Quest ends the year with a bang, releases vWorkspace 7

The last Friday before Christmas should be filled with shopping malls and last-minute grabbing at shiny things that I can only hope will make my wife happy (just kidding, honey, you're awesome!), but for me, it was spent downloading Quest's vWorkspace 7, which was posted to their downloads page sometime that evening.

The last Friday before Christmas should be filled with shopping malls and last-minute grabbing at shiny things that I can only hope will make my wife happy (just kidding, honey, you're awesome!), but for me, it was spent downloading Quest's vWorkspace 7, which was posted to their downloads page sometime that evening.  Not because I have a work-monger of a boss, but because, for the first time ever, I was done with my shopping thanks to Amazon Prime.

So, for the rest of the weekend, in between the housework and football, I spent time trying to un-fark my lab in an effort to get it up and running (not a vWorkspace problem--my setup was in tatters).  That not being successful in time for this article, what follows is NOT a review of vWorkspace 7, but my initial thoughts on what this release is about and what it means to us.

vWorkspace 7, the first release after the departure of the Ghostine brothers from Quest, is a welcome update to the vWorkspace line of products. It adds several new features, not the least of which is Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7 support. Naturally, vWorkspace also now supports 64-bit client and server support (including all core components of vWorkspace), and RDP 7 enhancements (desktop composition, font smoothing, multi monitor).

Among the other new features:

  • VMware Linked Clones Integration
  • VMware Reprovision support
  • Ability to Sysprep virtual machines (when using VMware vCenter)
  • Progressive image display graphics acceleration
  • Improved bidirectional audio (CD and Telephony quality)
  • vWorkspace Virtual USB Hub Client enhancements (virtual and physical Windows 7 support and bandwidth/compression level settings)
  • SharePoint integration and Windows Server 2008 R2 support for Web Access
  • PNShell enhancements (resource node options can be be configured for VDI computers, too)
  • Client updates (ability to perform silent installs of the web client, plus Linux and and Mac clients)
  • Internet Explorer redirection (ability to redirect all IE browsing to the client)
  • Power Tools now support Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2
  • GINA chaining for use with Novell GINA
  • Multimedia Redirection 64-bit support
  • RDP 7 client support

Also, Quest's EOP protocol now supports Flash redirection when using Internet Explorer for both Windows and Linux clients (no Mac?). EOP, as we know, is now included with vWorkspace, so it's not even an option that you have to purchase separately. There's been a lot of buzz lately with PC-over-IP and HDX 3D, so it's good to have Quest back in the conversation, even considering the differences between all three options.

(There are video demos of some of the new features of vWorkspace at https://www.quest.com/vworkspace/new-release.aspx)

So what does this mean to us, as we wrap up 2009? The biggest takeaway should be that you should definitely include vWorkspace 7 in your evaluation plans in 2010.  We'll all (hopefully) have some time over the next few weeks when things are a little dull in the office, and that's a perfect opportunity to give it a whirl.  Enhancements like EOP and integration with all the major virtualization platforms (including Parallels Containers now) give vWorkspace a certain flexibility that shouldn't be overlooked. They have a great relationship with Microsoft, as well, so it's not like you're looking at some rogue VDI or SBC solution--you're looking at a real player in the industry (see last month's article about Quest's desktop virtualization product line for more information).

We don't see much of Quest, really, so I'm glad that Patrick Rouse, Michel Roth, and Rick Mack are out there spreading the word. That said, I wonder why we don't see them come up more.  Is it marketing, or just a stigma of small size carried over from the Provision Networks days? I can assure you they are not part of a small company anymore (just take a look at their All Products A-Z page!).  I do feel like Quest has been in the conversation more lately, so hopefully their presence and products will continue to grow.

Last, I know from watching Twitter over the weekend that some of you have already pulled down the bits. If or when you've had the chance to get it pinned up in your lab, please share your thoughts. I'll do the same after the holidays when I've had a chance to take a closer look, too.

 

 

 

 

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It looks like some of Quests servers have been snowed in :)


"Due to outages caused by heavy snowfall in the US Northeast, the Downloads, License Management and Partner Portal sections of this site are temporarily down. This has also affected the download availability of vWorkspace 7.0"


Looking forward to setting it up though - Got all the server VMs ready and waiting.


