Who's missing what? A checklist of what each vendor needs to get to VDI+ by 2010.

Last week I wrote about the four technical capabilities that needed to evolve in order for VDI to become mainstream. Since that article came out, I've started informally calling this "VDI+." So "VDI" is today's SBC-based VDI, and "VDI+" is tomorrow's VDI that blends SBC, local, offline, user customization, etc.

Last week I wrote about the four technical capabilities that needed to evolve in order for VDI to become mainstream. Since that article came out, I've started informally calling this "VDI+." So "VDI" is today's SBC-based VDI, and "VDI+" is tomorrow's VDI that blends SBC, local, offline, user customization, etc.

I spent last week on a small speaking tour in Europe, and I was asked by 100 different people about which VDI vendor I thought would get to VDI+ first, and which vendor people should buy today?

This is a complex question and the full answer requires its own article, but in order to begin to build an answer, you have to know which vendors offer which capabilities. To that end, I threw together a quick chart showing the six major players in this space and which of them offer which capabilities.

At this time I think there are eight capabilities needed to offer an end-to-end VDI+ solution: (Am I missing anything?)

  • Connection broker. This is the baseline requirement that's need to connect users into the VDI environment.
  • User environment management. Some kind of way to customize a shared desktop for individual users, above and beyond roaming profiles.
  • Application isolation / streaming. The ability to run applications in a VM without first going through the Windows installation process.
  • Hypervisor management. Turn on, suspend, migrate, provision VMs.
  • A "workstation" hypervisor / VMM. Some capability to run a VDI VM locally on a client device.
  • Ability to use one disk image for multiple users. We're talking about sharing the same master image--not cloning.
  • A remoting protocol with 100% app compatibility. The protocol must not just support some multimedia--it needs to support everything: 3D, high graphics, multimedia, perfect audio, etc. On a fast network it needs to work as if the users don't even know they're working remotely.
  • Single app SBC publishing. Finally, some apps will still be accessed via server-based computing while running on their own hosts. Does this vendor offer this capability?

 

 

 

A few notes about this chart

In some cases, Microsoft provides baseline capability that vendors can ride on top of. (SoftGrid, Calista, etc.) This chart only includes the specific capabilities that a particular vendor brings to the table. It does not represent what a complete solution would look like for a particular vendor.

This chart includes capabilities that vendors have announced publicly, even if they're not shipping them today. (Specifically Scalable Virtual Images from VMware and Calista from Microsoft.)

An analysis of the chart

Looking at this chart, it's very clear where the various holes are for each vendor. Of course this does not answer the larger philosphical question about whether each vendor needs to fill every hole, but it's interesting data for that discussion. A lot of vendors talk about how being "everything for everybody" is not important and they want to give customers "choice." This mainly happens when vendors have glaring holes in their lineups. But as soon as they build / buy something to fill that hole, they completely change their story and talk about how customers want to go to one customer for everything, and that they want "one throat to choke."

As we go through each of these vendors, you could probably use this chart as a template for "VDI Mergers & Acquisitions, 2008-2009."

Citrix

Citrix is the closest to providing the full stack. Their biggest hole is the lack of capability to run a VDI image locally on a client device. Maybe they'll look to Microsoft for Kidaro? Or maybe they'll buy someone who offers that capability?

Citrix also needs a better protocol. As I've written in the past, ICA is great, and certainly better than RDP, but it's still not perfect.

Microsoft

Microsoft's biggest hole today is the connection broker. Because a connection broker is the "bare minimum" requirement for VDI, you have to wonder about what Microsoft is planning here. Can they really be content forcing everyone to go to a third party, even for the most basic use cases?

I think we would all love for Microsoft to fix the user environment problem too, although since they haven't addressed this in the past ten years, I wouldn't hold my breath.

VMware

VMware is doing really well on the infrastructure side of things. Now they just need to focus on the users and apps. They started down this path earlier this year by buying Thinstall. This shows their thinking is in the right place, but they probably need to buy someone who can deliver single apps to fill out the offering. (Is it too late to buy Quest? Can they buy Ericom?)

