VMware releases VDM2, the new version of their VDI product. What will the impact be?

Yesterday VMware released the much-awaited update to their VDI product, VDM2. VDM2 is a "complete" VDI solution, packaging VI3 (ESX Server), a desktop broker, and the management tools you need to have a turnkey VDI solution.

Yesterday VMware released the much-awaited update to their VDI product, VDM2. VDM2 is a "complete" VDI solution, packaging VI3 (ESX Server), a desktop broker, and the management tools you need to have a turnkey VDI solution. Pricing is fairly aggressive too. $150 per concurrent user (CCU) gets you everything you need, and for those who already own VI3, you can add-on the VDM2 stuff for a mere $50 per CCU.

This version of VDM is the first VDI product release since VMware acquired Propero almost a year ago. The dueling themes of VDM's progress have been "delay" and "rewrite." After a significant overhaul of Propero's code, VMware finally feels its ready for the market.

I don't want to use this article to discuss the merits of the VDI concept in general. (That's been discussed ad nauseam elsewhere.) Instead, let's look at the specifics of the actual VDM2 product, and what its January 2008 release means for all involved.

VDM2 Strengths

VMware still has the best reputation in the industry when it comes to virtualization. VMware is hot and trendy. VMware user group meetings are standing room only, and the general level of enthusiasm is high. Even conservative old-school IT folks who've been in the business 20 years and seen every fad are jumping on the VMware train.

There's something to be said about that. If "the" virtualization company has a VDI product, it will get an automatic pass to the short-list of consideration.

And of course there's strength in the fact that VDM2 is an actual released product. (Download a 60-day eval) Citrix's XenDesktop, which is shaping up to be another dominating force in the VDI space is still months away best case. (Download the Tech Preview) Now that Citrix and Microsoft have renewed their vows, it's even possible that many would-be XenDesktop customers will take a "wait and see" approach to see what happens when Hyper-V is released in August. So from now until August--that's a lot of time for VDM2 to pull ahead.

VDM2 Weaknesses

VDM2 looks to be a decent product, especially for a "v1." (Don't let that "2" in the name fool you.) It does what you'd expect it to do. It also offers connection tunneling, encryption, two-factor authentication, AD integration, and redundancy. (While none of these features are exclusive to VMware. In fact it's quite the opposite. These features are the new cost of admission to dance at the VDI ball.)

But VDM2 does have some weaknesses. (Big weaknesses? Glaring weaknesses? Game-stopping weaknesses? It depends on who you ask.)

RDP Only

The first weakness of VDM2 is that fact that it uses Microsoft's out-of-the-box RDP protocol for remoting the central Windows XP or Vista desktops to end users. As I've written in the past, RDP was not designed to remote the full Windows desktop experience, and it has shortcomings with regards to multimedia performance, high resolutions, and low bandwidth networks. This is why all the "extension" products like ICA and Wyse TCX exist. Anyone still in the "RDP is fine" camp last week would have been extra surprised with Microsoft's announcement that they bought Calista Technologies to improve RDP to address these exact shortcomings.

The good news for add-on vendors like VMware is that Microsoft will most likely add the Calista technology into the core product, meaning that VDM would get an "automatic" upgrade when Vista gets the upgrade. The only problem is that we don't know when that will be. Calista hadn't shipped a single license when Microsoft bought them, so it could be another year or two before any of these new features makes it into Vista.

No Terminal Server single-app integration

IT is really about applications. VMware knows this and bought application virtualization vendor Thinstall two weeks ago. The Thinstall purchase was a brilliant move on VMware's behalf, but it only addresses the issue of delivering apps that will run locally within a VM (or locally on a desktop). Anyone who's been in the desktop world the past ten years knows that Terminal Server-based applications (Citrix Presentation Server, etc.) make up a significant portion of applications that users access, and server-based computing certainly has advantages over local application execution.

