In many a desktop virtualization project, there will be a discussion around the type of desktop virtualisation to use. Before you even get to the entertaining “Citrix vs VMware vs Other” quasi-religious debate, there will be a VDI vs RDSH altercation. It can altercate for days. Ultimately, no business question gets asked, nor decision made, as technical stags lock antlers. It is not unusual for this debacle to be silenced by someone simply getting tired of the PoC posturing and rolling out pallet loads of new PCs.
If any year is to be the year of virtual desktops, then it is not just simply a question of having nifty appliances, but also of having a better understanding of desktop virtualization solutions. A recent article from the BBC website on common language gave the ultimate benefit of a common understanding as “world peace”. If a better understanding between people can bring the laudable hope of goodwill unto man, then surely an easier corporate upgrade and better application access will be a mere bagatelle?
The options for purchase for VDI or RDSH, VDI or Terminal Services, for hosted desktops or session desktops are all the same conversation. RDSH is indeed on the back foot through regular re-marketing of terms. Presentation Virtualization Terminal Services and RDSH are the same thing: a multi-user server OS capable of hosting applications and desktops to remote users.
Increasingly, desktop virtualization vendors are ensuring they sit between both VDI and RDSH camps. Citrix obviously – XenApp and XenDesktop. In our Presentation Virtualization whitepaper, every RDSH vendor has a VDI option. But also, “traditional” VDI vendors are being more savvy. Desktone offers a RDSH option. Teradici has delivered on their promise and recently announced Teradici Arch, a software solution for RDSH.
What are the similarities and differences between VDI and RDSH? What can calm everything down and make the combatants think about what it is that they have done?
Is Windows 2012 Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) better than Citrix XenApp? Citrix XenApp 6.5 is a market-leading product. Citrix XenApp may well be the first product businesses consider when deploying applications or desktops from a centralised service. Windows 2012 is very new. Windows 2012 RDSH, as a new service, doesn’t have the same number of partners or administrators with detailed experience.
Still, it’s a very good question.
It’s a very good question because Microsoft has worked hard to ensure that RDSH is a solution viable not only for large enterprises, but small and medium scale businesses and not-for-profit organizations, as well. Windows 2012 RDSH builds on a mature technology, a technology that is the most-deployed centralized desktop virtualization solution.
Yet, are you going to end up reading this article and get to an “it depends” answer? Let’s see.
There is a pervasive question for Presentation Virtualisation using Remote Desktop Session Host services (RDSH) and that is :-
“if I’m already paying for RDS CALs and running the base OS, why do I need other stuff?”
Where stuff is, typically, Citrix XenApp. With the release of Windows 2012 and the updates to RDSH do you still need Citrix XenApp?
I was introduced to many new sports over the summer and one sport that stuck in the mind, not only for it sheer fury and skill, was wheelchair rugby (or Quad rugby). Or as the Canadian inventors, named it – Murderball.
A key elements of the sport – it is a fast and very competitive exchange.
Sneaking into August, like an American multi-gold medallist back from a celebratory night out on the champagne, Microsoft’s Windows 2012 boasts a wide array of new features. Hyper-V’s improvement are worthy of a post in themselves: live migration, teaming of 32 NICs, thin provisioning, dynamic memory. For now, we’ll focus on the updates to Remote Desktop Service’s Session Host updates.
With new and improved functions in Remote Desktop Services in Windows 2012, how competitive is the exchange? Is it worth murdering a ball for?
OnLive, the desktop pundits favorite DaaS provider, is one step closer to being able to offer a viable and fully compliant virtual “desktop” service following the stealth update of its platform from a Windows 7 based VDI service to a Windows Server 8 R2 Remote Desktop Services offering. While this move eliminates the threat to the service that attempting to run a set based on a licensing model that was not compliant with Microsoft’s licensing policies, OnLive is still not out of the woods.
For all the benefits of improved security and reliability in Internet Explorer (IE) 8, many business still have a critical need to support IE6. IE6 may well be over 10 years old, it may well be two versions behind the most current release; the fact remains many businesses still have critical applications that rely on IE6’s cumbersome standards implementation and more relaxed security requirements.
In a previous article, Running Internet Explorer Beyond Windows XP I suggested that Microsoft reconsider its policy on supporting IE as a virtualized application. And Microsoft did reconsider. Go me. But, rather than allow it, Microsoft have actively sought to prevent IE virtualization: stopping one application virtualization company from promoting their offer of delivering virtualised versions of IE from their website and restating their support options for virtualised IE.
What will the impact be to your business you if you need to continue to support IE6 on Windows Vista or Windows 7. Are Microsoft’s recommended solutions the only option now? Is it possible to have a seamless, simple, fast and importantly low cost solution to allow users gain the benefits of the latest IE release while maintaining access to legacy web applications?
What is the point in virtualizing your Citrix XenApp Server? Consider that the goal of server virtualization is two fold – to make best use of idle computing resource; and to provide standardization and automation so to reduce the time to build and deliver new servers, or recover and restore broken ones. Is that a desirable and achievable goal for a Presentation Virtualization (PV) server such as Citrix XenApp? Of course: but its likely done already. Why add another expensive layer of software?
PV’s benefit is its capacity for high user density, and ease of management. With a PV server, users share the operating system environment, but each have their own independent session. A PV server could support 50%-100% more sessions that a hosted desktop solution, can that be improved an underlying virtualization layer?
PV servers, such as Citrix XenApp, are often cited as being ‘unvirtualizable’. They typically run with high utilization (sometimes too high) of CPU and memory resources, possibly even disk. As PV farms often need to support a high number of users, core server builds tend to be standardized, and application deployment to those servers automated. If you’ve already a standardized and automated environment, if you’ve already high hardware utilization – why go to the bother and cost of adding in a service that essentially does the same thing?
What could virtualization of your Citrix XenApp environment possibly do for you?