So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Perhaps you sit, coffee in hand with a vague recollection of telling your boss just exactly how you thought all of this year’s decisions could have been done much, much, much better. Perhaps you told your team they were awesome, I mean like truly, truly awesome: that you loved them, that you loved them so, so much. Perhaps you’re looking for solace after a quick check of Facebook has shown exactly how you got the bruises down your right-hand side and gives insight into where your left shoe went. Perhaps you’re finally getting a chance to finally watch all those on-line presentations you put off until it was quiet.
Another year over.
It has been a while since we last updated our Presentation Virtualization Solutions whitepaper. Has nothing happened in the market in 2011? On the contrary, there was a good deal going on for Presentation Virtualization in a year that saw a new benchmark setting XenApp release from Citrix, Apple remove terminal services functionality, RES Software launch their reverse seamless technology and Ericom their HTML5 client.
If we consider what we saw in 2011, what can we expect in 2012?
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?
Way back in January, when 2010 still had that showroom fresh smell we released Presentation Virtualization Solutions whitepaper; the year wasn’t half way through before that was updated and its being defrosted as we speak to enable updates going into 2011. Its been an eventful year for Presentation Virtualization.
Citrix released their latest Presentation Virtualization solution, XenApp 6, allowing Citrix customers to be able to deploy to deploy to Windows 2008 R2. Competitive Presentation Virtualization vendors have not been idle: Ericom have released 5.7 of their WebConnect RemoteView, Quest have updated vWorkspace to v7.1 and 2x have updated ApplicationServer to 8.1, others are busy at work.
Each of these new releases introduce updated features to their respective environments. Citrix’s better facilitates on demand delivery of servers and power and capacity management. Ericom introduced improved management and integration with RDS and Reverse Seamless functionality. Quest enhance their protocol optimization functions, 2x have introduced additional security features to secure remote connections. With the release of service pack 1 for Windows 2008R2 it is likely it will all change again as each vendor looks to incorporate the new features of Microsoft’s RemoteFX into their offering. With Microsoft introducing features to deliver an improved user experience on the LAN it is likely that the greater innovation will come from improving the user experience for remote access and allowing for improved management and server automation. Yet, all of these solutions rely on a core Microsoft Remote Desktop service solution – you will be deploying applications hosted on Microsoft desktops. But, Microsoft’s is not the only operating system available.