I think you will see vWorkspace becoming a hot topic next year.


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Well, thankfully it's less than 700MB when it makes it back online, so it's not like you've got to yank down 3GB of bits to make it work.


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It looks like the snow has melted and the download site is back up.


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I'm wondering about 2 things;


Why are most of the components requiring, soon to be EOM, Windows 2003?


Is there a Service Provider licening model such as CItrix CSP?


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Which of the components require 2003?


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@Michel


Read too fast ;) 2008 R2 is indeed stated as supported. Now where the heck did I put my glasses. Stupid me <bangs head against wall>


But the other Q. Is there a Service Provider licensing option a lá Citrix?


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@Kimmo


Are you based in Finland (judging from the name)? If so, please contact us (click the name link) and we can discuss the licensing related things if you are interested in vWorkspace..


On the topic: lots of improvements and looking good (just upgraded 6.2 test environment to 7.0), too bad USB Virtual Hub is not yet supported on x64 clients although x64 support otherwise in vWorkspace is now there where it should be.


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X64 USB support is something we're targeting for our 7.05 or 7.1 release in H1 2010.  


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Video demos of Flash MMR, VMware Linked Clone Automation and Multiplatform Management are here.


www.quest.com/.../new-release.aspx


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One other thing to note is that A-Z products page does not include our Vizioncore and Scriptlogic products, which most people have no idea are Quest companies.


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@Patrick


It would be really helpful (I'm too lazy right now to search your web site) if you could point the community to example of customers who are using your stuff in real world production. More importantly and specifically I'd love to hear to here if you have VDI customers and at what scale. Why did they choose you over VMWare view or Citrix? Perhaps it's too early for that information in your case which I am fine with, I'm just trying to understand your unique value prop moving forward?


Also what this?


"Internet Explorer redirection (ability to redirect all IE browsing to the client)"


Sorry too lazy to search right now. What is your use case. Is this Reverse Seamless? Good luck in 2010


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IE redirection was made for a use case where a customer wanted to do 100% of Internet browsing on the client device, so it redirects anything launched that calls IE to the client.  I think this is pretty limited, as all content would need to be accessible by the client.  I do have a customer that caches videos on client side cisco appliances that is looking to test this so they could watch the videos over the client network, vs across the WAN.  This is NOT reverse seamless.


I'll have to find out what customers have case studies that are public, but the largest VDI deployments I'm aware of in the United states are > 5K users in the public sector and in K12 education.  I think there are some larger deployments happening in the UK, but I don't have first hand knowledge of those and wouldn't want to comment about them without knowing the customers.


If you have a customer that wants to talk to real customers, we can definitely arrange those contacts so they can ask anything they want.  I have customers that have done many reference calls for us


Like I said, if you have a customer that wants a reference, give me a call and we'll connect the two customers so they can talk (without us).  We do not moderate customer calls.  I'll let customers tell you why they chose to use vWorkspace, as it's not my place to put words in their mouths.


Please remember that Quest makes lots of programs, that are used by all different kinds of technologists in IT, so customers often give us a shot for the simple reason that they are already using several of our other products, the most common being Active Roles Server, Scriptlogic, TOAD, Foglight, Vizioncore, Migration Tools, Group Policy Management...Our relationship with Microsoft also gets us into the game on a lot of occasions.


I could work anywhere and choose to work at Quest, as do my esteemed colleagues Michel and Rick. I really enjoy working with the great team I'm on, for a great company, with great customers and in a challenging space.


Feel free to call me anytime, and that goes for anyone.  619-994-5507.


Cheers.


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@Patrick


Thanks. It's a good test IMO to see when a company comes our publicly with customers. It's a better sign of traction and maturity. I know you have them, so just my 2cs.


