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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Performance Does Matter: PCoIP vs. HDX

By Fred Schimscheimer, Sr. Technical Marketing Manager, End-User Computing

Performance does matter!  And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  Have you seen the report by Principled Technologies comparing VMware View 5 to Citrix XenDesktop 5.5 from a display protocol perspective? http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/PCoIPvHDXsinglesession03-05-12.pdf. Principled Technologies discovered that the default protocol configurations were different in the two products and when adjusted to match each other, VMware View 5 was equal to or superior to XenDesktop 5.5 in several key performance areas.  This report provides an accurate side-by-side comparison of VMware’s PCoIP and Citrix’s HDX display protocols along with a detailed explanation of lossless and lossy compression. 

I want to point out that both products are not configured the same by default.  VMware View 5 defaults to 30 frames per second and has build to full lossless compression enabled.  Citrix XenDesktop defaults to 24 frames per second and ‘normal quality’, i.e., lossy compression.  So what did Principled Technologies do?  They ran two sets of tests.  In one test they configured the PCoIP settings to match the HDX lossy default settings and in a second test they configured the HDX settings to match the PCoIP default lossless settings.  In other words, they configured one display protocol to match the other, making it as close as possible for an apples-to-apples comparison.  Take a look at the images (both color and black and white) of various portions of the screen captures.  This is a great way for you to see for yourself and do your own comparison.   My eyes tell me that PCoIP looks just as good if not better than HDX! 

Are looks everything?  No!  Just take a look at the charts.  You’ll see that VMware View 5 has equal or better efficiency in bandwidth consumption as well as client and server side CPU utilization when compared to Citrix XenDesktop 5.5 on common office applications.

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What’s New with USB Redirection in VMware View 5.1?

By Tina de Benedictis, Technical Marketing Manager, Enterprise Desktop, End User Computing, VMware

Who would have thought that configuring USB devices for redirection to VMware View desktops could be fun? VMware View 5.1 provides a new group policies administrative interface for configuring USB device splitting and filtering. Now it is as satisfying as solving a simple logic puzzle when you configure a USB device for redirection.

Why is it fun? Who doesn’t enjoy learning a few logic rules and then solving a puzzle?

USB_Redirection_VMware_View

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New Features of Persona Management in VMware View 5.1

By Tina de Benedictis, Technical Marketing Manager, Enterprise Desktop, End User Computing, VMware

VMware View Premier includes an integrated user profile management system: View Persona Management.

VMware-View-Persona-Management

You may already be aware of how View Persona Management optimizes the handling of user profiles at login and logout for View virtual desktops. Because of the minimal amount of data uploaded at login or logout, performance is better than with Windows roaming profiles, and boot storms are eliminated or reduced.

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Customize the View Portal for Client Download with VMware View 5.1

By Tina de Benedictis, Technical Marketing Manager, Enterprise Desktop, End User Computing, VMware

Did you know that in VMware View 5.1 you can customize the View Portal that users see when they log in to the View Connection Server to begin using their virtual desktop?

View5_1_ViewPortal

By default, the View Download Portal has built-in intelligence to detect the user’s browser and operating system and responds with instructions and download links matched to the client. For example, if a user connects to their View Connection Server with a Windows PC, the View Portal offers links to download the various types of Windows View Clients from the VMware.com website.

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New View Clients Optimized for VMware View 5.1 Now Available on Windows, Linux, Mac, iPad and Android!

By Pat Lee, director, End-User Clients, VMware

The View Clients team is excited to release our latest clients for Windows, Linux, Mac, iPad and Android. The new client releases are optimized to deliver the best possible experience when combined with VMware View 5.1.

Optimized for VMware View 5.1
The new View Clients have up to 3x better video playback, improved interactive performance, and more robust performance on high-latency and lossy networks. See VMware View 5.1 Continues to Improve Performance for more details.

Also, the new View Clients work with VMware View 5.1 to support additional two-factor authentication vendors, leveraging a RADIUS client in the View 5.1 Connection Server. This gives you more choice when implementing single sign-on or security tokens in your virtual desktops.

Support for the Latest iPad and Android Devices
The new VMware View Client for iPad has been updated to support the new third-generation iPad and deliver better video playback and interactive performance for users of the new iPad.

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VMware View Storage Accelerator – The next step towards more reliable, more cost-effective storage for VDI environments

By Matt Eccleston, chief architect – VMware View, VMware

VDI with VMware View has brought many benefits to customers over the years, including business agility, improved control and security and end-user flexibility. However, a vexing problem as our customers scale up the size of their deployments has been how to achieve cost-effective storage designs for VDI environments while maintaining an excellent quality of service for their end users. The “VDI storage problem” fundamentally stems from the different economics of traditional desktop storage (a local SATA drive), and datacenter-class storage. Datacenter storage is almost always more expensive on a $ per GB, or $ per I/O throughput basis. However, at the same time, datacenter storage offers significant opportunities for pooling resources, securing, consolidating and centralizing the data of the desktop.

