environment for collaboration environments, but the rise of such services is likely to have a far wider impact in providing desktop services.

It has been just over two years that the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) was announced and released to the world. I wanted to give my feedback on the progress of the platform and how it is fitting into the Cloud Computing space.

When Cisco announced their Unified Computing Platform a couple of years ago, the thinking was not to just design and get into the server business, Cisco’s goal was to and become the heart of the datacenter itself. This was a big move by Cisco considering, that they had a very good working relationship and partnership with HP well, at least until the announcement that Cisco was getting into the server business.