Posts Tagged ‘VDI’

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VMware View 4, Certified HCL Tripples in Size

January 26, 2010

In the past month, the number of hardware Thin and Zero clients certified for VMware View 4.0 has nearly trippled. It only seemed fitting to update our list to further showcase the current state of the View “certified” HCL for “hardware” thin clients. The “ThreadX” OS variants include hardware from Teradici (TC1100) to accelerate the PCoIP protocol. 

As of January 26, 2010, the following hardware clients (average price of $526/unit) are “officially” on VMware’s HCL:

OEM Model OS Supports Unit Cost New Since 
    Variant PcoIP (Est. $) Dec-09
Amulet Hotkey DXR4-iP ThreadX Y
(quad-head video)
TBD Y
Astec Technology Co. A3520 Linux Embedded for Thin Client b1106 Y TBD Y
Astec Technology Co. A3580 Windows XPe SP2 Y TBD Y
ClearCube C7420 ThreadX Y $1,160 Y
ClearCube I9420 ThreadX Y TBD Y
DELL OptiPlex FX160 Windows XPe SP2 Y $512 N
DevonIT TC10 ThreadX Y $342 Y
DevonIT TC5 Windows Embedded Standard 2009 Y $299 N
HP GT7720 Windows Embedded Standard Y $799 N
HP t5545 HP ThinPro Y $296 Y
HP t5630 Windows XPe SP3 Y $632 N
HP t5630W Windows Embedded Standard Y $440 N
HP t5720 Windows XPe SP3 Y $410 (refurbished) N
HP t5730 Windows XPe SP3 Y $349 N
HP t5730W Windows Embedded Standard Y $550 N
HP t5740 Windows Embedded Standard Y $429 N
HP vc4820t Windows Embedded Standard Y N/A Y
IGEL UD2-420 ES Windows Embedded Standard N $436 Y
IGEL UD2-420 LX IGEL Linux 4.02.500 N $292 Y
IGEL UD3-420 ES Windows Embedded Standard Y $561 Y
IGEL UD3-420 LX IGEL Linux 4.02.500 Y $412 Y
IGEL UD3-720 ES Windows Embedded Standard Y $561 Y
IGEL UD3-720 LX IGEL Linux 4.02.500 Y $436 Y
IGEL UD5-420 ES Windows Embedded Standard Y $627 Y
IGEL UD5-420 LX IGEL Linux 4.02.500 Y $579 Y
IGEL UD5-720 ES Windows Embedded Standard Y $653 Y
IGEL UD5-720 LX IGEL Linux 4.02.500 Y $605 Y
IGEL UD7-720 ES Windows Embedded Standard Y $1,042 Y
IGEL UD7-720 LX IGEL Linux 4.02.500 Y $925 Y
IGEL UD9-720 ES Windows Embedded Standard Y $953 Y
Leadtek Research Inc. WinFast VP200 P ThreadX Y $715 Y
Praim XP-6700 Windows XPe SP3 Y TBD Y
Praim XP940-I Windows XPe SP3 N TBD Y
Praim XP9400-U Windows XPe SP3 Y TBD Y
Praim XT900-I ThinOX 8.01.14 N TBD Y
Samsung SyncMaster NC190 ThreadX Y $467 Y
Samsung SyncMaster NC240 ThreadX Y $524 Y
Wyse C90LEW Windows Embedded Standard 2009 Y $498 N
Wyse P20 ThreadX Y $585 Y
Wyse R50L SUSE Linux Enterprise TC 10 Y $481 Y
Wyse R50LE SUSE Linux Enterprise TC 10 Y $442 Y
Wyse R90LEW Windows Embedded Standard 2009 Y $640 N
Wyse R90LW Windows Embedded Standard 2009 Y $593 N
Wyse S10 WTOS 6.5 N $252 N
Wyse V10L WTOS 6.5 N $315 N
Wyse V10L Dual DVI WTOS 6.5 N $447 N
Wyse X50L SUSE Linux Enterprise TC 10 Y $671 Y

 SOLORI’s NOTE: The Samsung NC190 and NC240 include integrated 19″ and 24″ monitors, respectively. This combination makes them the most cost and energy efficient PCoIP solutions on the market. If all-in-one products meet your deployment profile, the Samsung units are worth a serious look.

