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.

XenApp 6.5: Does Citrix’s Latest Release Leave other Vendors up an Iron Cove without a Paddle?

As the dust settles on VMware’s VMWorld End User Computing group’s re-invigoration, it is entertaining to wax lyrical on how users will be wedded with their data in the glorious shining summer of a post-PC era. But, we still stand in the cold, blustery autumnal now of mixed desktop environments and legacy applications. Organisations will rely on applications requiring a Microsoft OS for a good few years yet. However, we’ve already begun the transition from a truly distributed environment from individualised, personal computers. The delivery of applications (and desktops) regardless of device type has been available to organisations since the 1990s with Citrix being one of the first to deliver the next generation of applications and desktops to the previous generation of devices and operating environments.

XenApp 6.5 is Citrix’s latest offering of their renowned Presentation Virtualisation (PV) service. Citrix are not alone in updating their feature set. Earlier in 2011 Microsoft introduced SP1 for 2008 enhancing the OS for the core Remote Desktop Services’ (RDS) session virtualization service, Ericom released PowerTerm WebConnect 5.7.1, ProPalms updated TSE to 6.5 and Quest announced vWorkspace 7.2 MR1. Continue reading XenApp 6.5: Does Citrix’s Latest Release Leave other Vendors up an Iron Cove without a Paddle?

A Look At The Horizon

One of the cool things about attending VMworld every year is seeing what is new on the horizon and this year, ironically, there is something called Project Horizon and the first milestone of that project called VMware Horizon Application Manager.  Horizon is a hosted or in-house service that will centrally manage the provisioning, access and usage of software-as-a-server (SaaS) applications while at the same time applying the companies standardized security and access controls. This will give the end users of the application the ability to use the applications via VMware ThinApp or View products to stream the application across multiple devices all with a single login. The end users will also have self-service access to a corporate store for their SaaS and Web-based applications. Managing these applications will be completely user based with no need to worry about the underlying device the software or application is running on. Continue reading A Look At The Horizon

If Citrix is on a buying spree – should its next purchase be Virtual Computer?

Like a new college student, fresh from the flush of new found freedom to expand their horizons, Citrix appear to have had a case of the munchies. First Citrix’s portfolio was extended with the acquitisition of Kaviza. More recently, the purchase of RingCube. The desktop virtualisation techhnologies acquired will help strengthen Citrix’s virtualised desktop offering. VDI-in-a-box offering simplicity of deployment, providing options for the SMB and MSP spaces; and vDesk providing a layering functionality giving greater VDI scalability with an improved personalisation offering.

While there has been little innovation in the XenApp line since v6.0 to date, the proposed next release (XA 6.5, “Iron Cove”) is slated to offer improved administration and service management – but perhaps importantly include a more “Windows 7” feel for Presentation Virtualisation (RDS/TS) sessions.  Continue reading If Citrix is on a buying spree – should its next purchase be Virtual Computer?

Performance Management for Desktop Virtualization (VDI) and Presentation Virtualization (SBC)

CIOs see selecting the right technology provider for their desktop virtualization strategy as a “significant risk”, according to research firm Ovum.  Ovum found that simplifying the management of desktops to reduce costs and increasing business agility were the top two reasons for implementing desktop virtualization, however,  an often overlooked aspect is the need to shift thinking from a device-centric perspective to a user-centric one.

Continue reading Performance Management for Desktop Virtualization (VDI) and Presentation Virtualization (SBC)

Apple to put VDI and Terminal Services to the Lions and hail client hypervisors?

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?

Continue reading Apple to put VDI and Terminal Services to the Lions and hail client hypervisors?

AppSense set to grow US operation in preparation for IPO

Five months since Goldman Sachs took a reported 28% stake in UK desktop virtualization specialist AppSense, the signs are that it is starting to expand its US presence by hiring a new Silicon Valley design team that will be based in the company’s Santa Clara offices. Continue reading AppSense set to grow US operation in preparation for IPO