They really need something in the protocol space (although they licensed Wyse TCX for their VDI product, so they're getting closer). Maybe VMware's long term solution is just not to use a remote protocol? That's a nice concept, but there will always be use cases for some apps where it just makes more sense to deliver them via SBC.

Ericom & Quest

When I talk about this space, I usually lump Ericom and Quest together because they are so similar. They can both manage a ton of different hypervisors. They both offer a connection broker, good load balancing, a web interface, and seamless application publishing from terminal server or Windows XP / Vista VDI instances. Both companies' products offer capabilities similar to the combined capabilities of Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, although the Ericom and Quest solutions are about 20% of the price of Citrix.

Quest might end up with the long-term edge against Citrix, because Quest's VDI product is via their Provision Networks division, which they bought last year. It remains to be seen, however, whether Quest will be able to integrate their other products into their VDI solution.

Qumranet

Qumranet is still new to this space, but seeing as they have a shipping product, a perfect remote protocol that no one else can touch, and they were started by XenSource co-founder Moshe Bar, they're definitely worth paying attention too.

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Another terrific article Brian. For what its worth, I would argue that its not enough just to fill a hole, you need to fill it well. Yes, Citrix has application streaming, but is it any good? Yes, they have ICA, but as I understand it, their connection broker doesn't use full-blown ICA rather a version with some of the key functionality removed. Yes, they have single app SBC publishing but it doesn't integrate with their connection broker. From my experience, Citrix claim to do a lot of things, its just that others do it better. So yes, customers can fill all the holes with a combination of Citrix and Microsoft, but will they fill them as well as with a combination of Quest, Microsoft and VMware? If a solution does not provide everything, the next best thing is that it integrates nicely with other vendors products such as VirtualCenter and Softgrid. Then you have to take into account a company's reputation for innovation, reliability and ease of use. Again, Citrix doesn't score well on this front given the snail's pace development of Metaframe/Presentation Server/ XenApp (the name seems to change faster than the product!). Also, could it not be argued that you are simplifying the question by restricting it to 8 categories. Quest's official broker comparison chart compares ProvNet with Citrix and VMware in 130 different categories. My state of mind at the moment is, Vmware have the best server virtualisation platform, Thinapp has the edge over Softgrid and Quest have the most feature rich-connection broker which integrates nicely with VirtualCenter and costs less than XenDesktop. Its Quest for me! (and no, I don't work for them!)

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I think this is a nice analysis of the current product landscape and shows some of the gaps that existing players have in their VDI offerings.  However, it doesn't consider that, as more organizations experiment with VDI, new challenges will arise and, subsequently, new product needs will emerge.  Some might be addressed by evolutions within existing products; others might require new technologies that, obviously, are not on the chart.  Plus, some of the technology areas mentioned, such as the hypervisor-related ones, might be non-issues due to growing commoditization and ubiquity.  For example, rather than provide their own tool for hypervisor management, vendors can rely on System Center.

So, in other words, by 2010, I think this chart might include more--or at least different--technology areas than the 8 listed.

