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.

VDI vs RDSH: Squabbling Siblings or Embattled Enemies?

PresentationVirtualizationIn many a desktop virtualization project, there will be a 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?

Continue reading VDI vs RDSH: Squabbling Siblings or Embattled Enemies?

AppSense Live in the Now: DesktopNow Now More Than Just a Name Change?

www.appsense.comNow, this isn’t a question of how many times can I get now in the title in some sort of unusual Now Bingo game. In January, AppSense, quietly went about re-branding its Management Suite (consisting of Management Center, Application Manager, Environment Manager and Performance Manager) as  AppSense DesktopNow although it’s all official now.

Now, the reasoning was straightforward: while AppSense has a history in helping organisations manage the user workspace, they’ve also been working hard to broaden horizons. AppSense now has two other significant offerings, DataNow and MobileNow.

Now, eschewing suggestions from Interflora, rather than say it with flowers AppSense celebrated Valentines Day by announcing a number of enhancements to DesktopNow, including new enterprise features and capabilities. What are these? Are they more than just some in-play re-branding and how important are these changes in a world that, some say, no longer needs the PC?

Continue reading AppSense Live in the Now: DesktopNow Now More Than Just a Name Change?

Norskale VUEM v2 – a Power Up for a New Player in User Environment Management?

www.norskale.comwww.norskale.comNorskale has released v2 of VUEM, their enterprise grade User Environment Management (UEM) product.

User Environment Management is a key capability in delivering a modern flexible, reliable, and secure application delivery environment. While UEM can provide consistency across different platforms (be they desktops, laptops, or a hosted or shared virtual desktop environment), UEM is not just a technology to enable desktop virtualization. UEM can be used to accelerate logon times (improving device roaming capabilities); make migration from old to new operating systems and applications less complicated (enabling more rapid change); and can control, facilitate, and enforce user access to applications and data resources, assisting in securing environments when they are accessed outside of the maze.

Norskale believes that performance,  simplicity of use, and a low cost of ownership are key factors when choosing a workspace management product. While Norskale is a new venture, the VEUM product has been available since 2011 and does have a range of case studies and testimonies. Norksale’s goal for VUEM is to deliver a product that allows organisations to maintain user satisfaction: give extremely fast login times and a reliable and consistent environment that is easy to use. Yet, Norskale must compete against far more than Shadow, Speedy, Bashful, and Pokey. UEM is focused on managing a Microsoft Windows desktop workspace. While Microsoft has improved their tool selection, third party vendors such as AppSense, Liquidware Labs, RES Software,, have an established place.

The potential UEM market is large, with plenty of pellets to go around. What does Norskale VUEM v2 offer, and how does it compare to the competition? Continue reading Norskale VUEM v2 – a Power Up for a New Player in User Environment Management?

How Good an Idea to Virtualize XenApp?

DesktopVirtualizationHow good an idea is it to virtualize XenApp? Way back in 2010, when more of the poles were ice, we asked is virtualizing Citrix XenApp a waste of time and effort? There were a number of benefits identified: hardware abstraction allowing easier image management and OS upgrades; options for higher availability and faster recovery, even failover; virtualization-enabled silo consolidation; and importantly, better management of user capacity on servers.

Yet, with XenApp running on Windows 2008 R2  memory limitations are of far less issue. Introducing a hypervisor has an overhead which can impact user density and can change Microsoft server license costs per physical server. Do these considerations outweigh other benefits? Hypervisor technology and performance has moved on considerably – what is the impact of that? What other services can virtualized XenApp drive?

Continue reading How Good an Idea to Virtualize XenApp?

Nivio – Has Someone got Desktop-As-A-Service for Small Business Right?

niviologoniviologoNivio have announced a DaaS solution aimed at SME space. Offering access to Microsoft Windows on any device, rentable applications, and data storage in the cloud, it sounds as if Nivio’s service could be just the ticket for the tablet wielding, dead-PC shunning organisations with a workforce who have their own devices, and need to team collaboration with access to Windows based applications.

The thing is, this road has been trodden before: it is a rocky one. OnLive attempted to offer a solution and failed. Even Desktone had a strategy that attempted to directly appeal to this segment but found the return on effort too miserly.

Yet, Nivio have created a service offering delivering Windows applications to Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. A web service providing common file storage to store user and group files for that can be syncronised to devices to work offline for editing directly, or automatically made available within the public cloud hosted Windows desktop service. A desktop service that has an on-demand, rentable application interface. User management is in your own hands. While Nivio are targeting their market at the 20-50 user sized organisation space which suggests small business, Nivio are getting a number of calls from project teams in larger organisations.

What are Nivio doing that is different? Will this model be successful? What, if anything, can be learned by other DaaS providers, and what in turn could be learned by Nivio?

Continue reading Nivio – Has Someone got Desktop-As-A-Service for Small Business Right?