Presentation Virtualization

Presentation Virtualization is an application delivery method that delivers users desktops and applications from a shared server, AKA server based computing. This method of delivering applications to users focuses upon running an instance of each Windows desktop operating system application i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Office for each user on a shared instance of a Windows Server operating system. (Read More)

The most popular product in this category is Citrix XenApp and its predecessors which include Citrix Presentation Server, and Citrix MetaFrame. In the 6.0 releases of its products, Citrix bundled XenApp into XenDesktop. In the 7.0 releases of its products, XenApp has been made available separately again. Microsoft also has a product in this category – Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, but this offering is mostly used in smaller implementations that do not require the enterprise class features that Citrix offers.

2012: The Beginning of the End for Virtualization Management?

In the APM Digest, Andi Mann VP of Strategic Solutions for CA, predicted that “in 3-5 years Virtual System Management vendors will no longer survive, as virtualization becomes a core part of the enterprise compute fabric. Three years later this trend has definitely started, and will accelerate in 2012 as IT turns instead to hybrid IT management, recognizing that silos of standalone virtualization management is a costly and inefficient burden. Maybe 2012 is not the end of Virtualization Management, but it is going to be the start of the demise“. Continue reading 2012: The Beginning of the End for Virtualization Management?

Who can outmanoeuvre Citrix Flexcast?

There are three fundamental difficulties facing any hosted desktop solution. They are :

1. What to do with the desktops that can’t be virtualised?

2. What to do with the desktops that can’t be virtualised?

and, most importantly,

3. What to do with the desktops that can’t be virtualised?

Of all the vendors in the hosted desktop space, Citrix has been delivering desktop virtualisation solutions the longest. As such, perhaps they are the most aware that an enterprise desktop strategy isn’t about delivering a single solution. A solution needs to be flexible enough to present a variety of services to a range of devices. This isn’t just about having different client support, but about delivering applications and data either to different environments: secure and insecure, managed and unmanaged, fat and thin.

Perhaps the most important aspect of Citrix’s product portfolio is its FlexCast model. Other hosted desktop vendors have a similar option. Some do not.

What is FlexCast? Why is it important to customers? Can a hosted desktop vendor survive without having something similar?

Continue reading Who can outmanoeuvre Citrix Flexcast?

A VDI desktop is no More Secure than a Standard Desktop

Our very own Texiwill hosts a weekly Virtualization Security Round Table podcast. This round table provides an open forum to discuss all things related to Virtualization, Virtual Environment and cloud computing security.  We’ve questioned before the benefits of a virtual desktop infrastructure with respect to security. Is VDI secure? Is VDI inherently more secure than “traditional desktops”? The article Virtual Desktop Security? Are They Secure? considered the VDI vendor claims that there are several big virtual desktop security wins such as

  • Centralized Management
  • Centralized Patching
  • Improved Availability
  • and importantly, data never leaves the data center

The article and the associated Bright talk presentation generated a good deal of interweb discussion, which in turn led to #73 in the Virtualization Security Round Table VDI desktops – are they really secure? The regular podcast team were joined by Simon Crosby (CTO @ Bromium), Tal Klein (Director Technical Marketing @ Citrix ) and Andrew Wood (Analyst @ TVP).

The discussion meandered in a lively fashion to answer the question – can VDI make your environment more secure than standard desktops?

Continue reading A VDI desktop is no More Secure than a Standard Desktop

Citrix XenApp 4.x, 5.x and 6.0 EOL is 2013. The End is Coming: Look Busy.

I had an interesting discussion with a customer around prioritisation of their services prior to Windows 2003 and Windows XP going end of life in 2014. As we saunter nonchalantly to the start of 2012, what must the focus be next year? You may well be having the same conversations. Let’s be honest, corporate change isn’t as dynamic as we’d like. This has it’s own positives, it’s own negatives.

Back to my customer. There is a business-influential Citrix XenApp estate hosted on Windows 2003. It has a reliable history: and if it ain’t broke…The client has a sizable user-base in central London, this estate is scheduled to be expanded to accommodate more remote working due to the Olympics: which will cause the greatest mass of people in one place that you can get in peace-time.

Granted, there was an understanding that the XenApp environment had a limited shelf-life. Granted, there was an understanding that because this was an external facing  service, End of Life (EOL) and the subsequent lack of ability to at least security patch the service could not be tolerated.

So, we have an interesting question. Windows 2003, Windows XP EOL is 2014. For all Citrix XenApp versions other than the most recent 6.5 release, EOL .. End. Of. Life. Continue reading Citrix XenApp 4.x, 5.x and 6.0 EOL is 2013. The End is Coming: Look Busy.

AppSense Targets User Installed Apps

The User Managed Application is the IT manager’s redheaded stepchild.  It may be unloved and unwanted, but it’s there and it’s not going away.The lack of enthusiasm for user managed applications is readily understandable.  They are a liability, a licensing compliance headache, a drain of resources, and a security risk. Continue reading AppSense Targets User Installed Apps