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Transform Your Windows Desktops with a Flexible, Converged Active System Solution from Dell and VMware

by John Kelly, Solutions Architecture Consultant for Dell Desktop Virtualization Solutions.

By now most of you reading this blog will be familiar with a number of trends that are becoming very prevalent in the enterprise IT space at the moment. In the data center, there’s a move towards automated infrastructure deployment,
end-to-end automation and converged networking; meanwhile in the end-user domain, we’ve seen the proliferation of BYOD, with users looking for access to their workspaces at any location and at any time. Desktop virtualization is the key technology that allows organizations to gain synergies these 2 technology trends and Dell and VMware have just released a reference architecture that is a real game changer in this space … so read on for some more information.

Dell’s Active System 800v solution has been around for a few months now and it’s a pretty neat solution. A couple of highlights of the Active System 800v include:

  • Dell PowerEdge M I/O Aggregator (with full IEEE Data Center Bridging compliance for Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and enhanced iSCSI).
  • Active System Manager, providing functionality such as automated infrastructure deployment and end-to-end automation.
  • Solution is available to be racked, cabled, and delivered to your site to speed deployment.

Not surprisingly, the compelling advantages offered by the above functionality (as well as numerous other features described here) have resulted in Dell creating reference architectures (RAs) for many use cases, including Microsoft Sharepoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Lync Server 2010; however one of the most interesting reference architectures for Active System 800v is the VMware View 5.1 RA that was published in late 2012 for the VMware View 5.1 release (extra marks if you recall that the View 5.1 release included some really valuable functionality such as View Storage Accelerator and integration with vCenter Operations (vCOps) Manager for View).

So that’s where the new RA comes in – hot on the heels of the recent announcement on the release of VMware Horizon View 5.2 (yes, VMware has now changed the name slightly to signal the inclusion of View in the Horizon suite, where it is joined by Horizon Mirage and Horizon Workspace). The engineering team at Dell has just published an update RA for VMware Horizon View 5.2 on Active System 800v. To fully appreciate the significance of this RA, it is useful to describe some of
the new features in Horizon View 5.2:

  • Innovative Mobile Desktop Experience
  • Improved Large-Scale Management
  • Improved Storage Capacity Efficiency and Utilization
  • Windows 8 Support
  • Hardware-Accelerated 3-D Graphics
  • VMware Horizon Suite Integration
  • VMware Horizon Workspace Integration
  • Enhanced Media Services for Unified Communications

A quick analysis of the above list of features immediately shows that it’s quite an impressive feature-set, delivering some really important benefits from an end-user, IT and corporate perspective. End-users will love Windows 8 support and access to hardware-accelerated graphics; IT managers will be impressed with the improved large-scale management and everybody in the enterprise (yes, particularly the accountants) will be grateful for the improved storage capacity efficiency and utilization and for the enhanced unified communications support.

So the deal is sealed, it’s been decided that we can wait no longer – Horizon View 5.2 means that my organization needs to move to virtual desktops. But wait … desktop virtualization – isn’t that difficult and expensive to deploy? Can we really afford to scale those hurdles? At Dell, our message has always been that this is not the case (and you may visit our Desktop Virtualization Solutions page to see why not). Now with our DVS Enterprise Active Systems 800 for Horizon View reference architecture, we’ve taken another step to simplifying your journey to the benefits that can be derived from desktop virtualization by delivering a converged infrastructure solution that has been designed and validated by Dell™ Engineering for desktop virtualization. It is available to be racked, cabled, and delivered to your site to speed deployment. Dell Services will deploy and configure the solution tailored for business needs, so that the solution is ready to be integrated into your datacenter.

The DVS Enterprise Active Systems 800 for Horizon View reference architecture is available here, read it and take the first step to a technically robust, easily implemented solution that will deliver an excellent end-user experience to your users and a secure and easily-managed solution for your IT department.

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