The Virtualization Practice

Presentation Virtualization

Presentation Virtualization is an application delivery method that delivers users desktops and applications from a shared server, AKA server based computing. This method of delivering applications to users focuses upon running an instance of each Windows desktop operating system application i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Office for each user on a shared instance of a Windows Server operating system. ...
The most popular product in this category is Citrix XenApp and its predecessors which include Citrix Presentation Server, and Citrix MetaFrame. In the 6.0 releases of its products, Citrix bundled XenApp into XenDesktop. In the 7.0 releases of its products, XenApp has been made available separately again. Microsoft also has a product in this category – Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, but this offering is mostly used in smaller implementations that do not require the enterprise class features that Citrix offers.

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Ulteo Open Virtual desktop is an Open Source alternative to Presentation Virtualization solutions such as Citrix XenApp, or Ericom PowerConnect or Quest vWorkspace. We looked at Ulteo back in 2009 and that post has consistently featured amongst various top 10 lists of posts on the site. So we know you are interested but there were limitations in the Version 2 of Ulteo that made it suitable for a only a small number of use-cases. Ulteo have taken our views into account and responded to customer feedback and Ulteo OVD 3 can now provide a viable alternative in the general marketplace – not just for those enteprises who actively adopt Open Source.

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A common initiator for moving to virtual desktops is the transition away from existing PCs. To help accommodate this option, Stratodesk have announced the latest version of their NoTouch Desktop. NoTouch is a PC and thin-client re-purposing and management product. As well as supporting Citrix, VMware and Quest, Stratodesk have recently partnered with Desktone to offer easier access to Desktone DaaS desktops. There are a number of optimised Linux-build offerings. Devon IT with VDI Blaster, 2X have their ThinClientServer – there is even a license free option in the recently updated ThinStation. What does Stratodesk’s NoTouch offer, and can Stratodesk assist in a easing deployment of virtualised desktop projects over and above simply deploying thin clients? How, and can, NoTouch integrate or compete with the recent acquisitions of Citirx (Virtual Computer) and VMware (Wanova)?

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According to Bloomberg News Dell is in discussions to acquire Quest Software in a bid to strengthen its enterprise software services portfolio. Dell has been shopping, with five acquisitions announced so far this year, to add software, computer storage and networking gear to its lineup of PCs, which account for 52% of its sales. With PC sales flat and margins thin, Dell has been seeking to broaden its services portfolio and directly challenge HP which has suffered multiple missteps in recent months.

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Much of the recent buzz around AppSense from AppSense Labs,the research division at AppSense that is responsible for StrataApps, DataLocker and DataNow, its hot new tools to support user installed applications and provide increased security in consumer cloud services. Nevertheless, AppSense has not forgotten its roots and has recently released a major update to its core user persona management platform UV Suite.

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Desktone have architected a platform to allow resellers and service providers to deliver and support heterogeneous end user-environments. With a Desktone v5.0 platform, it is possible to deliver a hybrid desktop environment, manage multiple datacentres and utilise a set of APIs. For service providers and resellers alike, Desktone is offering a platform that can be managed and maintained with Linux based appliances and a single view of services that will be compelling.

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AppSenseLabs have released StrataApps, their long anticipated User Managed Applications Solution. We’ve discussed before that User Installed Applications, as a function, are often unloved and unwanted.And yet, almost every organization has a group of applications that fall outside the standard set that are administered and supported by IT. Unlike existing Application Virtualisation solutions, StrataApps doesn’t require that applications be installed in a clean environment or sequenced by IT staff.

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Virtualizing Presentation Virtualization Workloads is increasingly seen as beneficial and more acceptable. As Citrix XenApp customers move into 2013 it is likely they’ll move more physical instances to virtual. To enhance RDS VM workloads with shared storage – Atlantis release ILIO for XenApp, the first solution designed specifically to accelerate provisioning, boot time and application response time