Devices not on this list may “work” with VMware View 4.0 but may not support all of View 4’s features. VMware addresses certified and compatible as follows:

Certified and Compatible Thin Clients:
Certified – A thin client device listed against a particular VMware View release in the Certified For column has been tested by the thin client manufacturer against that specific VMware View release and includes a minimum set of features supported in that VMware View version.

Compatible – A thin client device certified against a specific VMware View release is compatible with previous and subsequent VMware View releases according to the compatibility guarantees published as part of that specific VMware View release (typically two major releases in both directions). However, a compatible thin client may not include all of the features of the newer VMware View release. Please refer to your VMware View Client documentation to determine which features are included.

Unlisted thin clients may embed VMware’s “software client” along with a more general purpose operating system to deliver View 4 compatibility. Support for this class of device may be restricted to the device vendor only. Likewise, thin clients that are compatible with earlier versions of View may support only a subset of View 4’s features. When in doubt, contact the thin client manufacturer before deploying with View 4.

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Quick Take: Year-end DRAM Price Follow-up, Thoughts on 2010

December 30, 2009

Looking at memory prices one last time before the year is out and prices of our “benchmark” Kingston DDR3 server DIMMs are on the decline. While the quad rank 8G DDR3/1066 DIMMs are below the $565 target price (at $514) we predicted back in August, the dual rank equivalent (on our benchmark list) are still hovering around $670 each. Likewise, while retail price on the 8G DDR2/667 parts continue to rise, inventory and promotional pricing has managed to keep them flat at $433 each, giving large foot print DDR2 systems a $2,000 price advantage (based on 64GB systems).

Benchmark Server (Spot) Memory Pricing – Dual Rank DDR2 Only
DDR2 Reg. ECC Series (1.8V) Price Jun ’09 Price Sep ’09 Price
Dec ’09

KVR800D2D4P6/4G
4GB 800MHz DDR2 ECC Reg with Parity CL6 DIMM Dual Rank, x4
(5.400W operating)
$100.00 $117.00
up 17%
$140.70
up 23%

(Promo price, retail $162)

KVR667D2D4P5/4G
4GB 667MHz DDR2 ECC Reg with Parity CL5 DIMM Dual Rank, x4 (5.940W operating)
$80.00 $103.00
up 29%
$97.99
down 5%

(retail $160)

KVR667D2D4P5/8G
8GB 667MHz DDR2 ECC Reg with Parity CL5 DIMM Dual Rank, x4 (7.236W operating)
$396.00 $433.00 $433.00

(Promo price, retail $515)
Benchmark Server (Spot) Memory Pricing – Dual Rank DDR3 Only
DDR3 Reg. ECC Series (1.5V) Price Jun ’09 Price Sep ’09 Price
Dec ’09

KVR1333D3D4R9S/4G
4GB 1333MHz DDR3 ECC Reg w/Parity CL9 DIMM Dual Rank, x4 w/Therm Sen (3.960W operating)
$138.00 $151.00
up 10%

$135.99

down 10%

KVR1066D3D4R7S/4G
4GB 1066MHz DDR3 ECC Reg w/Parity CL7 DIMM Dual Rank, x4 w/Therm Sen (5.09W 5.085W operating)
$132.00 $151.00
up 15%
$137.59
down 9%(retail $162)

KVR1066D3D4R7S/8G
8GB 1066MHz DDR3 ECC Reg w/Parity CL7 DIMM Dual Rank, x4 w/Therm Sen (6.36W 4.110W operating)
$1035.00 $917.00
down 11.5%
$667.00
down 28%

(avail. 1/10)

As the year ends, OEMs are expected to “pull up inventory,” according to DRAMeXchange, in advance of a predicted market short fall somewhere in Q2/2010. Demand for greater memory capacities are being driven by Windows 7 and 64-bit processors with 4GB as the well established minimum system foot print ending 2009. With Server 2008 systems demanding 6GB+ and increased shift towards large memory foot print virtualization servers and blades, the market price for DDR3 – just turning the corner in Q1/2010 versus DDR2 – will likely flatten based on growing demand.

