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.

One of the most intriguing names that has hitherto been at the periphery of the OpenStack initiative is Citrix. Up until last week, Citrix’s contribution was to ensure OpenStack ran on XenServer. However, this week at it’s Synergy event, Citrix made some more sigificant announcements about Project Olympus, through which it aims to provide (in collaboration with Dell and Rackspace) a route to commercial exploitation of the OpenStack codebase. For some time I have been perplexed as to what Citrix is doing. Are they genuinely intending to enter this space? Is this the real play or is it a spoiler?

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.

VDI Printing. Is it the Nemesis it was with Presentation Virtualisation? We consider the core printing options for the likes of Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft RDS, Quest vWorkspace and VMware View; and how they match to our printing considerations. We take an overview of solutions from ThinPrint, triCerat and UniPrint. An effective printing strategy must provide both the facility for printing to local printers as well as remote printing and include dedicated print server support. Ideally, you are in a better position to understand the cost of printing to your organisation: but don’t be surprised with incredulous looks when you tell user’s how much printing out their team meeting agenda cost.

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.

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.

Licensing VDI for Microsoft Desktops – is it rocket science?

Given all the past ingenuity and accomplishment why is it, in 2011, the mere task of assigning valid licenses to desktop virtualisation should appear an arcane process?

How do different virtualization models impact how you license your desktop services? What are the current licensing models and do they apply in all instances of desktop virtualisation? Do the models impact on provisioning of services be they laptops, thin clients, Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC), or mobile devices?

Is desktop virtualization licensing an intentionally complex process and what other options could there be?

While we may well be on the road towards VMware becoming the layer of software that talks to the hardware in the data center – removing Microsoft from that role, this is not the end of Windows. If Windows were just an OS, it would be severely threatened VMware insertion into the data center stack. But Windows is not just an OS. Windows is also a market leading applications platform with .NET have a far greater market share and base of developers than vFabric. Windows is also in the process of becoming a PaaS cloud – one that will be living at Microsoft, at thousands of hosting providers, and at probably every enterprise that is a significant Microsoft customer. This incarnation of Windows is at the beginning of its life, not the end.

RES Virtual Desktop Extender (VDX) is now available as a standalone offering. Priced at $15 / seat RES VDX is an incredibly useful enabler for virtualised desktops. It delivers on improving the user experience and better matching the needs of the user by allowing access to applications they need to use in their workspace.