--BXP

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What confuses me about the post is you don't have Citrix with a remoting protocol but you do Microsoft. Then in the text of Citrix you say ICA is better than RDP.  Care to elaborate?
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Agreed, I do feel like Citrix is closest to putting a check mark in all the categories Brian mentioned, but I feel like VMware is doing a better job in the categories they've checked off.  In particular, I think the remote protocol is the biggest hurdle for almost everyone on the list.  Again, for most things RDP and ICA do well, but I know there are things I can't do, and it's a barrier...
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I think to be fair to all vendors involved the "Better remote protocol" needs to be more specific.  Sure Callista might be cool technology, but it's far from shipping product.  Other vendors like Qumranet have a great protocol (as long as you've got a 100MB ethernet connection to the server).  ICA has a lot of great features, but as others have alluded to it's missing key features like SpeedFlash and RAVE features.  So perhaps the "Better remote protocol" needs to be split into subcategories based on LAN/WAN and then also which specific categories they assist with (Bitmap acceleration (OpenGL/Direct3D), Flash Acceleration, Multimedia redirection, Multimedia tossing/compression, Image compression, etc).  I know that makes it really complicated, but I don't think it's a fair comparison otherwise to just have one big checkbox.  Citrix does some things really well for remoting things and yet there's still areas they lose other to other vendors in the remoting protocol space.  It needs to be more granular.  Also, I'd suggest that your checkboxes for Quest need revision in two areas.  One is "better remoting protocol".  Have you seen Patrick Rouse' video on their bitmap remoting?  What about Provisions multimedia redirection?  Both of those are a significant improvement over regular RDP.  Next, Quest does have some tools for user workspace management.  Sure they're no RES, but they are certainly not devoid of the ability to plug user registry values, assign printers, etc.  MetaProfiles-IT is the name of the specific feature.
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In my comment above where I reference ICA not having SpeedFlash and RAVE, I'm referring to ICA as it ships in XenDesktop today.  ICA in XenApp does obviously have these things.
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I wonder if you're one of those people that buy something straight from a catalogue instead of going for a testdrive first. Citrix' connection broker not integrating with SBC App publishing?? Have you ever seen a proper XenDesktop demo enviroment? ThinApp has the edge over Softgrid?? Have you ever worked with the products? Citrix not having a good reputation for innovation?? If you define innovation just by the length of time between updates, you completely fail to grasp the concept op "Innovation".
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Speedscreen Flash optmization is pretty much useless now that SpeedScreen Progressive Display is there, so Flash support not beeing in ICA in XenDesktop is IMHO not something you'd miss. RAVE is apparantly coming in an update later this year, according to a local sales rep, and their Apollo tech will take care of the OpenGL and Direct3d stuff. Ok, that's not there yet, but I saw some pretty cool demo's on Summit last January. I think Citrix is already really close to optimizing ICA for richer media and desktop O/S-es.
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I'm pretty sure Brian doesn't mean RDP here, but the technology they acquired in the Callista aquistion. But as it's not a marketable thing yet, it shouldn't be on the list really.
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Good points, Shawn.  Though maybe the LAN/WAN issues might be addressed
best with different technologies: a robust remoting protocol for LANs
and some faster WANs, and an offline VM solution for WANs...
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Wouldn't Apollo combined with SpeedScreen Progressive display be considered a "better remote protocol" for addressing performance of 3-D and multimedia. At least by Mr. Madden's standards that column should be checked, "This chart includes capabilities that vendors have announced publicly, even if they're not shipping them today." Am I wrong?


Quest is really losing steam on their acquisition of Provision Networks. They have a lot in store for their future releases, just nobody knows about because they are not announcing them to the public and they are not shipping the new releases on a schedule that can beat or at least match the other vendors. They need to start making news, make it first, and make it in a big way. Or risk being the company that could have, but never did.

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I hope Quest is intergrating their Desktop Authority solution in the Provision solution. Actually, Manage-IT is the name of their component that configures the user environment. MetaProfiles-IT stores registry/file entries across sessions, nothing more, nothing less. Quest's Provision solution, in general, is lacking maturity in some areas that really matter to administrators. Logging, performance monitoring, and reporting. In these areas today what they have is undocumented hacks and secrets, manually intensive, or entire lack of capability. The multimedia improvements, integration of a couple of Quest's other solutions, and improvements in the lacking areas I mentioned will go a long way to making them a leader in the space.