SOLORI’s Take: With Samsung and Hynix doubling CAPEX spending in 2010, we’d be surprised to see anything more than a 30% drop in retail 4GB and 8GB server memory by Q3/2010 given the anticipated demand. That puts 8G DDR3/10666 at $470/stick versus $330 for 2x 4GB and on track with August 2009 estimates. The increase in compute, I/O and memory densities in 2010 will be market changing and memory demand will play a small (but significant) role in that development.

In the battle to “feed” the virtualization servers of 2H/2010, the 4-channel “behemoth” Magny-Cours system could have a serious memory/price advantage with 8 (2-DPC) or 12 (3-DPC) configurations of 64GB (2.6GB/thread) and 96GB (3.9GB/thread) DDR3/1066 using only 4GB sticks (assumes 2P configuration). Similar GB/thread loads on Nehalem-EP6 “Gulftown” (6-core/12-thread) could be had with 72GB DDR3/800 (18x 4GB, 3-DPC) or 96GB DDR3/1066 (12x 8GB, 2-DPC), providing the solution architect with a choice between either a performance (memory bandwidth) or price (about $2,900 more) crunch. This means Magny-Cours could show a $2-3K price advantage (per system) versus Nehalem-EP6 in $/VM optimized VDI implementations.

Where the rubber starts to meet the road, from a virtualization context, is with (unannounced) Nehalem-EP8 (8-core/16-thread) which would need 96GB (12x 8GB, 2-DPC) to maintain 2.6GB/thread capacity with Magny-Cours. This creates a memory-based price differential – in Magny-Cours’ favor – of about $3K per system/blade in the 2P space. At the high-end (3.9GB/thread), the EP8 system would need a full 144GB (running DDR3/800 timing) to maintain GB/thread parity with 2P Magny-Cours – this creates a $5,700 system price differential and possibly a good reason why we’ll not actually see an 8-core/16-thread variant of Nehalem-EP in 2010.

Assuming that EP8 has 30% greater thread capacity than Magny-Cours (32-threads versus 24-threads, 2P system), a $5,700 difference in system price would require a 2P Magny-Cours system to cost about $19,000 just to make it an even value proposition. We’d be shocked to see a MC processor priced above $2,600/socket, making the target system price in the $8-9K range (24-core, 2P, 96GB DDR3/1066). That said, with VDI growth on the move, a 4GB/thread baseline is not unrealistic (4 VM/thread, 1GB per virtual desktop) given current best practices. If our numbers are conservative, that’s a $100 equipment cost per virtual desktop – about 20% less than today’s 2P equivalents in the VDI space. In retrospect, this realization makes VMware’s decision to license VDI per-concurrent-user and NOT per socket a very forward-thinking one!

Of course, we’re talking about rack servers and double-size and non-standard blades here: after all, where can we put 24 DIMM slots (2P, 3-DPC, 4-channel memory) on a SFF blade? Vendors will have a hard enough time with 8-DIMM per processor (2P, 2-DPC, 4-channel memory) configurations today. Plus, all that dense compute and I/O will need to get out of the box somehow (10GE, IB, etc.) It’s easy to see that HPC and virtualization platforms demands are converging, and we think that’s good for both markets.

SOLORI’s 2nd Take: Why does 8GB of DRAM require less than 4GB at the same speed and voltage??? The 4GB stick is based on 36x 256M x 4-bit DDR3-1066 FBGA’s (60nm) and the 8GB stick is based on 36x 512M x 4-bit DDR3-1066 FBGA’s (likely 50nm). According to SAMSUNG, the smaller feature size offers nearly 40% improvement in power consumption (per FBGA). Since the sticks use the same number of FBGA components (1Gb vs 2Gb), the 20% power savings seems reasonable.