(As a side note, VMware has been incongruent on this. On the one hand, they talk about the advantages of server-based computing since that's the core purpose of VDM2. On the other hand, they try to pooh-pooh SBC as it relates to Citrix, and they claim that virtualizing local apps (i.e. Thinstall) is the way to go. So SBC is good only for desktops, but not apps??!? I'll say it again, "When all you make is a hammer... everything looks like a nail.)

If VMware really wants to compete against Citrix and wants to enter the application space, can they realistically do this without entering the Terminal Server-based single-app publishing world? I wrote about this in-depth last October, but I think it still applies today. If VMware really wants to provide the complete virtualization stack (apps, desktop, hardware), they're going to have to figure out a way to get applications into all these desktop VMs they're sending all over the place. That's just too big a piece of the pie to give to Citrix and Microsoft.

But what if VMware decides to enter this space? How do they do it? Do they write something from scratch. Do they buy someone? (If so, who? Provision would have been perfect, but they couldn't do that politically since they'd just bought a broker. Who does that leave? ProPalms? 2X? HOBsoft? Ericom?) Or does VMware just wait and piggyback onto the new features of Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008? If so, will TS2008 be robust enough to do what VMware needs? Maybe they could leverage the seamless windows capabilities of RDP 6 and extend their desktop broker to become an application broker? How long would that take?

Windows disk image provisioning

The final weakness of VDM2 has to do with provisioning of new desktops. VDM2 integrates with VI3 and VirtualCenter to make instant copies of desktop disk images. From a physical and technical standpoint, this works perfectly. The problem lies with the fact that VMware is virtualizing Windows disks, and you can't just make a copy of a corporate Windows disk image without certain conflicts popping up (SIDs, computer names, domain accounts, etc.).

VMware addresses this problem with traditional cloning and deployment tools from Microsoft, namely, SysPrep and the Windows Automated Installation Kit. VMware's prime competitor (Microsoft/Citrix) has the ultimate solution: Citrix 's Provisioning Server (which Citrix acquired from Ardence in 2006). While VMware is working on their own version of disk image streaming, this is another technology component that is real today from Citrix/Microsoft, and still in the labs with VMware.

The Competitive Landscape

VDM2's biggest competitor will be Citrix XenDesktop. At this point, all signs point to XenDesktop being a superior product. It will have ICA. It will have Citrix Provisioning Server. It will have the weight of Microsoft and will run on Hyper-V. (And in fact XenDesktop will run on VMware VI3, but I don't believe VMware VDM2 will run on Hyper-V.)

Citrix also has Presentation Server which can deliver streamed and remote apps into desktop VMs, although unfortunately Presentation Server is not included with XenDesktop, and even if you buy both, you have to manage them separately. So that's not really a "win" for Citrix or VMware because you could just as easily buy Presentation Server and add it into your VDM2 environment. (Okay, maybe Citrix wins if you're using their product to enable a holistic solution running on VMware, because it wouldn't been to hard for Citrix to say, "Hey, since you need us anyway, here are some free XenDesktop licenses." Of course they're phrase it in a less monopolistic way, but you see the point.)

And then there's Provision Networks / Quest Software's Virtual Access Suite. This is a desktop broker, a Terminal Server-based application publishing tool, profile management, and a bunch of extensions for RDP all rolled into a single package for $50-100 per CCU. Provision / Quest does not offer streaming or a hypervisor out of the box, but Microsoft's SoftGrid is dirt cheap now, and there are tons of hypervisors to choose from, so maybe that doesn't matter? (Quest integrates with the popular hypervisors for automated VM provisioning, hibernation, etc.) And then of course there's Quest's killer feature: The VDI broker and the Terminal Server application broker are actually the same product, so you can legitimately manage your whole desktop and application environment with one tool.

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But ICA might be the undoing for XenDesktop. That's all they're going to support and to be frank that is going to put a lot of people off.

 The preview kit is also terrible.

