Sorting Out “Desktop Virtualization”

DesktopVirtualizationCan you use Desktop Virtualization in your organization to improve IT delivery? Desktop Virtualization, as a concept, is straightforward – separate the desktop environment from the physical machine. This gives you benefits in terms of speed of delivery, how you can provide access to mobile and remote workers, how you can ensure security and compliance.

On the other hand – Desktop Virtualization, as a task,  is complex, it requires different technologies and practices to traditional desktop deployment. The task is further complicated because Desktop Virtualization, as a term, is applied to a variety of solutions. These include VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure), HVD (Hosted Virtual Desktops), DaaS (Desktops as a Service), the use of Type 1 or Type 2 Hypervisors to create a “corporate sandbox” on an end-user workstation, and finally some new and enhanced desktop management techniques that deliver benefits of “Desktop Virtualization”, but without the data center server resource typically associated with this type of solution.

A number of vendors offer desktop virtualization solutions – how can you compare those offerings and relate them to what you need your desktop delivery strategy to do for your business?

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Browsium crafts lifeline for IE 6 users

Startup Browsium, is readying a lifeline for enterprise IT organizations that moving to Windows 7 but unable to escape their addiction to Internet Explorer 6. The Redmond-based startup staffed by ex-Microsoft employees is planning to release UniBrows an add-on for Internet Explorer 8 that lets customers access IE6 dependent web apps from the now defacto standard that is IE 8. Continue reading Browsium crafts lifeline for IE 6 users

Red Hat Acquires PaaS Cloud vendor Makara to help compete with VMware’s vFabric

Red Hat announced on November 30, 2010, for an undisclosed sum, the acquisition of startup PaaS vendor, Makara, which provides a deployment platform for most of the Open Source application stacks (Apache, MySQL, PHP, Java, Tomcat and JBoss) onto most of the IaaS cloud infrastructures (Amazon EC2,   Amazon VPC,  Rackspace Cloud, VMware vCloud, Terremark, Cloud.com and Eucalyptus). Makara is not  open source, although the company was committed to open sourcing in due course, and Red Hat is aiming to accelerate that process. Continue reading Red Hat Acquires PaaS Cloud vendor Makara to help compete with VMware’s vFabric

Host Only Supports 1 vCPU: Licensing?

I had a fun day resolving a licensing issue for a client.  This one was a little different than I had seen in the past.  The cluster in question is an eight node cluster running ESX 3.5.  The error message that I received when trying to perform a vMotion was “Unable to migrate from HostA to HostB: Virtual machine has 2 virtual CPUs, but the host only supports 1.  The number of virtual CPU’s may be limited by the guest OS selected for the virtual machine or by the licensing for the host.”

At first, I thought this might be an issue with the virtual machine being a 64bit Windows 2008 virtual machine with multiple virtual CPU’s.  After further review of the environment I discovered this issue was happening with all multi-processor virtual machines.  I also discovered that this issue was happening on six of the eight hosts in the cluster. Continue reading Host Only Supports 1 vCPU: Licensing?

ZT Systems launch commercial ARM-based cloud server

If you are a hyperscale (Cloud) data center manager, one of your top concerns is how to get the maximum amount of computing work done per Watt of power consumed. With that in concern at the forefront Cloud Providers like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have strong incentives to explore new solutions for delivering compute cycles.  Rumors coming out of Facebook suggest that it is looking to move away from its current X86 architecture platform in favor of  servers based on ARM Holdings Cortex processor range. Porting an entire service to a new processor platform may not appear to be a sensible direction to take but porting to a new architecture is more a financial consideration than a technical one. If the cost per unit of performance justifies it , it is cheaper to pay a few programmers to rework the apps for a new architecture than it is to buy more servers. Continue reading ZT Systems launch commercial ARM-based cloud server

Virtualization Backup: Agent or Agent-less?

Many times we virtualization experts push for backups without the agents as these backups tend to be in our opinion, cleaner and faster. But what if you could get the benefits of your existing backup tools (such as Tivoli) but gain the power and advantages of using all the possibilities within the virtual environment. For VMware vSphere this is possible using the Pancetera backup tools. Continue reading Virtualization Backup: Agent or Agent-less?