My Experience with VMUGs

When I first got started in virtualization it was a very new technology and during that time there were not that many resources available to the virtualization administrator and sometimes it would have been nice to be able to see what others were doing and to be able to share my thoughts and ideas with others to make sure I was presenting the best possible solution to my customers.  During these early years the VMTN Community Forum was established and these forums were the place to do this collaboration.   I found this to be one of the best arenas to ask questions and share ideas.  The VMTN Community area quickly took off and in a lot of cases was the quickest way to find an answer, solution to your problem or issue you were trying to resolve.

Although the Community Forums were a great place to present and answer questions about virtualization, it would have been better to meet with others in person to be able to talk virtualization shop.  Around this time VMware was starting to establish a local user group in the major cities around the United States.  During this time I was living in South Florida and thought this would be great to be a part of.  I contacted VMware and founded the Miami Area VMware User Group or Miami VMUG.  At the first meeting we had about twenty people show up and it really grew from there. Continue reading My Experience with VMUGs

The Desktop Virtualization Iceberg

Desktop Virtualization is not an easy undertaking. There – I’ve said it. “But,” you may say, “I take a copy of the desktops I have, I  run them on servers in the data-centre. Once that’s done, I don’t need to update those desktop devices; I can update the virtualized workspace instead far more quickly.  The desktops are running on server hardware so they will be more reliable. Eventually, someone may well offer to host these workspaces on some infrastructure out in The Cloud”.

“Really, how hard can it be?”

If you are steering your organisations desktop strategy you need to consider that what may seem like a straightforward undertaking can in fact be a much larger and complex task. As with with any obstacle, understanding the size of the problem early gives a greater chance of avoiding it.

Lets consider the hosted desktop iceberg – how complex can a VDI solution be?

Continue reading The Desktop Virtualization Iceberg

Microsoft Office 365 – Coming soon to a cloud near you

Eschewing the virtual desktop for the truly virtual, Microsoft has announced its next generation productivity suite bringing together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service.

Office 365 will be delivered in early 2011 and will be available in two flavors; one targeted at small business and the other targeted at enterprises. Until then Microsoft has opened a limited beta program for Office 365 is available 13 countries – sign-up is available here for people who can’t wait until next year to experience it . Although given the evident enthusiasm at the time of announcement it may well be that all available spaces will have been exhausted by now. Continue reading Microsoft Office 365 – Coming soon to a cloud near you

Citrix FlexCast – Interesting Security Considerations

The Virtualization Security Podcast on 10/21 was the third in a series of Virtual Desktop Security discussions we are having. The special guest panelist was Chris Mayers of one of the Chief Security Architects for Citrix, the makers of XenServer, XenClient, and the FlexCast solutions. FlexCast provides an all encompassing method to provide virtual desktop  and applications that include the following mechanisms:

Let us look at each of these mechanisms in a bit of detail then discuss how they work to provide Security and how to secure them. Continue reading Citrix FlexCast – Interesting Security Considerations

Transforming Desktop Computing

While at VMworld 2010 in San Francisco this year, I got to meet up and talk with Robert from Atlantis Computing.  Our conversation was about VDI and he was quite proud of the capabilities that Atlantis ILIO brings to the table in the VDI space.  The conversation went well and got me interested in investigating a little further on the technology.  Atlantis ILIO or “VDI Booster” as they like to call it, is a solution to address the complexity and high costs of VDI Deployment and management. ILIO has been architected to support most of the main VDI players like VMware View, Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD),and Quest Software vWorkplace, etc.

That sounds great but what does this VDI booster do and how does it work?  Continue reading Transforming Desktop Computing

RES Virtual Desktop Extender – the missing piece in the VDI puzzle?

A common barrier to desktop virtualization projects is that the new virtualized desktop is not always able to support all of the business applications. There can be a variety of reasons for this:

  • Scalability issues – the applications could be too resource intensive to run on centralised servers.
  • User Experience –  the need to access the application via a remote protocol reduces the user experience.
  • Resource Requirements – the application requires direct interaction with hardware attached to the user’s device.
  • Legacy Support – the virtualised desktop needs to support a legacy application that cannot be virtualized – perhaps the software is incompatible with the virtualised desktop OS – for example the hosted desktop is Windows 7, but the application requires Internet Explorer 6. Continue reading RES Virtual Desktop Extender – the missing piece in the VDI puzzle?