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That's exactly my point.  I don't understand why Citrix ICA isn't listed as having a good "Remote Protocol".  Especially if Callista is going to be a checkbox.
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Thanks for the clarification on Manage-IT vs Metaprofiles-IT.  My point I was making is that Quest/Provision already has the tools to manage user workspace, so I'm not sure why that column isn't checked.  Especially considering that Citrix has a checkmark there (I'm assuming that's because of their User Profile Manager tool?).  But that tool hasn't shipped yet and only manages profile settings, not all the things tht Manage-IT does.  I'm confused.
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I would agree with Shawn. If in the chart there was ever a checkbox to be marked at user environment management, it should be with Quest / ProvNet! Their Manage-IT stuff does 80% of what admins need to do in user environment management. However, most of it currently is only available for their Terminal Services add-on. But that is not just it, can you schedule a logoff, deletion of a VM, reboot, disabled logons to vms, file copies, MSI installations or program and script execution with XenDesktop or VMware? I don't think so. OK, so this isn't exactly about user environment management but it is reallife management that needs to take place in VDI environments!
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You also forgot that Quest owns ScriptLogic :)
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Yeah Guest #2 is right. Microsoft is on there due to Calista. I really made this chart to show what moves these vendors have to do to get to VDI+ in 2010. So in that sense, Calista is ok (in my mind) since that's a move that Microsoft already made, but we don't know what the others are planning on doing there yet.
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The problem with Apollo is that it's for physical blades only, not VM-based VDI. So that's my thinking behind not checking it.
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Well, I shouldn't say that I wasn't impressed, because that's not true. It's just that while this is making great strides, I still don't have 100% app compatibility via SBC.
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Brian, I am ROFLMAO

 Cincerely,

Another cowardly vendor

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Here are some of the Independent Software Vendors that focus on User Environment:

AppSense Environment Manager - provides both network and personal profiles with additional client software needed
Entrigue's Script Start ProfileUnity - provies both network and personal profiles -no additional client software needed
RTO Virtual Profiles - provides only personal profile portability with additional client software needed


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so in that vein Brian, since you're looking at vendors have and maybe not shipping yet, you're missing quite a few checks for quest.  They have the entire user environment management stuff on the TS side and are capable of or in the process of porting it to VDI.  They have shown awesome performance improvements for RDP that some are shipping today and others will be.
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and you do with Calista, Spice or ICA vs PortICA?
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My understanding of Apollo is that it is an umbrella project for a variety of enhancement technologies around rich graphics and high quality sound.  The Direct3D/OpenGL enhancements do require either a blade or physical PC at the moment because of the requirement for a high end GPU.  However, it's also my understanding that you could leverage virtual GPUs as the virtualization vendors support that.  Apollo also has enhanced audio codecs for better audio over ICA.  Also, who knows whether or not Citrix might be enhancing Apollo to leverage network-based GPUs aka Pictor, etc.  Finally, there's still a number of things in ICA like Speedscreen Browser Acceleration, Speedscreen Multimedia Acceleration, Speedscreen Progressive Display, etc. that make it a good remoting protocol.
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I'm confused by this point  The discussion point is around better remoting protocols.  If by remoting we're talking about server-side rendering with improvements in compression and delivery, then I'd say Quest/Provision has done that with their bitmap acceleration.  If you're talking about not render server-side, but somehow doing it client side, then I'd say that Quest/Provision's multimedia redirection handles that side of it as well.  If you're talking about not doing this centralized (which is what I'm assuming you're meaning by SBC, then why is it a discussion point around remoting protocols?  If by good remoting you're referring to Qumranet or Teradici, how do those work when you're running on a DSL connection?  Do they rely on RDP?  If so, then it seems like you might need some protocol enhancements for RDP in order to get acceptable performance for your graphics remoting.
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I completely agree with this, however it has to be ubiquitous and it has to work without ANY complication for the end user.  If the end user has to make an intelligent decision on how to run something, they'll screw it up at least 50% of the time.  Show me one VDI vendor that intelligently makes the right decision based on the network transport and provides a best-of-breed remoting solution regardless of the connectivity?
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Heh, intelligent VDI...I like it.  You're right: there isn't one today.  But, in your opinion, who do you think has the most compelling offering to date or is closest to providing that type of solution? 

I think in this nascent VDI market, you must temper hype and excitement with rationalism.  You must be upfront about your goals and realistic with your expectations.  If you don't do it now, the law of dimishing returns will kick in and force you to re-evaluate your situation.  If you're spending substantially more money or substantially more time managing VMs then you were with traditional desktops, something's gone awry. 

