Project Avalon: Will Citrix Put VMware Horizon to the Sword?

Project Avalon was announced by Citrix back in May. Project AvalonAvalon is to deliver Windows apps and desktops as a true cloud service. Since then, there has been speculation on what that actually entails. “Cloud” or “Cloud Service” can have many different connotations; indeed, for many the very term “cloud” fills their ears with a high-pitched nee and causes a yearn to live in an anarcho-syndicalist commune.

Running small-scale, departmental-level deployments of desktop virtualization is relatively straightforward. Scale past thousands to several thousands of desktops and applications, and the process of management and delivery gets much harder. More importantly, data centre technology has changed. How do you scale an environment while segregating the roles of a virtual desktop administrator from those of the storage, networking, or virtual infrastructure teams? How can the data centre infrastructure team provide the right service to the desktop team, and vice versa, so that they can optimize delivery of virtual desktops?

Citrix has FlexCast, the concept that IT should be able to deliver a variety of types of virtual instances, with each tailored to meet performance, security, and flexibility requirements. But while FlexCast gives choices for users, the simplicity of the user interface belies the rapid duck-paddling of disparate, separately developed and maintained products that organisations have to maintain at the back-end, many of which creak at the mere thought of a little bit of scaled peril.

To avoid smelling of elderberries, Citrix needs to make the administration and deployment of their Windows application and desktop delivery more straightforward and relevant to current delivery methods. Easier large/massive deployments are necessary in order to maintain large enterprise account revenue and to entice service providers to build solutions on Citrix software. Project Avalon is intended to allow organisations to effectively centralize IT to provide cost savings through scale and administration and maintain security, while enabling decentralized IT resources to utilize those central services to give users and customers a productive experience.

At the same time, the VMware Horizon Suite is intended to provide the end user with a single place to get access to their applications, data, and desktops and to give IT a single management console to manage entitlements, policies, and security.

At Synergy 2012 in Barcelona, components of Project Avalon were revealed. Project Excalibur will focus on creating an integrated FlexCast platform, and Project Merlin will deliver self-service provision, management, and service orchestration.

What will these components provide, and where will it lead customers? Will embarking on a quest to get to Avalon lead to the promised grail or just to some watery tart?

Continue reading Project Avalon: Will Citrix Put VMware Horizon to the Sword?

VMware Horizon Mobile is Finally on the Way

CloudComputingSrinivas Krishnamurti (VMware – Senior Director for Mobile Solutions) has announced that VMware is partnering with Motorola and SoftBank to launch VMware Horizon Mobile in Japan. SoftBank Telecom will be offering Horizon Mobile as a cloud-based managed service which will be open for trials starting on December 10. Continue reading VMware Horizon Mobile is Finally on the Way

Interview: V3 Systems CEO Peter Bookman

DesktopVirtualizationI originally arranged to interview V3 systems CEO Peter Bookman at VMworld in San Francisco back in October. However, we weren’t able to schedule the time until the final day, by which point we were both so tired that we never got past the “talking about cars” stage. I finally caught up with Peter last week, and this time we managed to get past the “talking about cars” stage. I tried to limit myself to just asking questions rather than sharing my opinion, and I’ve made a couple of edits for clarity and tidied up product names etc. where appropriate, so any errors in the transcript are mine. Continue reading Interview: V3 Systems CEO Peter Bookman

Vyatta: Building Block for Brocade SDN Plans

Vyatta100x30Brocade has stated they will buy Vyatta for an all-cash deal. This is good news for Vyatta and perhaps a way for Brocade to partake of software that could rival VMware’s purchase of Nicira when Vyatta’s own SDN features are married with Brocade Ether Fabric technology. Brocade has been in the software business for a while now, but only with respect to their own hardware. With the acquisition of Vyatta, they will shortly own a building block that can extend Ether Fabric into the virtual and cloud environments. It would be shortsighted to say this is just an SDN play—this purchase shows there is quite a bit of benefit to Brocade. Continue reading Vyatta: Building Block for Brocade SDN Plans

VMware’s Application Management Strategy

When we think of VMware, we usually think of vSphere, VMware’s market leading data center virtualization offering. Data center virtualization is infrastructure software, concerned about applications only to the extent that they consist of workloads running inside of guest operating systems or virtual machines. However, there is an entirely different side to VMware, one focused on applications. This focus includes application management, application monitoring, and development platforms for next generation applications. This post will deal with the application management piece. Continue reading VMware’s Application Management Strategy

Going to the Cloud: CAPEX, OPEX, Facilities, or People

CloudComputingOn the 11/1  Virtualization Security podcast we had no special guest but continued a conversation started at Hacker Halted this year. It is the ongoing question of whether or not Going to the cloud will cause jobs to be lost. The typical answer was stated at Hacker Halted, that people will need to cross-train with new products, etc. and then they would keep their jobs, but someone stood up and shouted out that this was hogwash. It made a lively discussion from there. So we tackled it on the podcast as well. Will people loose jobs Going to the Cloud? If so how can this be prevented? What do you as IT professionals need to do, to plan your careers while going to the cloud? Continue reading Going to the Cloud: CAPEX, OPEX, Facilities, or People