 

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I'm curious why only supporting ICA would piss people off? Can you give an example of someone who would want to use XenDesktop who would not want to use ICA? Is it a client issue? Like they wouldn't want to install the client software on the devices? (Which of course can be done automatically via Web Interface.)
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In general, I agree with you assessment, but take issue with a couple of things.

I don't think the Calista purchase is going to make that much of a difference, even if it does work. With some recent comparisons showing that ICA is anywhere from 3 to 6 times more efficient than RDP, the Calista technologies (assuming it isn't vaporware) have a lot of ground to make up. Barring a replacement to RDP, anything other than ICA will be considered too slow for desktop.

For individual application integration, VMware would be best to acquire another vendor. Lord knows how long it would take for them to develop it from scratch (when was the last time that they actually did that?), much less integrate it with their ever expanding product line. Given the rate of change in this technology space, right or wrong, hacking and slashing existing code from an acquired vendor would probably be the prudent thing, with the expectation that a full re-write will be in order down the line. As for TS2008, I have little doubt that scalable is not a term that many will associate with the product. When the vendor's own documentation suggests implementing their load balancing/brokering features in quantities of 5 servers or less, it's pretty clear that this will not be an enterprise solution. Would it work in the SMB market? Maybe, but for those companies with thousands of servers (we have over 15,000 Windows servers alone, of which over 1,600 are Citrix), the new features in TS2008 (TS RemoteApp, TS Web Access, TS Session Broker, etc) are going to be a huge disappointment.

Hypervisor compatibility will be huge going forward, so until VMware products are able to move as nimbly as Microsoft/Citrix products do, they will always be vulnerable in their ability to provide a complete, transparent solution. Actually, if anyone at Microsoft's Sales and Marketing actually reads these postings, they should be pushing that as a key differentiator from VMware.

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It wouldn't piss people off but if you're hoping to support some of the other protocols out there only offering ICA puts Citrix out of the running. For example if you were using blades with their own remote viewing protocol but you wanted to broker sessions. ICA is good but there are other things out there which offer fantastic performance and have a definate place.

VMware plan to support other protocols than RDP in future versions. The impression Citrix give is they're not.  For organisations with big Citrix implementation it might be a no-brainer but if they're looking to bring in new business I think their strategy might be off.  

 

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I believe it will have little impact... but on the other hand this space is so muddy it's hard to predict the acceptance of individual products. These are strange times and I believe Citrix is really positioned well. Don’t get me wrong they are not going to shake things up that much. Incremental bits of goodness seem to leak out every year, this is par. No earth quakes in my opinion… Conversely VMware has been quaking for years and finally this year will probably  lessen the shake a bit… maybe they will have time to think of way solidifying some of the new ideas and products. I think the smaller companies, often the real innovators these days always get acquired too soon!
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What? A guest poster thought this was well balanced? What's happening? :)
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As I said many times previously, the future of virtualization is the "one-stop-shop". Operating Systems vendors will include the entire virtualization platform in the OS without the need of "add-on" software and/or tools. This technology coupled with hardware advancements such as virtualization-on-die will pave the way to the future of virtualization technology. I see Microsoft and Redhat doing this in the near future - 5 to 10 years from now. No more software installations from third-party vendors. The CPU and kernel will do everything.
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Brian, what a shame you are so Citrix and Microsoft biased, your articles's value would be better if you were truly independent.

Anyhow... You failed to mention several important points. Citrix is a very complex solution that requires dedicated personnel to implement, patch, maintain and administer. It's also very expensive as Citrix charges premium for "end to end" product lineup they want to provide.

Seriously, Xen desktop is going to be the choice of enterprise customers mainly, as the above points illustrate - very few SMB customers will invest in their solution.

Also, Citrix partner network will be seriously challenged to learn and maintain skill set required to provide the entire gamut of Citrix solutions. Citirx's R&D expense is also skyrocketing as they need to maintain an ever expanding offering of complex products. 