Though we can all agree that these are exciting times and the technology is undoubtedly some cool stuff, the reality is that some situations might best be addressed using tried-and-true XenApp-based SBC or traditional desktops with app streaming.  And those technologies are improving as well.

--BXP

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In my opinion there isn't a single vendor that exists in the VDI/hosted desktop space that has all of the issues nailed for wholesale VDI.  I discussed a number of the reasons why I think this is a case in my session at Citrix Synergy.  I'm currently working on a blog entry that I'll follow up with several others on what the specific limitations are with VDI/hosted desktops.

As far as I'm concerned, there's not much point in arguing who's closest, because at the end of the day I still can't use any single vendor to complete my implementation.  Close only counts in horseshows and hand grenades.  Right now, you're stuck getting some stuff from one vendor and then needing to bolt on a bunch of other third party add-ons.  But then again, that isn't all that different from what we're all use to in the SBC space anyway. ;) 

Shawn

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LOL.  I meant horseshoes, but I suppose close might count in horseshows as well.
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Hi Nick, Although I do work for HP could I suggest you might want to try RGS as a possible RDP replacement? There is a free trial available at:http://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=GN038AAT


The way it handles USB for instance is definately worth a look. Cheers, Dave


 

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I wrote this to Brian via email, but I wanted everyone to see this.  How does "User Profile Management" = "User Environment Management"?  Citrix has acquired Sepago, which is a hybrid profile solution, that manages user's profiles.  This is not however "User Environment Management", which in my mind means customizing and locking down the user environment, which Citrix definitely does NOT do.


To be fair, Quest has these tools, but they currently are integrated only with Terminal Services, and proting them to VDI is going to take a little time, so in my mind neither of us should be checked for this column.


As for better remote protocol, I'm going to have to echo Shawn's comments that SPICE is not useable over a REMOTE connection, unless you have fiver between all of your offices, and I guess MSFT is checked for Calista, which as far as I know, is not yet productized, so the only "better remote protocol" today is Citrix ICA.  See, I even stuck up for Citrix, so I'm not completely biased. 


We have RDP Compression that makes RDP look awesome over low bandwidth connections, but it's still in prototype, so I currently lump that in with Calista on the "should be unchecked" column.


So those are no big deal, but here is where I disagree.


Ericom, which I think is a great product, has intentianally marketed themselves as "the Alternative to Citrix", but at a lower price point.  Quest on the other hand offers tons of functionality that Citrix does not, and has pioneered the VDI market.  We just beat out Citrix on a ~ $1M VDI deal with the federal government, where we teamed up with VMware to provide the best solution (ESX + Provision Networks).


So where do we differ from Ericom and/or Citrix:


1.  We license the RDP Protocol from Microsoft


2.  We extend RDP with the following features OEM Virtual Channels; Local Text Echo, Bi-directional audio, Multi-monitor support, Windows Media Redirection.  I can't include the bitmap/GDI compression technology we have, because it is not a shipping product "yet".


3.  We're part of an $750M publicly traded corporation, that includes Vizioncore and Scriptlogic, as well as a slew of Application, Database and Windows Management Products.


4.  We integrate with Microsoft Application Virtualization (Softgrid).


5.  We have an end-to-end Universal Printer Driver that can assign client, session or remote relay (gateway) printers via EMF or PDF Universal Driver, and can (in addition to per session limiting) limit site to site link limits on bandwidth.  This also includes granular compression settings.