The prospect of lower power at higher memory densities will drive additional market share to modules based on 2Gb DRAM modules. The gulf between DDR2 will continue to expand as tooling shifts to majority-DDR3 production and the technology. While minority leader Hynix announced a 50nm 2Gb DDR2 part earlier this year (2009), the chip giant Samsung continues to use 60-nm for its 2Gb DDR2. Recently, Hynix announced a successful validation of its 40-nm class 2Gb DDR3 module operating at 1333MHz and saving up to 40% power from the 50nm design. Similarly, Samsung’s leading the DRAM arms race with 30nm, 4Gb DDR3 production which will show-up in 1.35V, 16GB UDIMM and RDIMM in 2010 offering additional power saving benefits over 40-50nm designs. Meanwhile, Samsung has all but abandoned advances on DDR2 feature sizes.

The writing is on the wall for DDR2 systems: unit costs are rising, demand is shrinking, research is stagnant and a new wave of DDR3-based hardware is just over the horizon (1H/2010). While these things will show the door to DDR2-based systems (which enjoyed a brief resurgence in 2009 due to DDR3 supply problems and marginal power differences) as demand and DDR3 advantages heat-up in later 2010, it’s kudos to AMD for calling the adoption curve, spot on!

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VMware View 4, Current Certified HCL

November 30, 2009

Given the recent release of VMware View 4.0, we though it would be handy to showcase the current state of the View “certified” HCL for “hardware” thin clients. As of November 30, 2009, the following hardware thin clients are “officially” on VMware’s HCL:

OEM Model OS
Variant
Certified
For
Compatible
With
Supports
PcoIP
Unit Cost
(Est. $)
DELL OptiPlex FX160 Windows XPe SP2 View 4.0 View 3.1, View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y $512
DevonIT TC5 Windows Embedded Standard 2009 View 4.0, View 3.1 View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y $299
HP GT7720 Windows Embedded Standard View 4.0 View 3.1, View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y $799
HP t5630 Windows XPe SP3 View 4.0, View 3.1 View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y $632
HP t5630W Windows Embedded Standard View 4.0 View 3.1, View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y $440
HP t5720 Windows XPe SP3 View 4.0, View 3.1 View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y $410 (refurbished)
HP t5730 Windows XPe SP3 View 4.0, View 3.1 View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y $349
HP t5730W Windows Embedded Standard View 4.0 View 3.1, View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y $550
HP t5740 Windows Embedded Standard View 4.0 View 3.1, View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y $429
HP vc4820t Windows Embedded Standard View 4.0 View 3.1, View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y N/A
Wyse C90LEW Windows Embedded Standard 2009 View 4.0 View 3.1, View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y $498
Wyse R90LEW Windows Embedded Standard 2009 View 4.0 View 3.1, View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y $640
Wyse R90LW Windows Embedded Standard 2009 View 4.0 View 3.1, View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 Y $593
Wyse S10 WTOS 6.5 View 4.0 View 3.1, View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 N $252
Wyse V10L WTOS 6.5 View 4.0 View 3.1, View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 N $315
Wyse V10L Dual DVI WTOS 6.5 View 4.0 View 3.1, View 3.0, VDM 2.1, VDM 2.0 N $447

Devices not on this list may “work” with VMware View 4.0 but may not support all of View 4’s features. VMware addresses certified and compatible as follows:

Certified and Compatible Thin Clients:
Certified – A thin client device listed against a particular VMware View release in the Certified For column has been tested by the thin client manufacturer against that specific VMware View release and includes a minimum set of features supported in that VMware View version.

Compatible – A thin client device certified against a specific VMware View release is compatible with previous and subsequent VMware View releases according to the compatibility guarantees published as part of that specific VMware View release (typically two major releases in both directions). However, a compatible thin client may not include all of the features of the newer VMware View release. Please refer to your VMware View Client documentation to determine which features are included.

