I took an opportunity yesterday to hop onto Pivot3's “BYOD and come Test Drive Mobile Secure Desktop” webinar which was co-delivered by VMware & Trend Micro. I've been an admirer of Pivot3's storage solution for a while now, and I had heard some good things about this webinar, primarily because as long as you have an internet connection and a View client, you can use Pivot3's own infrastructure for an online demo/lab – a very cool concept.

There were 4 speakers on this webinar. The first was Tristan Todd from VMware's Desktop Product Marketing team who gave us the low down on new View 5.1 features, such as Persona (all your docs/preferences follow us around, no matter where you login), ThinPrint, RADIUS authentication (Single Sign On tap-and-go), and of course VCOps for View. This was the first time I saw VCOps for View, and it looked good, especially the graphs which showed the new how the new Storage Accelerator feature was performing.

Next up was Stephen Porter from Trend Micro, who discussed some of the inner working of Trend Mirco's Deep Security product. In a nutshell, this product takes the security responsibility away from individual VMs and hands it off to a security service (APIs) in the hypervisor and an appliance off to the side. This is in effect agentless security.  Many of us will be aware of the performance impact anti-virus scans have on our Guest OS/VM, so having someone else take care of it is definitely welcomed. As well as anti-virus, Stephen mentioned other neat features of Deep Security, such as integrity monitoring (validating a golden image before deploying desktops) and virtual patching (ability to create a virtual equivalent of a physical patch, which can then be deployed at a future date). Very interesting indeed.

Olivier Thierry from Pivot3 then gave us an overview of their vSTAC VDI 'Virtual Desktop' Array. vSTAC comprises of hardware appliances which are custom designed and built servers. vSTAC OS is installed on first VM of each appliance; there is one VM per host to create a scaled out iSCSI storage array. It uses a combination of SSD/SAS disks and has a patent pending direct-to-disk access mechanism. The marketing/selling point of vSTAC is that Pivot3 claim to be able to get you from 0 to VDI in less than 1 hour at an entry price of $250 per desktop.

Last but not least was Greg Pellegrino from Pivot3, who guided us through the demo environment, which included a vSTAC Manager simulator tool. This gave us an idea first hand on how easy it was to configure and monitor a vSTAC array, and the relationship of vSTAC objects to vSphere and View objects. Very nice.

There is another webinar on the 24th of this month if you are interested in atteending – more information available on Pivot3's web site here.

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