All posts by Andrew Wood

Andrew is a Director of Gilwood CS Ltd, based in the North East of England, which specialises in delivering and optimising server and application virtualisation solutions. With 12 years of experience in developing architectures that deliver server based computing implementations from small-medium size business to global enterprise solutions, his role involves examining emerging technology trends, vendor strategies, development and integration issues, and management best practices.

News: Virtual Computer Turns VDI on Its Head with NxTop 4

Virtual Computer have redefined virtual desktops delivery with their latest release, NxTop 4. In NxTop4 Virtual Computer have aimed to further improve their client-side hypervisor desktop management solution and to better harness the power of end-point PCs for local execution rather than requiring major investments in virtual machine server farms.

Continue reading News: Virtual Computer Turns VDI on Its Head with NxTop 4

If Citrix is on a buying spree – should its next purchase be Virtual Computer?

Like a new college student, fresh from the flush of new found freedom to expand their horizons, Citrix appear to have had a case of the munchies. First Citrix’s portfolio was extended with the acquitisition of Kaviza. More recently, the purchase of RingCube. The desktop virtualisation techhnologies acquired will help strengthen Citrix’s virtualised desktop offering. VDI-in-a-box offering simplicity of deployment, providing options for the SMB and MSP spaces; and vDesk providing a layering functionality giving greater VDI scalability with an improved personalisation offering.

While there has been little innovation in the XenApp line since v6.0 to date, the proposed next release (XA 6.5, “Iron Cove”) is slated to offer improved administration and service management – but perhaps importantly include a more “Windows 7” feel for Presentation Virtualisation (RDS/TS) sessions.  Continue reading If Citrix is on a buying spree – should its next purchase be Virtual Computer?

Does VDI need User Virtualization, or does User Virtualization need VDI?

VMware’s next version of View will, should, possibly, hopefully include the Windows profile optimisation solution that VMware bought from RTO Software. The intention was to ensure VMware would, at last, have an in-house solution to make accessing non-persistent desktops less cumbersome, getting View on par with other VDI vendors who have offered some form of integrated profile management solution for some time. But since VMware’s purchase – Citrix has acquired RingCube.

Delivering a virtual desktop OS to users is a mere bagatelle. Providing a locked-down, standardized workspace to task-based users can be straight forward, but not every company just has users focused on a single set of tasks. If a desktop virtualisation project is to be successful, delivering services to autonomous users is key: those users are more likely to be the organisation’s greater revenue generators, they are more likely to be more demanding in terms of resources, they are more likely to want to access their applications and data from a range devices. They are also more likely to kick up a fuss when a solution doesn’t work. That said, regardless of the type of user it is more likely they don’t care what OS is, rather can they use the applications they need and can they get access to their data.

As we’ve mentioned before if Presentation Virtualization/Terminal services are excluded, VDI hailed as the next generation of desktop solutions from the likes of Citrix, Quest and VMware, still hold less then 3% of the desktop market. Many CIOs have been holding back from taking the plunge from moving to a virtualised desktop model. A profile management service in View would have brought parity with other VDI solutions – but would it bring a spring in sales? Will VMware’s investment in RTO justify the money, or does the solution that they have now deliver too little, too late? Is a profile optimisation solution alone good enough?

This also leads to the question – does VDI need User Virtualization, or does User Virtualization need VDI?

Continue reading Does VDI need User Virtualization, or does User Virtualization need VDI?

Performance Management for Desktop Virtualization (VDI) and Presentation Virtualization (SBC)

CIOs see selecting the right technology provider for their desktop virtualization strategy as a “significant risk”, according to research firm Ovum.  Ovum found that simplifying the management of desktops to reduce costs and increasing business agility were the top two reasons for implementing desktop virtualization, however,  an often overlooked aspect is the need to shift thinking from a device-centric perspective to a user-centric one.

Continue reading Performance Management for Desktop Virtualization (VDI) and Presentation Virtualization (SBC)

Apple to put VDI and Terminal Services to the Lions and hail client hypervisors?

Apple have released their latest OS version. There are over 200 new features including autosaves, versioning, multi-touch gestures, access to the Mac App Store and, multi-user screen sharing. But Apple have not only changed the look and feel of the new, and significantly cheaper OS, they have changed their license terms as well.

One is the inclusion of clause to allow you to run multiple instances of the OS on your own device. A similar clause to one in Microsoft’s Windows 7 and a license feature that would sit well with a client-side hypervisor solution – giving administrators centralised control and management of end-devices.  In the Panther and Leopard releases, Apple added features to allow fast user switching and screen sharing: possible precursors to a native Terminal Services function. For some enterprises, a virtual Mac OS X environment would be a desktop Nirvana: giving access to Mac-only applications on-demand without having to supply Mac hardware on a one-to-one basis.

Does the multi-user screen sharing function provide a native Mac Terminal Services solution? Will Lion allow you to virtualize the Mac OS to take pride of place in your desktop delivery strategy and finally maul Microsoft’s Windows dominance?

Continue reading Apple to put VDI and Terminal Services to the Lions and hail client hypervisors?

RES Software’s Baseline Desktop Analyzer: Using the Cloud to help Migrate to Windows 7 for Free?

If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself” wrote Sun Tzu in his famous treatise, The Art of War.  In his unpublished, Art of Desktop Management and Migration, this statement was modified primarily as an organisation’s users are, despite suggestion to the contrary, not the enemy. Still, the basic principle of avoiding failure through thorough assessment holds true. Before embarking on a campaign to change your desktop environment in any way – be that a migration from Windows XP to Windows 7+,  a move to VDI, a move to a DaaS model from a third party…or even adding or changing an application – having accurate visibility of your existing desktop infrastructure is key to ensure you don’t endanger your project and your organisation’s money.

  • What devices do you have?
  • What applications have you (and possibly your users) installed?
  • Of those applications and devices which ones are actively used?

“Consumerisation in IT” is not new: it is not unusual to find new devices and/or software actively used in an environment. Conversely, IT may believe an application is not used … when it is; and valiantly maintain an application that they believe to be business critical, when it isn’t. The most costly desktop management services are those where the estate is unknown and unmanaged. You can drive operational costs down by knowing and managing your environment pro-actively. Continue reading RES Software’s Baseline Desktop Analyzer: Using the Cloud to help Migrate to Windows 7 for Free?

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