 

 

 

 

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The "Holy Grail" as VDI vendors would have us envision it

End user device with offline access

- Boot a VM instance running in a local hypervisor on the client side (Xen, VMware Player, Parallels - who cares). Physical client machine could be any fat client OS or a thin client device capable of running hypervisor
- PXE boot within the client side VM a "shared", stateless, generic disk image that contains the base OS only, streaming to client side VM on demand (hardware abstraction ensures no driver issues)
- Use app streaming technology (XenDesktop, Thinstall, SoftGrid) to stream apps on demand to client and cache deployed apps to allow running them in a virtual, offline runtime environment
- Provide Desktop/Start Menu icons to end users within the client-side VM that connects via a connection broker to sensitive corporate apps running on virtualized SBC servers in the data center
- Capture user settings and data via flex profiles and folder redirection technology that either stores data centrally or replicates local user data to data center so user can work offline

Pure VDI in data center (no offline capability)

- User boots a thin client like device that automatically connects to a connection broker in the data center and then gets connected to a VDI instance
- VDI instance PXE boot to a "shared", stateless, generic disk image that contains the base OS only
- Applications are streamed on demand to the VDI instance
- User customizations and data are captured via flex profiles and folder redirection to central repository

SBC in data center (no offline capability)

- User boots a thin client like device that automatically connects to a connection broker and then user session is connected to a SBC VM in the data center
- SBC VM instance also PXE boots to a "shared", stateless, generic disk image that contains the base OS and SBC software only
- Applications are streamed on demand to the SBC instance with no app conflicts while retaining traditional SBC multi-user platform
- User customizations and data are captured via flex profiles and folder redirection to central repository

Data Center

- "Big" HA server hardware farm running hypervisors in data center with HA virtual infrastructure
- Dynamic provisioning of work loads - whether they be production server VMs (web, database, SBC), VDI instances running desktop OS, or physical hosts to deploy hypervisor (although embedded hypervisor is likely to become ubiquitous)
- Ability to automatically adjust the number of server resources available in the data center - the green initiative
- VMotion and Storage VMotion capabilities
- OS and applications are completely abstracted from the physical hardware

So what does this all amount to ?

- lots of choice
- commoditization/standardization of the end user access device
- commoditization/standardization of the end user operating system (running virtual)
- commoditization/standardization of the virtual disk images for all VMs
- dynamic assignment of workloads to physical hardware
- on-demand deployment of applications to any VM

Both VDI instances and SBC instances need better graphics acceleration to break the traditional PCs strangehold - technology which is right around the corner.

What else separates VDI deployments from SBC deployments with this type of infrastructure? Given the higher user densities associated with SBC, why bother with VDI except in cases where offline access is needed or "power users" demand a dedicated VM?

The scary thing with all of these scenarios is the levels of virtualization - quite a house of cards...

 Brian is going to have to start limiting the length of comments now I think :-)

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I was just looking at VDM2 and found out that if I need to put up 5 or 6 brokers to manage my load I will need a load balance like F5!!!!!!!!!  This isn't VDM2.  This should be VDM minus 2.
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Very few SMB customers invest in VMware solutions too. It ain't exactly priced for the SMB customer. Nor does the SMB customer benefit as much from electricity, cooling, and rack space savings like the enterprise customer does by using VMware. Neither VMware nor Citrix has the advantage for the SMB customer.  Both cost a lot, and the smaller the implementation the longer it takes to acheive ROI.

Also, Brian was talking about Citrix's XenDesktop product, which is still months away from being released. I bow to your crystal balls, which have given you knowledge about the complexity, personel, patching, maintenance, and administration needs of a product that doesn't even exist yet.

But I do completely agree with the challenge the partner network and R&D department have with the ever expanding offering of products. But that concern also applies to what VMware is doing trying to enter the application space. How many VMware employees would you estimate have extensive experience getting client applications useable over a remote connection? Essentially that's the entire purpose of VDI, and a purpose Citrix has lived and breathed for over a decade now. You can call Citrix complex and VMware simple, but that's because keeping users happy with their remote applications is complex. Sure, the VMware product looks simple to the IT employee, but when the user's aren't happy, do you think the IT employee's argument that "it's simple" is going to hold a lot of water at that point? Of course not. MS Terminal Services is simple fot the IT employee too, but customers use Citrix because it's about the users, not the IT employee. If you're not thinking about the end user's application experience, then it's you that is biased... biased in favor of the IT employee over the end user.

