Archive for the ‘VDI’ Category

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Short Take: VMware View Client for Android, ICS Update

May 17, 2012

An updated VMware View Client for Android devices hit a the street today sporting a couple of enhancements for Google’s Android OS running the relatively new Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) version; other improvements are for View 5.1 deployments only.

Here’s a list of the new features in the update available now on Google Play:

– Support for ICS
– Mouse support with hover, right click and scroll wheel (ICS)
– Updated look and feel and improvements for smaller screens
– New Settings dialog includes security mode settings
– Up to 2x better video playback performance
– Optimized for View 5.1
– RADIUS two factor authentication with View 5.1
– Save password option (administrator approval required) with View 5.1
– French, German, Spanish keyboard support with View 5.1

The update is a 5.32MB download, and is available free of charge.

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Quick Take – VMware PartnerExchange 2010: Day 3

February 10, 2010

With about 2.5 hours of sleep and the VCP410 test looming, Tuesday took on a different tone than the previous two days. My calendar was full:

  • 5:30 – Wake-up and check e-mail/blog/systems back in CST
  • 7:00am – Breakfast at the VMware Experience Hall
  • 8:30am – Keynote with Carl Eschenbach, EVP Worldwide Sales & Field Ops, VMware
  • 10:00am – ESXi Convergence Roadmap Session
  • 11:15am – View4 Workload Sizing and Testing
  • 12:15pm – Lunch in the VMware Alumni Lounge
  • 1:30pm – vSphere4 Advanced Configuration Topics
  • 3:45pm – VCP410 Test
  • 5:15pm – View Composer Tips, Tricks and Best Practices
  • 6:45pm – Check-in at home
  • 7:00pm – Update blog and check/respond to e-mail

First, the keynote with Carl and the gang was awesome! VMware took a really aggressive attitude towards the competition, including Citrix (virtual desktop) and Microsoft (virtual data center). To sum up the conversation: VMware’s intent on carrying on the Q4/09 momentum through 2011, extending its lead in virtual data center and cloud computing capabilities. But Carl’s not happy with just the traditional server market, and VMware wants to own the virtual desktop space – virtually putting the squeeze on Citrix as the walls close-in around them.

With over 60-70% of net new Citrix VDI builds being deployed on VMware’s ESX servers, it make me wonder why Citrix would drive its XenApp customers to VDI – in the form of XenDesktop4 – by offering a 2-for-1 trade-in program. Isn’t this like asking their own clients to reconsider the value proposition of XenApp – in essence turning vendor-locked accounts into a new battleground with VMware? If the momentum shifts towards VMware View4.x and VMware accelerates the pace on product features (including management and integration) as suggested by Carl’s aggressive tone today, where does that leave XenDesktop and Citrix?

The VMware Express Trailer

The VMware Express Mobile Data Center

The VMware Express: Coming to a City Near You!

VMware introduced its “data center on wheels” to the PartnerExchange 2010 audience today and I got a chance to get on-board and take a look. The build-out was clean and functional with 60+ Gbps of external interconnects waiting for a venue. Inside the Express was a data center, a conference room and several demonstration stations showing VMware vSphere and View4 demos.

6 ton Mobile A/C for Express' Data Center

6 ton Mobile A/C for Express' Data Center

VMware rolled-out the red carpet to the PartnerExchange 2010 attendees. To the right – above the 5-th wheel – is the conference room. All the way in the back (to the left) is the data center portion. In-between the data center and the conference room lies the demonstration area with external plasma screens in kick-panels displaying slide deck and demonstration materials.

The Express' Diesel Generator - Capable of Powering Things for Nearly 2-days

The Express' Diesel Generator - Capable of Powering Things for Nearly 2-days

Up front – behind the cab – rests 6-tons of air conditioning mounted to the front of the trailer. This keeps the living area inside habitable and the data center (about 70-80 sq. ft.) cool enough to run some serious virtualization equipment. Mounted directly behind the driver’s cabin is the diesel generator – capable of powering the entire operation for better than 40-hours when external power is unavailable. Today, however, the VMware Express was taking advantage of “house power” provided by Mandalay Bay’s conference center.

Where the rubber met the road was inside the data center: currently occupied by an EMC/Cisco rack and a rack powered by MDS/NetApp/Xsigo. Both featured 12TB of raw storage and high-density Nehalem-EP solutions. In the right corner, the heavyweight EMC/Cisco bundle was powered by Cisco’s UCS B-series platform featuring eight Nehalem 2P blades per 6U chassis fed by a pair of Cisco 4900-series converged switches. In the left corner, the super middleweight MDS Micro QUADv-series”mini-blade” chassis featuring an eight Nehalem 2P blades per two 2U chassis fed by a pair of Xsigo I/O directors delivering converged network and SAN tunneled over infiniband interconnects.

Still More Capacity for Additional Hardware Sponsors

Two-of-Three Racks are Currently Occupied by EMC/Cisco and MDS/NetApp/Xsigo

It will be interesting to see how the drive arrays survive the journey as the VMware Express travels across the country over the next year. Meanwhile, this tractor trailer is packing 60-blades worth of serious virtualization hardware destined for a town near you. VMware is currently looking for additional sponsors from the partner community to expand its tour; and access to the VMware Express will be prioritized based on partner status and/or sponsorship.