6.  We make "User Environment Management" tools that don't exist on any of these products.  Functionality that this covers includes:



  • Removing icons and items from the desktop.
  • Restricting access to drive letters
  • Removing previously created network drive and printer mappings
  • Restricts access to a white list of applications that users are authorized to execute - this is done at the kernel level, not via registry
  • Restricts access to desktops or applications by day of week or time of day
  • Applies user environment variables
  • Sets the appropriate desktop color scheme
  • Assigns the correct time zone
  • Runs logon scripts that apply only to Terminal Servers, Virtual or Physical Desktops managed by Provision Networks
  • Creates or Deletes Registry Entries or Keys
  • Manages environments with any ADM Template, without needing access to Group Policy
  • Redirects Registry and File System Objects from system locations to user locations, so users can run applications without being elevated with Administrator or Power Users Group Membership 
  • Assign whitelists of blacklists of IP Address Ranges, Host Names or DNS Names & TCP Ports (Host Access Control)  
  • Map network drives via NET USE or SUBST and optionally map these with alternate credentials.
  • Maps network printers using Provision Networks Print-IT Universal Printer Driver

7.  We can assign application, or the above rules to users, groups, OUs, Client IP/range or Client Name/convention


8.  We can publish seamless apps and desktops from VDI, Physical desktops and TS (Ericom can do this, but Citrix can't)


9.  We can power manage physical desktops, i.e, the connection broker can wake up, put to sleep or any other power option.


10.  Quest has been the Microsoft Global ISV Partner of the year twice in the past few years (Citrix has gotten this award as well).


11.  We have 3 Microsoft MVPs for Terminal Services, and have our secret weapon (Rick Mack), who is just amazingly brilliant. :)


Lot's of companies can do SSL Gateway, Web Interface, TS Load balancing, passthru auth and application publishing.  It this other stuff that sets us apart (even from Citrix).


 


Patrick Rouse
Microsoft MVP - Terminal Server
Sr. Sales Engineer, Western USA & Canada
Quest Software, Provision Networks Division
Virtual Client Solutions
(619) 994-5507
http://www.provisionnetworks.com


Check out the Official Provision Networks Blog:
http://blogs.inside.quest.com/provision

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Good Add, I am sold....where can I buy...I got a P.O. for your right here
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Brian,


You love to get off on this sh--, don't u? Piss in the wind and get out of the way? Kiss that CTP goodbye :)

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Shawn,


This is precisely the approach Ericom PowerTerm WebConnect utilizes for Teradici: we use it internally over the LAN and switch automatically to RDP (enhanced) when accessing the host remotely.

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Brian,


Should performance monitoring be on the list? Once you have everything up and running it is important to be able to keep it up and running.


Citrix has EdgeSite (not sure if it monitors XenDesktop yet)
Vmware has B-hive, but it does not monitor VDI yet.
Quest has FogLight, (not sure if there is a VDI module yet)
Ericom has PinPoint
Microsoft has System Center (Mom), but nothing specific for VDI
Qumranet - ??


Perhaps someone can fill in details


 

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Would the remote procotol category also need to encompass use with WAN acceleration products, like WANScaler, Silver Peak, River Bed, etc?  If I had, say, a user in New York connecting into a data centre in the UK, and had SilverPeak WAN acceleration on that link, would ICA or RDP (or whatever) be more suited to, or benefit from, the acceleration, to speed things up?  Will these accelerators always be more geared up for a particular protocol, like WANScaler=ICA for example?
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RES specialises in this area too
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Patrick, firstly, yes, I agree with you.  User Profile Management does not equal User Environment Management.  When releases, the Sepago technology in Citrix User Profile Manager should help organizations ease some of the pains typically associated with roaming profiles (size, stability etc...), but like you say, user environment management is a lot more than this.


Profile management is only one aspect of managing a user environment.  As well as considering the user's personal needs, tailored policy must also be applied to establish and maintain a desktop.  Policy management is therefore an important aspect of managing the whole user experience - especially in the on-demand desktop.


Effectively, user environment management decouples user policy and personalization from the operating system and application set.  By separating and managing the user independently from the OS and apps, user related policy and personalization settings can be managed easily and applied on demand into an application delivery mechanism.


