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.

News: latest Login VSI 3.7 gets Windows 8, Windows 2012 and Oracle VDI support

Login VSI B.V. have announced the availability of Login VSI 3.7, the latest version of the performance and scalability testing tool for Virtual Desktop Infrastructures and Server Based Computing environments.

This latest release means that Login VSI 3.7 has out-of-the-box support for simulating user workloads to test the performance of VDI and SBC environments based on Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Office 2013. In addition, Login VSI also introduces support for Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

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End User Computing: Using just a Tablet

DesktopVirtualizationRecently I have been trying to lighten my conference going load. To do that, I have been thinking about ways to do without my laptop and all the accessories for it, which got me thinking about what it takes to completely use such a device; to fully embrace the next generation of end-user computing using gesture computing and smaller devices. Other than the technical hurdles, there are also training hurdles as full tablet computing, today, has some serious limitations with respect to security, functionality, and in some ways capability.  So how does one embrace tablet computing as their next-gen end user computing?

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Bromium release vSentry 1.1: trustworthiness for more desktops in the enterprise?

PresentationVirtualizationBromium have released vSentry 1.1 which will brings Bromium’s benefits of micro-virtualization and hardware based security to a far wider range of enterprise desktops. This is the release you’ve been waiting for: and if you’ve not been waiting, this is definitely the release to consider.

We’ve spoken before about Bromium when they unveiled their micro-virtualization trustworthy security vision. Bromium’s message and focus was simple “standard workspace security is reactive, not proactive“. Whatever you have in terms of anti-virus or malware detection is only good once a new threat is found,  understood,  a patch created and deployed. This poses the very important question “what is the impact of the time delay between threat found and threat contained?”.  Bromium’s goal was to dramatically reduce that “and”.

You may contest, “ah, but I can solve this workspace threat issue by making physical desktops, virtual desktops”. This is not the case. We evidenced this in Virtual desktops (VDI) are different, but not hugely better in terms of security, than physical desktops. You do not deliver better security by simply virtualizing the desktop.

So what does vSentry v1.1 bring? How is it better than v1? What can this mean for your organisation?

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Project Avalon: Will Citrix Put VMware Horizon to the Sword?

Project Avalon was announced by Citrix back in May. Project AvalonAvalon is to deliver Windows apps and desktops as a true cloud service. Since then, there has been speculation on what that actually entails. “Cloud” or “Cloud Service” can have many different connotations; indeed, for many the very term “cloud” fills their ears with a high-pitched nee and causes a yearn to live in an anarcho-syndicalist commune.

Running small-scale, departmental-level deployments of desktop virtualization is relatively straightforward. Scale past thousands to several thousands of desktops and applications, and the process of management and delivery gets much harder. More importantly, data centre technology has changed. How do you scale an environment while segregating the roles of a virtual desktop administrator from those of the storage, networking, or virtual infrastructure teams? How can the data centre infrastructure team provide the right service to the desktop team, and vice versa, so that they can optimize delivery of virtual desktops?

Citrix has FlexCast, the concept that IT should be able to deliver a variety of types of virtual instances, with each tailored to meet performance, security, and flexibility requirements. But while FlexCast gives choices for users, the simplicity of the user interface belies the rapid duck-paddling of disparate, separately developed and maintained products that organisations have to maintain at the back-end, many of which creak at the mere thought of a little bit of scaled peril.

To avoid smelling of elderberries, Citrix needs to make the administration and deployment of their Windows application and desktop delivery more straightforward and relevant to current delivery methods. Easier large/massive deployments are necessary in order to maintain large enterprise account revenue and to entice service providers to build solutions on Citrix software. Project Avalon is intended to allow organisations to effectively centralize IT to provide cost savings through scale and administration and maintain security, while enabling decentralized IT resources to utilize those central services to give users and customers a productive experience.

At the same time, the VMware Horizon Suite is intended to provide the end user with a single place to get access to their applications, data, and desktops and to give IT a single management console to manage entitlements, policies, and security.

At Synergy 2012 in Barcelona, components of Project Avalon were revealed. Project Excalibur will focus on creating an integrated FlexCast platform, and Project Merlin will deliver self-service provision, management, and service orchestration.

What will these components provide, and where will it lead customers? Will embarking on a quest to get to Avalon lead to the promised grail or just to some watery tart?

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Is Windows 2012 Remote Desktop Session Host better than Citrix XenApp?

PresentationVirtualizationIs 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.

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Microsoft Windows 2012 RDSH vs Citrix XenApp – PV to get its own Murderball?

PresentationVirtualizationThere 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.

Your ball you say? I think not.
Picture from

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?

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