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Monthly Archives: February 2010

VMware Welcomes RTO Software

Today we are proud to announce that VMware has acquired the assets of Alpharetta, GA based RTO Software adding their technology and talented people to the VMware View team.  For those of you not familiar with RTO software they are well known for their Virtual Profiles, PinPoint and Discover products which help IT organizations simplify desktop deployments while providing end-users with a rich, robust and flexible experience.

The RTO technologies add a critical component to the View solution providing the foundation for robust persona management.  With persona management end-user specific information such as user data, settings and application access is separated from the desktop image enabling increased flexible access and portability of the desktop service.  This integration will provide end-users with a consistent user experience while IT organizations will benefit from simplified and optimized management of these assets.

For more information on this acquisition please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document here.

Also be sure to check out Scott Davis’ View Point Blog for his perspective on the RTO acquisition.

Warren Ponder’s take can be found on the Virtual Desktop Blog here.

VMware View 4.0.1 Now Available

The View team is happy to announce the availability of VMware View 4.0.1, a
maintenance release which includes bug fixes and resolutions to known issues such
as the following:

  • Single sign-on support using
    PCoIP for third party providers such as Sentillion and Imprivata

  • Support for Virtual Printing
    (ThinPrint) with PCoIP enabled virtual desktops

  • Localization of the View clients
    and documentation in French, German, Japanese and Simplified Chinese

  • Support for international

This release is available as a free upgrade to customers with a currently
active VMware View Support and Subscription (SnS) contract. 

For more
details on this release please see the release notes here: http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/view_pubs.html

4.0.1 is available for download here

For more information and to evaluate VMware View, please visit the VMware View website here

Winter Storms and Teleworking in the Federal Government


plowing (photo by william couch)

article by David Hunter – Chief
Technology Officer,
WWW Public Sector

Last month I wrote an article about integrating virtualization and Desktop Virtualization into a Social Distancing contingency plan to deal with a Pandemic outbreak.  The weather events of this past week in Washington, DC offer another catalyst for introducing this technology into your playbook as well.  A record 55.6 inches of snow has fallen in Washington DC this week, surpassing the previous 1898-1899 record of 54.4 inches and forcing portions of Federal Government to shutdown.  The inability for  employees to get into the office undoubtedly contributed to a decrease in productivity for those agencies without a TeleWork program.  Not only are Federal employees impacted, but think of all the contractors, consultants and temporary workers affected as well.  Add it all up, and according to OPM's John Berry, the current Federal Shutdown is costing upwards of $100 million per day.

VMware has been working with many Federal agencies and departments to include Desktop Virtualization to enable a robust TeleWork Program.   Imagine you are in your house sitting in front of a window watching the snow come down, yet still able to perform portions of your work as if you were sitting in your office chair.   But what do you need to realize this picture of warm and cozy computing?  Start with a full end to end virtualization solution, from the back end servers to a flexible delivery mechanism that delivers the best end user experience.  Combine this with cost effective scalability, ease of management, flexibility, and security and have a recipe for success.

VMware's View Desktop Virtualization provides Federal users with instant, reliable and secure access to their desktops from any device – government furnished equipment or personal computers – or platform over the network. VMware View streamlines desktop and application management, accelerates provisioning and improves security through centralization, resulting in an immediately accessible, always available desktop for Federal employees.  Just like the recent Air Force recruiting television commercials, this isn’t a game but reality.  If you want to hear more specifics, I recommend that you attend the View Teleworking Webcast on Feb. 25th. 

When do scalability claims not really matter?

Greetings –

By way of introduction my name is Mike Coleman and I’m a member of the Technical Marketing staff here at VMware. Part of my role is helping our customers and partners understand our value proposition vis-à-vis other desktop virtualization offerings on the market.

Just a bit on my background – early in my career I spent over a decade as a senior level IT engineer working on some pretty big installations. From IT I moved to Microsoft and worked as a product manager on desktop operating systems including Windows 98 (I apologize), Windows 2000, and Windows XP. In January of 2008, after a brief stint at Intel helping to deliver virtualization solutions to the reseller channel, I joined VMware in the role I have now.

But enough about me – onto the topic at hand . . . .

Recently Citrix posted some documents around architecting and deploying desktop virtualization implementations, and I wanted to take a few moments to give you my perspective.

First, I think it’s great that Citrix is getting around to publishing some real scalability numbers for XenDesktop – I’m not sure they’ve gone far enough in their efforts, but I think it’s great that they’re doing something.

As most of our customers know VMware has put out a number of different reference architectures for VMware View, and our take has always been that reference architectures need to provide a comprehensive picture on what it takes to deploy an enterprise implementation of our solution. This includes not only detailing the requisite software and hardware components, but how do those components scale in a real world implementation.

Unfortunately for Citrix customers the documents released fall short in a lot of areas.

First, their “reference architecture” (titled “XenDesktop Reference Architecture”) merely outlines the multitude of components their solution requires. There is no indication to customers on how these components scale – which is the type of information companies need if they want to being to understand how to build and deploy a desktop virtualization implementation.

As mentioned before, we have always given prescriptive guidance not only on the components necessary for a successful View implementation, but also how customers can expect those components to scale.

