The Virtualization Practice

Desktop Virtualization

Desktop Virtualization covers VDI (centrally hosted desktops), Desktops as a Service (DaaS), desktop virtualization via client side hypervisors, and shared server technologies. Major areas of focus include when and where centralized desktop offerings are appropriate and not appropriate, ...
how management of remote desktops combined with management of mobile devices leads to a better managed and more productive end user computing environment, how to deliver the performance that end users require, and the impacts of using remote desktop technologies upon organizational security. Covered products and vendors include the VMware Horizon Suite, Horizon View, Horizon Mirage, VMware ThinApp, Citrix XenServer, Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenClient, and Microsoft Remote Data Services.

Last week during Citrix’s Synergy event in Berlin Germany, the company announced the up and coming release of the next edition of their virtual desktop platform, XenDesktop 5. Focusing on greater management and end user experience, XenDesktop 5 comes right on the heels of the latest feature release of the XenDesktop 4 line, which was the release of the client-side hypervisor product, XenClient.

Although virtualization technologies have been a great help to data center managers looking to reclaim power in an overburdened environment, virtualization can also create problems. As IT organizations complete their server virtualization initiatives and as their virtualization management skills mature, use of the physical server power management features and dynamic workload shifting capabilities will increase. This, coupled with increased adoption of server hosted desktop virtualization, will create new opportunities for improving the efficiency of data center power and cooling systems, as well as new challenges for keeping up with increasing demand.

Last month at VMworld, VMware took a major step forward in its desktop virtualization vision with the introduction of View 4.5. On hand for the launch was Gartner Research Vice President Chris Wolf who confirmed that View 4.5’s improved scalability coupled with the addition of role-based delegated administration change auditing features and the ability to support Windows 7 meant that View 4.5 joined Citrix XenDesktop 4.0 in fulfilling Gartner’s requirements for an enterprise-class server hosted virtual desktop platform. Although, View 4.5 is more notable for a feature that is not required to obtain Gartner’s blessing.

There has been a lot of noise about a negotiations between VMware and Novell, rumors are that it regards the purchase of the SUSE division, now firstly every thing that follows is pure supposition on my part, I have no insider knowledge. now mike has put forward one argument on why a VMware purchase of Novell SUSE assets make very good corporate sense. However I put another idea into the fray.

The Virtualization Security Podcast on 9/16 was the first in a series of Virtual Desktop Security discussions we will be having. The special guest panelist was Bill McGee from Trend Micro who helped us to understand their implementation of Deep Security 7.5’s Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware (AV collectively) within the virtual desktop.

Trend Micro’s product makes use of enabling technology within vShield Endpoint to provide offloaded AV and Anti-Malware scanning of virtual machines using only one set of rules and one VM to do the actual scanning. Removing the per VM rule set and processing that currently takes place within the VM.

Anticipating the formal announcement was a widely leaked report that View 4.5 would ship without Virtual Profiles, the user profile management solution that VMware OEMed from RTO Software in fall 2009. VMware finally confirmed that the leak was correct on the first day of VMworld 2010, but even then held back from announcing its interim solution until after the formal product launch. Then rather than simply offer View customers a copy of Virtual Profiles as a standalone product, VMware chose instead to partner with Liquidware Labs to enable them to offer Liquidware Labs’ ProfileUnity to View customers at a substantial discount. While VMware’s position is that Virtual Profiles will ship with View 4.5 at some point in the future, the decision to offer ProfileUnity instead did nothing to address the concerns of potential customers, especially those who might finish up paying twice for a profile management system. The only good news for View customers is that ProfileUnity’s agent-less and database-less architecture should make the future migration to Virtual Profiles a simple matter when the time comes to move.