VMware has always been a leader in attacking this challenge, able to closely leverage its vSphere technology and apply it to the VDI market through VMware View. An example of this is View’s linked clones technology. View Composer linked clones allowed you to take advantage of the fact that many of the virtual desktops in a given environment had gigabytes of identical content (since they all came from the same Windows image template) and did not need to waste capacity by storing the same content multiple times on disk. For many scenarios, View Composer achieves a massive reduction in the amount of storage space consumed on datacenter storage.

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VMware Announces General Availability of View 5.1

The VMware End-User Computing team is happy to announce the general availability of VMware View 5.1.  No dancing this time, just great engineering!

View 5.1 BoxAnnounced on May 2, 2012 as core component of the VMware end-user computing portfolio, VMware View 5.1 represents a major leap forward enabling IT organizations to empower more agile, productive and connected businesses by creating a better desktop for the Post-PC era.

Centralized and automated desktop management provided by VMware View 5.1 enable the scalable management of tens of thousands of virtual desktops through a single console. VMware View reduces operational costs by as much as 50 percent while increasing availability, reliability and security levels beyond levels of traditional PCs.

Built on VMware vSphere, the industry’s most widely deployed virtualization platform, VMware View 5.1 will enable the industry’s best end-user experience while simplifying IT management for large-scale deployments and reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) associated with a virtual desktop infrastructure.

VMware View 5.1 Features and Benefits:
So what do you get in View 5?  Enhancements and new features in VMware View 5.1 include:

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Blog Post from GTC: Hosted desktop and workstation workloads – what about my 3D graphics?

By Aaron Blasius, senior product manager, VMware

VDI solutions have been available for many years now and are becoming the preferred desktop platform for many market segments.  From the enterprise to state, local and education customers and from Health Care to the the small and mid-size businesses, organizations are realizing the benefits of delivering desktop workloads to their employees from private clouds enabled via VMware View. 

Centralization, automated provisioning and additional security are the primary drivers of View hosted solutions. Until recently, customer’s looking to secure their high value workstations assets in hosted solutions has been limited to niche solutions. 

This is about to change.Virtualizing graphics workloads was not an immediate need for the early adopters of virtualization for the data center.  It was the evolution to virtual desktop workloads forced the issue of virtual graphics for the data center.  Organizations wanted to bring VDI to more teams and employees demanded the same high fidelity experience from their virtual machines as the one they could find at home. 

VMware leveraged the virtual 3D technology developed for the Workstation and Fusion products to ensure the rich graphics experience provided by enterprise software products such as Aero.  Software rendered 3D in View 5 was delivered and the use case grew.

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Overcoming the VDI IOPS Challenge

Guest Post by Anjan Srinivas, Director of Product Marketing, Atlantis Computing

Correct IO sizing can be a challenge for customers adopting VDI. Storage can represent between 20 and 70% of the total desktop cost in VDI infrastructure. Get it right and the project is successful – users accept it and desktop cost is low. Get it wrong and the desktop costs can rise,  and the team may not get to scale beyond the first implementation – or the desktop is inexpensive and users reject it for performance reasons.

Here’s why….

The Windows OS was designed with a local and dedicated disk and requires constant access to the hard drive even when it is idle. In addition, the Windows OS will consume as much disk IO or throughput to the hard drive as is available. Windows desktop workloads are write heavy (70-80% writes, 20-30% reads) .Windows 7 OS images are also larger than XP images, forcing enterprises to buy more storage capacity to accommodate larger numbers of users( a Windows 7 image ranges from 25GB to 50GB or more depending on the components and apps installed).

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The Accelerating Rise of Rogue Clouds

By Ben Goodman, Lead Evangelist, VMware Horizon Application Manager

This is the first blog in series on the Consumerization of IT, it's effect and how it can be managed successfully. It will be followed by a whitepaper on this topic.

Ready or not, your employees have gone rogue. It sounds scary, but it’s true. They’re turning to on-demand cloud services whether it be for a quick server deployment, easy access to online storage, some form of collaboration tools, or virtually any software that is delivered as-a-service. And it’s changing the very nature of the relationship between IT and the enterprise. 

This story published in CIO magazine shows how difficult a job it is for industry analysts to capture the real-world penetration of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) into the enterprise. After conducting a survey of senior IT managers, only 13 percent of respondents reported that IaaS deployments were running in their environment. Unfortunately, that number fell woefully short of reality and shows how out of touch many IT managers are when it comes to knowing what cloud services are actually being used by their organization:

"The actual number was double that, and that was only talking about IAAS," according to Galen Schreck, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research (FORR).

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