We see the key high level elements of user environment management as being:



  • Enforce System Policy - apply and enforce tailored policy settings to a machine on startup

  • Enforce Session Policy - apply and enforce tailored policy settings to a user session during logon

  • Cross Platform Personalization - retain user customizations (background images, application preferences, desktop icon locations etc...) across multiple delivery mechanisms such as presentation virtualization, desktop virtualization, OS and application streaming technologies, PC or notebook, or any combination of the above.

I hope this post has not come across as a product pitch, my aim is to highlight some of the differences between profile management and what user environment management vendors provide.


Thanks
Gareth Kitson
AppSense.

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At this point, I am not convinced that a "single vendor" solution is what we should be looking at.  A "3D" chart that shows compatibilies between components would be more useful.
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Brian,

 Now that Patrick works for Provision, he should be asked to temper his posts. His posts are going to drive the other vendors to defend their products and this will just become a product marketing site, which I will have no interest in reading. I can go to their website for this. The beauty of this site is that I can see unbiased opinions from technical people that test and use these products. Right now, BM.com is my first site I hit in the moring. That is going to change if this keeps up. 

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I have to agree with this poster, between Patrick and Dan to name a few, I am tired of reading the marketing crap that has started to creep onto this site.

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I was thinking the exact same thing.  It's also important to ensure a good user experience to prevent this reaction: "Yay! I have a desktop! Booo, it's slow as heck..." 

--BXP

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I think you are both off base in this instance. This particular article is supposed to serve as "a checklist of what each vendor needs to get to VDI+ by 2010".


As such, you surely can't find fault with representatives (of the vendors included in Brian's chart) clarifying how their product matches up with Brian's wish list. Brian admitted himself that this article is intended to start a discussion about where things are at in general, so he provided little in the way of specific information about each vendor's offerings.


If you don't like the posts, surely you can choose not to read them...


 

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is not only here even in youtube Patrick talk about their product even if the comparion is not Citrix vs Provision... this guy is everywhere :)
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You're all entitled to your opinion, but I do not start posts about our technology, and usually only post about the specifics when they are misrepresented (intentionally, or unintentianally is was in this case).  Most of you know who I am, and what my history is.  I don't say our product does everything, and that other products stink.  I even pointed out where I thought Citrix was being slighted in one respect, and over represented in another. For those of you that get bent of shape when vendors defend their technology, you are obviously reading the commentary on the blog posts on purpose, so if you think you might be "offended", don't dead the commentary.  If someone were slighting your work, I'm sure you would just sit back and not clarify things.  Like I said, I don't think Brian intentionally misrepresented anyone, and just used my comments to give more detailed information on where I thought there were there should be corrections.


P.S. It's very convenient when the person complaining does so with a Guest account.  I could have posted as a guest, but at least I have the cajones to put my name on my work.  Get a grip, and stop your whining.

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Can you explain what "enhanced" means?
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In our latest version we have introduced several enhancements to RDP that reduce bandwidth consumption for Flash, Silverlight, etc. We also reduce bandwidth consumption for productivity apps such as Adobe Reader. Content redirection has been in our product for a while now. In our next major version we will also be introducing latency reduction, reverse seamless, etc.
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I think this will be the killer solution for VDI. More users per server and less diskspace.

Virtuozzo is easier manage than Xen or ESX for us Windows admins. And Quest also have support for Hyper-V

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Disagree on with offline VDI as WAN solution. It means that I have to process locally again, puttng hardware locally, which is the problem I want to solve. Offline VDI seems to be more about mobility, laptop alternatives etc. ICA is still the best WAN option. Qumranet promises some futures, VMWare says use Sun ALP, provided you lock into the SunRay hardware solution. So ICA leads here for a while in my view, and then there is the maturity factor vs the newcomers. In time I expect and hope this will change but now it's 2008....
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I think it would be helpful for us to discuss if all the layers are needed or not. For example does everybody need a fancy connection broker? If all you want to do is make a protocol connection to a backend machine, then why not AD, which would take out the complexity of CB, failure, additional HW and SW cost. Buying a CB seems to lock you into vendor solution X. As others have correctly pointing out, not everybody offers you a complete solution, so why lock yourself in? Anyway, I think a chat about each layer would be healty. Not all customers need all functionaility so why do vendors insist on selling us Rome when all we need is a column or two. Who is going to interoperate. If the vendors are not going to play nice, should we just hold of on VDI until there is more clarify in this industry minus the niche use cases that some will and should go after now.