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If you have seen the Calista product work, you would understand why Microsoft bought them.  Calista blows away every other technology out there, and does it with standard RDP on the client end.  

Yes, in the short term, Teradici (proprietary, expensive, limited, hardware based), HP RGS (proprietary, HP hardware only), Wyse TCX (proprietary, very limited), ICA, etc. may gain some ground, but everybody likes a standard and (mostly), nobody got fired for buying Microsoft.  

So, what are the standards?  I think we all agree that ICA and RDP are.  One of these protocols will win.

Extensions are hacks for now.  Fixing how the video is delivered by the host is the way to solve it, not hacking around it.

If RDP delivered a rich multimedia experience to a standard RDP 5.1 client, why would you want anything else?  I know that it is not as simple as that in the long run, but Calista, in my opinion is the best technology approach to solve the “multimedia” and “rich windows experience” problems out there.  

If Microsoft has half a brain, they will allow the Calista technology to port to XP, not only Vista.  I am not betting on it, but it would be what is best to move this technology trend (VDI) forward.

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It is a huge topic.  From the VMware VDI website, here is a concept and design overview of VDI:

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vdi_design_guide.pdf

 

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"you are so Citrix and Microsoft biased." Can you please get together with the other Guest who posted in my XenDesktop article last week that I "made my career bashing Citrix and only promoting their competition"?
Thanks,Brian
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Why don't you use Netscaler?  :)
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another POS
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Looks like Microsoft is giving a chance for citrix and vmware to fight the VDI battle, just to see whether VDI will replace terminal services. I mean with ICA on the desktop and hardware cheap enough to host 100 VM per server, and MSFT, VMW and CTXS working on optimizing the end-user experience who will want to stay with TS? some are actually saying that this is the last version of Windows(08) that will have TS support and this is the beginning of a transition period for all the folks out there running TS/Citrix environment. Make Sense .....

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You sound intelligent.  You should post more!
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Does not make sense.

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As someone who has designed, deployed and managed Terminal Services based environments for the past seven years, I am starting to recommend VDI more than TS for many customers.  No, I didn't studder.  The fact is Terminal Services requires a rocket scientist to manage if you have any less than well written applications, and VDI on the other hand can be managed by the IT Generalist. So yes, TS still "currently" scales better, but at what management cost.

I personally am glad that VDM2 has shipped, as people can now compare it to Virtual Access Suite - Desktop Services Edition, instead of speculating what VDM might offer.  I so far have seen nothing from VDM that VAS doesn't do, a lot that VAS does that VDM does not, and some things that VAS just does better. 

If you don't know how VAS works, we use the VMware SDK to hook into Virtual Center so one can manage the system with our console. 

Try them for yourself, side by side.

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Don't discount the impact and influence of the server hardware vendors.  HP, Dell, and IBM want the hypervisor to be a feature of their hardware rather than the OS, and I expect to see each of them use Xen-based alternatives (i.e. Citrix XenServer) and add-on solutions to differentiate themselves from one another.  All three of them, of course, will also offer VMWare and Microsoft Hyper-V as well, though this won't allow them to differentiate themselves from one another as much as Xen-based approaches.

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What are you smoking?  Terminal Server has a long, long life ahead of it.  VDI is complementary to Terminal Server-based approaches.
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I think that a poorly written app will cause you pain regardless of the platform. Because you have the resources to encapsulate it in a "single instance" space just means you are consuming more resources per bad app. VDI is cool, but if you have "private" instances where users get their own persistent workspaces, isn't that a little like running from workstation to workstation? (Even if you're running while sitting in one of those comfy IT chairs). 

Stutter is spelled with Ts. 