I also think you guys struggle not only because of EOP vs. X, Y, Z protocol name recognition, but more so because large customers don't buy that Quest is in the Desktop business. When I look at the various companies and what they are talking about, Desktop is a blip on the Quest radar. At least that is my perception. Also in terms of revenue, it's tiny. That worries me, in terms of viability at large scale, because I have low confidence that Quest will maintain investment levels in the technology if they can't show publicly real revenue. I mean if the likes of Citrix and VMWare start to build new powerful capabilities into the product, you guys will struggle to keep up. What are you going to do that's new and not just catch up or marginal improvements on long standing problems that people have worked around with third parties? With Citrix education license pricing, how do you compete. In fact I never seen VMWare or Citrix loose a deal to Quest on price for a large customer. Perhaps all of this does not matter for your customers target. I can certainly honestly tell you that you are NOT a serious contender, or even a real consideration in the enterprise space. You guys get lost in the Citrix vs. VMWare noise. Personally I think you are more compelling than VIew but HDX/ICA still leaves you in the dust for my broad use cases.


Of course this can all change, so just wanted to throw that our there so you guys are aware and have a opportunity to address it. Hope to see you gain more traction in 2010.


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I’m in a rush to get home so I’ll get my 2 pennies worth in quickly (sparing detail)...


From a functionality perspective (from the side of the administrator), vWorkspace towers above VMware and in many ways Citrix. You have no need for 3rd party products such as Appsense, etc.


My experience of EOP has been LAN based but it's comparable to ICA. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the features with Windows 7 after the Xmas hols.


We selected vWorkspace over the others for various reasons, it has key features the others don’t (location aware allocation of desktops, etc) - we have an excellent relationship with Quest and volumes of faith in the development team.


We also liked the fact that Quest stick to the facts of their products. They don’t market some visionary idea that isn’t actually available at the time. Most people save that for their roadmap 


Regarding Campus deals, VMware suck (in the UK anyway) and haven’t got a clue what education is. Citrix talk the talk but are still way out from a pricing perspective even with their new deal. Quest like Microsoft, Novell, etc understand the market in the UK and will present the right package. Haggling over pricing is never needed. Which for most sysadmins is ideal – we shouldn’t be wasting our time over non-technical issues!


I personally don’t think VMware View can be considered a VDI solution. It’s a very incomplete jigsaw. I would put vWorkSpace up in the top 2 next to XenDesktop. It probably would be already if Quest’s marketing team “modernised” 


In the UK vWorkspace seems to be the hot conversation with many suppliers. There all ringing me up at the moment trying to “work with us”. Having spent almost 2 – 3 years researching (POCs/Pilots/small production, etc) all the various solutions out there, etc I honestly think vWorkspace is the one to watch over the next few years.


My written word may not be “all that” but I can go on for hours (normally in the pub with a few beers) about this stuff.


Dan.


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AppDetective, your perception is just that, perception.  As far as I know two of the largest production VDI deployments in the US are managed by vWorkspace.  One has VMware on the backend  and the other is Parallels Virtuozzo.  I know who the competition was as it was that other company you mentioned. With so many thousands of customers out there, I'm sure Vmware, Citrix and Quest all have wins against eachother, so I am in no way dismissing competitive products.


Where do you work (company) and what types of customers do you work with?  If you are interested in learning more, just call me as i'm not going to get into customer deployment details on a forum/blog.


Cheers.


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I don't think a blog comment is the vehicle to go into product vs product ping pong nor is it the vehicle for a vendor to officially speak out but I would not want miss out on the chance to share some of my Quest experiences. So here are my PERSONAL Quest experiences.


"The Sitg" says: ". I mean if the likes of Citrix and VMware start to build new powerful capabilities into the product, you guys will struggle to keep up. What are you going to do that's new and not just catch up or marginal improvements on long standing problems that people have worked around with third parties?".


Experienced technologists with decent knowledge about vWorkspace that follow the proper path in a project never ask these questions. The proper path in my perception is:


1) Define a project


2) Define what the functional and technical requirements are


3) THEN start looking at products that work in that space and see which of them is able to meet the requirements.


Unfortunately a lot of 'technologists" start with a product before anything. This product has already been chosen before any real functional and technical requirements are created. Why? Because it is the best product? No. It is because they build on what they have grown accustomed to and even obfuscated by (blindsided could be another way of putting it). If they do asses other products it's usually an assessment based on a document, website or quick download on the one hand (so no real experience at all) and 10 years of experience with the other vendor’s product on the other hand.


Thankfully there are a lot of customers out there that take their application delivery project seriously and (have people) look at the different products in the manner I described. These are the customers that are truly successful at their project and thankfully also select vWorkspace often.


