After leaving many of the VDI crowd feeling unloved during the vSphere launch announcement, VMware has more than made amends with the pre-announcement of new PCoIP performance enhancements that will ship in VMware View 5.0.
One of the reduced criticisms of View, and one of the most frequent weapons used against it, has been the relatively poor performance characteristics of PCoIP across high latency low bandwidth WAN connections. Until today, VMware has been following the standard line of denying there is a problem until you are able to solve it. Now, solution in hand Vittorio Viarengo, VMware’s head of all things desktop (officially Vice President, End User Computing)is willing to share Gartner’s perspective on View’s strengths and weaknesses.
Last weeks release of View 4.6 was as notable for what it included as what was absent.
When VMware first announced that it was going to license Teradici’s PCoIP protocol for inclusion in View 4.0, its most visible shortcoming was that VMware did not plan to update the View Security Server at the same time. Setting aside any debate as to the performance characteristics of PCoIP on the WAN, the lack of support for the View Security Server was a significant obstacle to widespread adoption of View in enterprise environments. So the inclusion of direct support for PCoIP tunneling through the View 4.6 Security Server comes as a most welcome update. Also included with View 4.6 are new USB enhancements, as well as support for Windows 7 SP1.
It is said that VDI as a concept is straightforward and a compelling proposition. Centralise your services to reduce the desktop management complexity and enable a more cost-effective method of updating desktops. In addition to this, the option to support branch office/remote users from a centralised location can also allow you to reassess network link costs between sites, and indeed VDI allows you to deliver greater productivity through “anywhere, any time” universal access.
In centralising desktop services there’s obviously a requirement to understand the performance and operation of your applications in a virtual host – but, proving that the VDI implementation works technically will be for nothing if you have users who have a poor experience of using the shiny new VDI solution. Indeed, with the rise of mobility, either on mobile devices such as Apple’s iPad or on Microsoft Windows netbooks connected through 3G cards, companies will increasingly rely on networks that experience higher latency and packet loss than on a LAN.
If your organisation has remote users – consider that the impact of centralisation on their desktop experience can be very different: and not always in a happy way.
We are happy to announce that we have a new set of Desktop Virtualization Resources available for download and viewing on The Virtualization Practice. These new resources include a rich set of White Papers, Webinars, Podcasts, and Product Brochures on VMware View 4. Get a complete picture of the benefits of View 4 and how it compares to alternative products from Citrix and Microsoft.
In the Red Hat and Microsoft alliance against VMware, there is one definite area of strain, namely VDI, or more generally the way to deliver applications through a combination of Presentation Virtualization (i.e. Terminal Services) and/or Hosted Desktops. See Andrew’s recent post for a discussion of the various options. In many ways VMware and Red Hat are natural partners in VDI, and Microsoft and Red Hat on servers.
Red Hat’s emerging VDI offering is based on its acquisition of Qumranet in 2008, more specifically a technology known as Spice which is designed to replace RDP and ICA as the protocol between the server and the client. Spice was made Open Source at the end of 2009.