 

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VDI will replace Terminal Services - there is no doubt about it.

Both Microsoft and Citrix are fully backing VDI technology. Microsoft by buying
Calista,  lowering VECD price and putting their weight behind Hyper V. Citrix sees the future
in VDI - they just made a big investment in virtualization (XEN) and are releasing a flagship product,
meant to replace their cash cow Presentation Server.

TS (and Presentation Server) was never able to truly crack the market. Sure, there are
many companies using these products but the majority of customers think of TS and PS as point products
meant to satisfy a narrow need.

End users hate TS and Citrix - they can see it when every app starts, they know it's some technical hokey pokey
meant to  make them work harder and save the company money.

Citrix knows that - that's why it created Xen desktop even though it will cannibalize PS sales.

TS/PS are a have-beens.

VDI delivers to users environement that can be customized, modified and tailored to their
likes and desires. It's more versatile and more personal. 

This year - year 2008 is when the ground work is being laid. It is the pre-virtualization year
when companies are jockeying for the best postion to enter 2009 which will
truly be the year of virtualization. VDI is gaining strong momentum right now.

in 2009 every business (including SMB) will be able to deploy a reliable and cost efficient
virtualization platform (i.e. hypervisor and management tools) and VDII will become a no-brainer.

Strap in - I am not sure which company will ultimately win, but that doesn;t matter-
the ultimate winner will be the customer.

 

 

 

 

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How's the weather in FLL?
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Patrick Rouse's comments are poor.  Didn't Brian Madden write in his article not to discuss the merits of VDI?  Come on Patrick, we have all read this kind of drivel before regarding VDI.  Also, please don't use this space to market your product.  Please pay Brian for some advertising space if you want to do that. 

Well written article Brian.  Keep 'em coming!

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Patrick,
Do you do it the same way to hook into Virtual Iron?  We use VI for server consolidation and are looking at VDI now.  We really think Virtual Iron offers the most mature Xen-based solution with top management tools.

Thanks.

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Who cares if patrick Rouse advertises his product in his posts. Only geeks read this forum, and
the comment section especially, whatever is said here does not affect anybody's purchasing decision.
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you will been able to use the "ICA agent" on the blade PC like you will do in the virtual machine...

Never seen RDP/ICA as a challenge to use one or the other... Especially when RDP didn't have what I'm looking for and ICA has... 

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Just show that hypervisor will become a comodity (on the OS or the hardware) and what will be the next game is "virtualization management" (between the hypervisor and the System)...
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we will have to banned the "guest" posting... so borring to read people that have a strong point of view and the true courage to sign for their point of view !
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Of course you're not a Rocket Scientist...  Poorly written apps with work best on a platform for which it was designed to run on.  Most likely a Windows XP workstation with a single user.  It's difficult to get a lot of these poorly written apps to behave in on a Terminal Server platform.

 

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For some of my users, neither RDP or ICA offer what is required. That's the trick that XenDesktop is missing.

 

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Who does that leave? ProPalms? 2X? HOBsoft? Ericom?

Does anyone know anything about Propalms and do you think they are what VMWare might be looking for?

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NetScaler is one of Citrix's best acquisions...you're really proving your intelligence with that comment.  Ding...your fries are done.....
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Why does everyone have such a hard-on for Ardence?  The solution only fits a very small percentage of users...your mundane task based, "I only use IE and Outlook" user who never needs to travel or work remotely.  Call center, training room, distribution center, fine.  I've found no matter how it sliced, diced, architected, group policied, roaming profiled.....its a small percentage of usable situations.
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all i know is that propalms(prpm) is a technology partner with vmware and recently announced that they will be entering the virtualization market.
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I setup VDM2 this week.  A couple of other weaknesses I've found.

1.  Doesn't work with IIS, which is odd because Lab Manager requires IIS.
2.  Looks like it installs some flavor of Apache
3.  Completely Web-based
4.  Only works with IE (I'm a Mac/Firefox guy)

One thing I did like...It uses MS ADAM to store all VM and entitlement info in an AD replica.  I had heard Virtual Center would do the same eventually and eliminate the need for SQL.