 


 



 

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Unless you're going to use the standard Microsoft Remote Desktop Client, or all thin clients, the connection broker is what provides end users with a client and single point of access to their assigned resources, i.e. so users don't need to know what IP/DNS Address to connect to, and neither do the IT Staff.  Like most Server Based Computing deployments, if the deployment is small, doesn't change much, and doen't have any complexities, a connection broker might not be necessary. That being said, a connection broker offers a lot of functionality to IT and end users, and is a relatively small line item in a VDI Deployment (typically about 1/4 to 1/3 of the cost), compared to hardware, OS Licensing and the hypervisor.


The good thing is that there are lots of options out there for people to choose from, as there is no one solution that meets everyone's needs.

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I read through the posts, and thought twice about jumping in, but there is something to be said for RES Software in all of this.  With regard to RES PowerFuse and RES Wisdom, management of user workspace across every Microsoft platform instance W2K to W2K8, across every device instance (virtual desktop, laptop, workstation, terminal server) is managed from a single management console.  More importantly, the database architecture of RES PowerFuse creates value with regard to policy management within the user workspace that no other vendor mentioned in this article, or throughout these posts can offer today.  Some additional notes regarding RES PowerFuse below.



  1. Citrix Management:  Integrated into the RES PowerFuse Management Console.

  2. Windows 2008 Terminal Server Management:  Integrated into the RES PowerFuse Management Console.  We deliver single application publishing for W2K8 TS, essentially delivering this platform as a "farm" managed environment.  Want to publish a single W2K8 TS application from every server instance in the network with a single click?  No problem.

  3. Citrix Streaming:  Integrated into the RES PowerFuse Management Console.

  4. Softgrid:  Integrated into the RES PowerFuse Management Console.

  5. Multi-Media Support:  RES PowerFuse Workspace Extender leverages the local platform instance to deliver media performance which will never be rivalled by a remote stream delivery platform.

RES Wisdom delivers patent pending technology in our Snap-Shot Technology for the management of VM/Citrix Provisioning server platform instances.  RES Wisdom Run Book automation, to be delivered to the market this year, will automate a range of service from the creation of users within AD, to the delivery of every service platform required within the network with a click of the mouse.


RES Software is uniquely positioned to make VDI happen.  I am interested to see RES Software find it's way onto the list above.  I think Brian that when you begin to plug us into the mix, you will find a different perspective for your view toward VDI.  But, until such a time we can only keep trying.  Thanks for the post.


RTE


 

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Haven't you heard, never trust a man in a black hat. ;-)
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When I connect to a website I don't need a Connection Broker, I just connect using DNS and it works without all the additional complexity. Therefore there should be an option to just connect period and a choice to abstract that with dynamic VMs if one should choose. Otherwise I have to pick a vendor Connection Broker which may not be my best choice in time and costly to deploy.
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Never sell the next release ;-)
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LOL, sometimes I think these comments are just us vendors speaking to us vendors!
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yes, I can't say that i a satisfied with everything. It is nice but it is not gone through by me


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Interesting because all those vendors actually bypass ICA traffic and most bypass RDP.  The only WAN Accelerators accelerating ICA and RDP are Expand Networks and Cisco, and we couldn't get Cisco's to work for us.

 

Expand is doing between 300-1000% compression on our Citrix streams.

 

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Yeah, we are quite pathetic trying to plug solutions on a unique forum like this.
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I'd be interested to know who this $1M customer in the federal government is and whether they have actually been successful deploying and using the Quest/Provision/VMWare solution.  I have not seen many large VDI environments to date.
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Also Scense is providing solutions in the same area with both personal and network profiles, plus the application delivery capabilty irrespective of  MSI, Softgrid, Thinapp or SVS type
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