VCP410 Test Passed – Waiting for Official Notification

With the VCP410 test in the books, I’m now waiting for official notification from VMware of my VCP4 status. According to my “Examination Score Report” I should receive notice from VMware within 30-days having met all of the requirements for “VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 4 Certification” and testing above the Certified Instructor minimums.

As a systems and network architect, I found the “interface related questions” somewhat more challenging than the “design and configure” related fare. However, the test was pretty well balanced and left me with well over 25 minutes to go back over questions I’d checked for review and finalize those answers. I logged-out of the exam with 18 minutes left on the clock. My recommendation to those looking to pass the VCP410:

  1. Work with vSphere in a hands-on capacity for several days before taking the test, making good mental notes related to interface operations inside and outside of vCenter
  2. Know the minimums and maximums for ESX and vCenter configurations
  3. Understand storage zoning, masking and configuration
  4. Go over the VCP blueprint on your own before seeking additional assistance
  5. Remember the test is on GA release and not “current” release so “correct” answers may differ slightly from “reality”
  6. Get more than 2.5 hours sleep the night before you take the exam
  7. Schedule the exam in the morning – while you’re fresh – not the afternoon following meetings, etc.
  8. Dig into topics on the VCP Forum online

That about does it for day number three in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s time to shuffle-up and deal!

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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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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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Quick Take: Oracle to Buy Virtual Iron

May 14, 2009

Oracle extended its spring buying spree by announcing the purchase of Virtual Iron Software, Inc (Virtual Iron) on May 13, 2009. Citing Virtual Iron’s “dynamic resource and capacity management” capabilities as the reason in their press release, Oracle intends to fill gaps in its Xen-based Oracle VM product (available as a free download).

Ironically, Virtual Iron’s product focus is SMB. According to a Butler Group technology audit, Virtual Iron “has one limitation that [they] believe will impact potential customers: the management console currently can only manage 120 nodes.” However, Virtual Iron’s “VI-Center” – the management piece cited as the main value proposition by Butler and Oracle – is based on a client-server Java application, making it a “good fit” with the recent Oracle acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Oracle has not announced plans for Virtual Iron, pending the conclusion of the deal. Oracle’s leading comment:

“Industry trends are driving demand for virtualization as a way to reduce operating expenses and support green IT strategies without sacrificing quality of service,” said Wim Coekaerts, Oracle Vice President of Linux and Virtualization Engineering. “With the addition of Virtual Iron, Oracle expects to enable customers to more dynamically manage their server capacity and optimize their power consumption. The acquisition is consistent with Oracle’s strategy to provide comprehensive enterprise software management and will facilitate more efficient management of application service levels.”

SOLORI’s take: If the deal goes through, Oracle has found an immediate job for its newly acquired Sun Java engineers – getting VI-Cener ready for enterprise computing. Currently, Oracle VM is a “barebones” product with very little value beyond its intrinsic functionality. With the acquisition of Virtual Iron and its management piece, Oracle/Sun could produce a self-sufficient virtualization eco-system with OracleVM augmented by Virtual Iron, Sun Storage, choice of Oracle or MySQL databases, and commodity (or Sun) hardware – all vetted for Oracle’s application stack.

Virtual Iron was supposedly working on Hyper-V and KVM (RedHat’s choice of virtualization) management features. Though we doubt that Oracle VM will evolve into a truly “virtualization agnostic” product, the promise of such a capability is the stuff of “cloud computing.” Sun’s VDI and xVM server group will have a lot of work to do this summer…

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VMware Partner 2009 Update: vSphere is coming…

April 14, 2009

We’re not the first to say it, but vSphere – VMware’s 4.0 iteration of it’s Virtual Infrastructure product – is coming and it will take the cloud by storm… Remember our “Christmas List” blog back in December? We essentially outlined the following “must haves” for our next generation vOS:

  1. Agnostic live migration,
  2. Infinite snapshot backup/restore,
  3. Natively reads Xen, Virtualbox, KVM, VMWare and HyperV virtual disks and configs,
  4. Can “clone on migrate” a running image to a “dmz” for analysis or a “remote cluster” for easy DR snapshots,
  5. Supports I/O and processor limits per VM, and
  6. Runs most workloads at least 95% bare metal.

Well, here’s were we stand on that:

  1. Not yet,
  2. Close: new VCB solution will have API and lots of options,
  3. Do I still want this feature?
  4. Getting Fault Tolerance instead,
  5. Got this one, and
  6. Close: 90% bare metal.

On top of that, we’re closer to private-public confederations that would allow vCustomer “A” to export/import to/from vCloud vender “B” if each are running vSphere.Also – and you’ve all seen this by now – we’re getting a plugable vSwitch supervisor with many E-class switching capabilities…

Plus, we’re getting application awareness in the networking back-end that will allow tweaking and performance tuning like never before… and much needed security tools to help with compliance and multi-tenant lockdown… And what about hot-add of vCPU, memory, devices, etc.? Wait and see what happens next… Read the rest of this entry ?

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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…