Unlisted thin clients may embed VMware’s “software client” along with a more general purpose operating system to deliver View 4 compatibility. Support for this class of device may be restricted to the device vendor only. Likewise, thin clients that are compatible with earlier versions of View may support only a subset of View 4’s features. When in doubt, contact the thin client manufacturer before deploying with View 4.

Updated: 1-December-2009 –  added price reference for listed thin clients.

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Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Strategy

June 26, 2009

Red Hat’s recently updated virtualization strategy has resulted in an “oversubscribed” beta program. The world leader in open source solutions swings a big stick with its kernel-based virtualization products. Some believe one of the keys to successful large scale cloud initiatives is an open source hypervisor, and with Xen going commercial, turning to the open source veteran Red Hat seems a logical move. You may recall that Red Hat – using KVM – was the first to demonstrate live migration between AMD and Intel hosts.

“We are very pleased by the welcome we have received from enterprise companies all over the world who are looking to adopt virtualization pervasively and value the benefits of our open source solutions. Our Beta program is oversubscribed. We are excited to be in a position to deliver a flexible, comprehensive and cost-effective virtualization portfolio in which products will share a consistent hardware and software certification portfolio. We are in a unique position to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of virtualization solutions, ranging from a standalone hypervisor to a virtualized operating system to a comprehensive virtualization management product suite.”

- Scott Crenshaw, vice president, Platform Business Unit at Red Hat

Red Hat sees itself as an “agent of change” in the virtualization landscape and wants to deliver a cost effective “boxed” approach to virtualization and virtualization management. All of this is hinged on Red Hat’s new KVM-based approach – enabled through their acquisition of Qumranet in September 2008 – which delivers the virtualization and management layers to Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux and its kernel.

Along with Qumranet came Solid ICE and SPICE. Solid ICE is the VDI component running on KVM consisting of a virtual desktop server and controller front end. Solid ICE allows Red Hat to rapidly enter the VDI space without disrupting its Eco-System. Additionally, the SPICE protocol (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments) enables an standardized connection protocol alternative to RDP with enhancements for the VDI user experience.

Red Hat’s SPICE claims to offer the following features in the enterprise:

  • Superior graphics performance (e.g. flash)
  • video quality (30+ frames per second)
  • bi-directional audio (for soft-phones/IP phones)
  • bi-directional video (for video telephony/ video conferencing)
  • No specialized hardware. Software only client that can be automatically installed via Active-X and a browser on the client machine

Red Hat’s virtualization strategy reveals more of it’s capabilities and depth in accompanying blogs and white papers. Adding to the vendor agnostic migration capabilities, Red Hat’s KVM is slated to support VM hosts to 96 cores and 1TB of memory with guests scaling to 16 vCPUs and 64GB of memory. Additional features include high availabitily, live migration, global system scheduler, global power saving (through migration and power down), memory page sharing, thin storage provisioning and SELinux security.

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Quick Take: Battle for the Presentation Layer

March 18, 2009

The battle lines are drawn in the war to determine who will control your desktop in the future – and it’s not about what operating system (OS) you’ll be running – it’s about who will pull the virtual strings behind the OS. Up to recently, Windows users had RDP and ICA as the main “enterprise” desktop remote access services along with a protocol soup of new alternatives.

Today, there is a foray of alternate access technologies flying the banner of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and a confusing mess of protocols, features and limitations. Most recently, this even includes traditionally security focused Symantec and its “Endpoint Virtualization” product. While this serves to bolster our prediction of a Microsoft/Citrix merger – based on the sheer number of vectors competing for the platform – it also presents a familiar case of “who’s approach will win” for end users and adopters.

Brian Madden’s blog recently touched on this competition and where the major players – in his opinion – stand to lose and gain. It’s worth the read as are the related posts from his blog on the topic.

SOLORI’s take: this war’s been brewing for some time now, and it’s only going to get ugly before things settle down. So far, it’s all packaging and management with no new vision towards an “innovative way” of application deployment – just better ways…

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