Just on the surface...I won't be ripping out Provision VAS anytime soon...they're still a few legs up on VDM2.

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Im just wonderin which of these smaller companys is vmware goin to aqquire in order to maintain thier position in the race?!
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Yes, we hook into VirtualIron's Management Console via SDK so you get the same functionality out of our software whether you're using VMWARE ($$$$) or VirtualIron ($$).  As for people's comments that I shouldn't mention my product, why not, as this post is about what the impact will be on the market.  After playing with VDM2 for a few hours today, I'm not too worried.  I recommend that people interested in VDI try every product they can get their hands on, as I'm an engineer, not a sales guy.
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Could they possibly be considering Quest?  If they couldn't get Provision before (for whatever reason and there had to be a reason), Quest would give them a huge sweet spot and advantage.  Outside of VDI, consider what Quest offers (obviously some of it does't "fit") ... Application management, Development management (think lab manager), Identity management (again think VDI, Application Presentation, Thinstall, Labmanager), etc.

Imagine this complete set of tools sitting alongside (inside) a completely virtualized environment??  The argument we generally get around virtualization is that not all applications (ie. Oracle - simply going to create their own version ... ala their own linux) are "supported" or "visible" or "blah, blah, blah" ... well with this entire management sweet sitting on top of 3i (booting straight from a 32mb embedded memory card) ... THIN, THIN, THIN is in!!!! 

 The issue that I see with Citrix Xen's platform ... it's based on open source (this is me ducking and screaming INCOMING!!!!).  What happens when the XEN community moves in a different direction than what Citrix wants or thinks is the right way to go?  does Citrix use it's enormous weight to steer the "ship"?  If it does, than is it really open source?  What if another open source hypervisor comes along that is the new hot fad?  What if Oracle develops their own hypervisor (read management layer since the actual hypervisor is opensource) within "their" version of linux?  Closed source may irritate some, but it gives me a much better feeling at night knowing that the base code is my vendor's bread and butter.

Besides, why does it always have to be "us" vs. "them"?  everyone knows that generally a heterogenous environment, while typically more difficult to manage, always provides a better, more flexible solution overall, than say a Citrix ONLY or a VMWARE only or a MICROSOFT only environment.  No vendor or solution is perfect ... we simply try to deploy the strengths while minimizing the weaknesses, right?

and I really need to sign up for an ID so I'm not hiding, but frankly ... I'm too lazy!! LOL

 

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It's a huge benefit for dynamic server provisioning.  On the desktop side, think about the ramifications for immediate desktop DR strategy when combined with a software virtualization/streaming product.   Yes it won't work for offline use, but neither will SBC or VDI.
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You are so full of crap!  No one believes your "aw shucks, I'm an engineer, not a sales guy" pitch!

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Thanks, I was referring to the desktop side.  I haven't used their server product.  Immediate desktop DR?  I see where your going with that but you can do that with any VDI solution and a streaming app.
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Whoa!!!!  Breathe.  Breathe.  It's going to be ok!  :)
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I think they make a product called Prozac for people like this. At least I have the cojones to mark my posts with my name, and not hide behind a guest moniker.  For all we know (guest) you work for VMware or Citrix and are just bashing competition.  I'm pretty sure I recommended that customers try each vendor's product. 
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Hey Patrick,

Welcome to my world. Some people here take it very badly whenever a product is mentioned that does not belong to Citrix. In any event, best of luck at your new job!

Dan

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Yes, but VDI doesn't cut the mustard if you must have a distributed architecture.  An ardence server can be setup at a DR site to allow for lots of desktops to be booted to their desktop image immediately upon a disaster versus needing to build desktops or clone VMs.
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VDM2 looks to be a decent product, especially for a "v1." (Don't let that "2" in the name fool you.) 

Isn't that the same for Provisioning Server 4.5?

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