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.