While the “reference architecture” didn’t elaborate on scalability, Citrix did publish a couple of documents that dealt with sizing various XenDesktop features.

One of the documents entitled “Delivering 5,000 Desktops with XenDesktop 4” discusses how Provisioning Server can theoretically (I say theoretically because they actually only tested to just over 3,000 desktops) scale to deliver 5,000 desktops from a single physical server.

It certainly sounds impressive, but there appears to be some confusion inside of Citrix as some of their press materials refer to these as “virtual desktops” while other sources more accurately refer them as streamed desktops. To be clear this document is not about managed virtual desktops – it refers to PC’s being booted across the network to fat client PC’s (or diskless workstations) and operating the same way a traditional PC operates today (along with all the headaches of a traditional PC).

I will say one thing that’s interesting to note is that this solution isn’t virtualized on XenServer – it is, in fact, virtualized on VMware ESX 3.5 – finally something both Citrix and VMware can agree on.

Lastly – there is a document on single server scalability where Citrix touts being able to host 16 (actually 16.25 – but since you can’t host .25 desktops we’ll just call it 16) virtual desktops per CPU core. This is something to be proud of, we were certainly proud when we published the VMware, Cisco, EMC reference architecture (VCE RA) several months ago and demonstrated the ability to deliver 16 virtual desktops per CPU core. The thing that makes the VCE RA even more impressive is that we were able to deliver that density in only 48GB of RAM whereas the Citrix architecture uses 72GB of RAM.

If you would like to read the VCE RA you can check it out here: http://www.vmware.com/go/vce-ra-brief

In the end scaling a desktop virtualization solution isn’t about how many VMs can you cram onto one server. A true scalability discussion needs to include all the components needed for an end-to-end desktop virtualization implementation – desktop brokering, secure access, provisioning services, etc. This is the approach we’ve taken when creating our reference architectures, and it’s one that resonates with our customers

In closing, our leadership in scalability – along with our advantages in licensing costs allow us to deliver virtual desktops at a price that can come in at ½ of what a similar Citrix solution would cost. Couple that with the fact that VMware View is less complex, while delivering a complete desktop virtualization solution and you can see why more and more customers are choosing VMware View every day.

I plan to come back over the next few weeks and discuss in-depth our advantages in terms of cost, complexity, and completeness of our solution (ok that doesn’t sound great, but I’m a sucker for alliterations) – so stay tuned.

VMware View Hits The Road

VMware Express
The VMware Express was unveiled today at the 2010 Partner Exchange in Las Vegas, NV and I have to say that we here on the View team are very excited to see it hit the road.  As you can probably tell from the picture above, the VMware Express is a big truck but it’s not your normal everyday rig.  Oh no…  this one is chock full of all kinds of VMware goodness.  The VMware Express  is a datacenter and demo environment on wheels and it will be crossing the U.S. and Canada over the next year letting you, our customers get hands on with the latest and greatest technologies in your own back yard.

A good deal of the demos are dedicated to the VMware View solution which is why we’re so excited to see it hit the road. We hope that you’re as excited as we are about this and we look forward to hearing your experiences and feedback as it stops at a location near you.  For more information on the VMware Express see the post here. It has a nice overview of the View demos you'll be able to see:

VMware View

  • Best User Experience – Highlighting the power of the
    PCoIP display protocol to deliver a rich user experience, perfectly
    adapted for the network connection and end-point device.

  • Follow-Me Desktop – Enabling immediate access
    to desktops, applications and data while ensuring a consistent user
    experience across sessions and endpoint devices.

  • Access Across Boundaries – Providing access to desktops, applications and data anytime, anywhere regardless of network availability.

  • Windows 7 Migration – Reducing the costs and complexity associated with desktop and application migration.

VMware View Launch Tour and Resource Updates

2010 is going to be an exciting year and we're already off to a great start with a lot of activity happening around VMware View.  Here's an update on some of the upcoming activities that should be of interest:

VMware View Launch Tour

Yesterday, February 2nd, was the first day of the 64 city VMware View Launch Tour which kicked off in 6 cities across the US.  This seminar series is focused on the VMware View solution and we’re proud to be joined by our partners Cisco, EMC, NetApp, Dell, Wyse and AppSense along the way.  The tour runs through March and covers locations in the US and Canada.  Check out http://www.vmware.com/go/view4tour for more information and to see if the tour is coming to a city near you. 

VMware View Quickstart Education Webcast Series

Part 2 of a two-part VMware View Quickstart Education Webcast Series will happen on Monday February 8th.  This time around the focus is on managing desktops and will be a great session for anyone getting started with VMware View or the free 60 day eval.  We will be using live product demonstrations to show administrators how to install, configure and manage VMware View.  For more information and to register go to http://www.vmware.com/a/webcasts/

UPDATE: Part 1 covering Installation and Configuration was recorded and is now available here: http://www.vmware.com/a/webcasts/details/355

VMware View Podcasts Available

We’ve posted a number of podcasts recently covering the following VMware View topics:

  •  What's New on VMware View
  •  Upgrade planning and considerations
  •  Hot new protocol of VMware View – PCoIP
  • Why View?

These can be listened to or downloaded from here: http://www.vmware.com/technical-resources/podcasts/view.html

Don't forget to follow the VMware View team on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/vmwareview