So while I do not agree with "the Stig" at all, he inadvertently made a point with me: the challenge that Quest does have it to battle the perception that individuals have about Quest.


I am sure Quest will make great progress in that area in 2010.


Those are my 2 cents.


Merry Christmas!


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@Michael Roth


4) Smart technologists also factor in the likelihood of a solution to be the viable long term winner in a hyper competitive market to protect investments and get value for maintenance. It's a risk to go with a Tier three player who has no evidence of compelling revenue currently. To take a risk that may leapfrog a capability like going with a startup is one thing. Taking a risk with a solution that offers marginal improvements in some areas over the incumbents and costs the same when you negotiate price, in addition to no clear direction of compelling differentiation moving forward equals why bother in my book. It is too often technologists just try to be different for the sake of it without really understand the benefits or long term impact of naive decisions.


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@ Appdetective - Upon what are you basing these statements.  If you are going to make statements about "compelling revenue", provide data.  At this point I see your comments as nothing more than slinging mud by someone who is unnamed and without reference.  This is not specific about this post, but about all posts.


How are you defining tiers?


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@Patrick I base my opinions on what I read, observe and discuss with colleagues far smarter than me. For revenue when I read analyst reports, I don't see them jumping up and down about the Provision Networks revenue contribution to Quest. They are not at all excited about that, and in fact they barely talk about you guys in the context of Desktop Virtualization. They note that Quest is doing well, and see strength in their traditional areas of SQL Server, Sharepoint etc mgmt. I.E that is what is core to Quest and that's where the $$$ come from. Therefore I see no 'Compelling evidence' of core revenue from your desktop business, and hence I do not believe Quest is going to put in the investment to make it a tier one player anytime soon.


Tiers. Roughly how I define them. Tier one is what most people care about and who own core technology assets, think Type 1, protocols, hypervisors etc. I generally put Citrix and VMWare in this bucket. Even bad articles such as www.networkworld.com/.../122109-virtual-desktop-infrastructure-test.html don't talk about Quest, so I just don't see them being taken seriously for the mass market. I am sure there are some, but my point is they are not considered leaders by any stretch of the imagination for the masses. I'd consider Tier two, those who have done something unique technically to try and carve out a niche and have some traction. I'd throw people like Sun, Wyse and even Parallels in here, Symantec would be a stretch. Tier three I define as the emerging startups or vendors who rely on partnerships to gain traction or have just things better that have already been invented. I'd put Quest in this bucket, because you have RDP tweaks (RDP sucks in many ways) have no hypervisor, have no real compelling innovation IMO (to me it's just integration of what's already been invented by others and for mgmt implemented better) have a MS girlfriend copy cat strategy like Citrix and represent lock into MDOP, App-V and SA. Then you pretend to be open and say we are best friends with VMWare. Sure Citrix does much of this also, but they own technology assets like ICA, Hypervisors, app virt  etc to break away from MS if they want to and provide far more platform options by not marrying RDP.


Being in either tier does not make you the best or evil, I just view them as maturity and likelihood to win longer term. That becomes part of a pragmatic technologists analysis. You also have to look at skill sets on the market. It's easy for me to hire people who know Citrix or VMWare, and Quest means training costs for me. My guys also have little interest in learning this stuff because they look at how they will market themselves outside if they are fired. This is important to many people.


So does that mean somebody brand new should not evaluate you guys? No I think you do some stuff really well with respect to the simplicity of your mgmt and the add-ons you provide like USB and Printing may be good enough for many. So I want you to fail? No. I've looked at provision networks on and off for years and admire the fact that your are trying. Do I believe you will win? No, however I think you can carve out a piece of the pie for sure, but as part of Quest you are not going to get the support and investment levels of a focused effort like the big boys.


It's not a personal thing Patrick, I think you put out a lot of good stuff to the community, I respect that, but remain highly skeptical of populist hype around provision networks that I have heard for years that has yet to deliver and become THE winner. Best of luck to you, I hope many people are successful with your offerings to keep the leaders on their toes....


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I don't think there will be "a winner", but I'm happy with the piece of the pie we've carved out over the past two years (since being acquired by Quest) and where we're going over the next 12 months.


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