We've tracked a trend for the past several years: customers aren't moving to
standardize on a single brand or type of server, operating system, or even
x86 hypervisor. But, in our in fifth annual x86 Data Center Survey
(2011-‘12 edition), we were somewhat surprised to find that customers were
using a wide range of different hypervisors to a greater extent than we
The total number of respondents in our survey was 345, with 40% of
respondents in mid-size and large organizations of 4,000 employees and above.
This was a global survey; 46% of respondents hailed from Europe, 40% from
North America, and 11% from Asia/Pacific. Respondents came from our Gabriel
Consulting Group survey data base of previous participants and from targeted
Just over 80% of the IT shops in our survey are using VMware on at least some
systems in their infrastructures.... (more)
There are three core vendors and protocols supporting VDI today. Microsoft
with RDP, Citrix with ICA, and VMware with PCoIP. For most organizations a
single vendor approach has been necessary, primarily because the costs
associated with the supporting network and application delivery network
infrastructure required to deliver VDI with the appropriate levels of
security while meeting performance expectations of users and the need to
maintain high availability.
It’s a tall order that’s getting taller with every mobile client
introduced, especially when you toss in a liberal dose of enforcing policies
regarding access to virtual desktops.
Most folks are well aware of F5’s long history of deep integration with its
partners Microsoft and VMware. Whether it’s integrating with management
systems or designing, testing, and documenting the often times complex joint
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Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been a hot topic in the IT community
for years but delivery models have limited its use. Today there are real
options for using the technology to truly replace the existing desktop
infrastructure to realize tangible benefits. Today's cloud-sourced VDI offers
the enterprise new opportunities for security, centralization, mobility, and
business continuity while avoiding much of the upfront investment of
traditional in-house deployments. Utilizing cloud-based VDI to centralize
application deployment, secure corporate property, or scale the IT enterprise
brings flexibility and a layer of abstraction that was not previously
available. There are many different delivery strategies on the market with
different benefits, nuances, and use-cases. While most agree that IT's
consumption of infrastru... (more)
In Windows Server 2008 R2 (WS2008R2), Terminal Services (TS) has been
expanded and renamed to Remote Desktop Services (RDS). RDS is the backbone of
Microsoft's VDI solutions. And in Windows Server 2012, RDS is further
enhanced and with a scenario-based configuration wizard. Still the concept
and architecture remain very much the same since WS2008R2. The new and
enhanced architecture takes advantage of virtualization and makes remote
access a much flexible solution with new deployment scenarios. To realize the
capabilities of RDS, it is essential to understand the functions of key
architectural components and how they complement one another to process a RDS
request. There are many new terms and acronyms to get familiar with in the
context of RDS. For the remainder of this post, notice RDS implies the server
platform of WS2008R2 and later, while TS implies WS2008.
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Desktop virtualization, while still being relatively nascent, is evolving in
a variety of ways to help organizations gain operational efficiencies. Beyond
IT, desktop virtualization is creating new and innovative usage scenarios
(e.g., consumerization, device-neutral computing and stateless computing),
which are desired and welcomed by users. Will desktop virtualization make
computing personal again?
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For a company like Lafarge, the dispatching of trucks and materials is
mission critical. So when the performance of IT applications supporting this
function suffers, it's bad for business.
Based in Paris, France, Lafarge is a provider of building materials, with
more than $15 billion in annual revenue and 68,000 employees in 64 nations.
It specializes in cement, aggregates and concrete. If fleet drivers run into
delays in getting these materials to construction sites, deadlines are missed
and the fallout can get costly. Yet, after launching a server virtualization
project, such concerns surfaced due to a decline in the performance of key
applications for dispatch operations.
Ultimately, however, this setback - or at least its resolution - helped pave
the way for a better way of doing things: a company-wide, virtualized
approach to enterprise resource planning (ERP)... (more)
Server virtualization has already proven beneficial for many enterprises.
Through data center consolidation, server virtualization is able to enhance
efficiency and reduce operational expenses. As this technology continues to
evolve, however, IT professionals are moving beyond the basic benefits of
consolidation. With advanced virtualization technologies, IT organizations
can provide a variety of cloud-based services for users. These innovative
services are best supported through application-driven virtualization, an
approach that dramatically simplifies management and deployment.
Benefits of Application-Driven Virtualization
Minimizes operational expenses Improves the efficiency of IT response
Accelerates and simplifies the deployment of business-critical workloads and
applications Administrators can manage and deploy enterprise application
services quickly. Scalab... (more)
2011 ended with the popularization of an idea: bringing VMs (virtual
machines) onto the cloud. Recent years have seen great advancements in both
cloud computing and virtualization. On the one hand there is the ability to
pool various resources to provide Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a
Service and Platform as a Service. At its most basic, this is what describes
cloud computing. On the other hand, we have virtual machines that provide
agility, flexibility, and scalability to the cloud resources by allowing the
vendors to copy, move, and manipulate their VMs at will. The term virtual
machine essentially describes sharing the resources of one single physical
computer into various computers within itself. VMware and virtual box are
commonly used virtual systems on desktops. Cloud computing effectively stands
for many computers pretending to be one computing e... (more)
Riverbed Technology, the application performance outfit, has some new
solutions developed in collaboration with its buddy VMware that are supposed
to provide a reliable and consistent desktop virtualization end-user
experience in organizations that deploy VMware's Horizon View 5.2.
The experience is supposed to be seamless regardless of where the data is.
The partnership between Riverbed and VMware has resulted in the support of
several Riverbed performance solutions in Horizon View deployments, including
certifying Riverbed's Granite widgetry for acceleration, control and
management in virtualized desktop initiatives.
Organizations that deploy Horizon View with Riverbed performance jumpers are
supposed to be able to achieve a more automated, flexible, scalable and
high-performing VDI environment. And those that want a virtual desktop
infrastructure (VDI) can reduce... (more)
Big Data! Yes it's BIG!
The volume is BIG! The variety is BIG! The velocity is BIG!
And hopefully the business value is BIG!
New Opportunities Bring New Ways to Leverage Proven Technology
There is no shortage of media articles, analyst reports, tradeshows, blogs
and other source of Big Data technology insight and advice.
But it strikes me that in our search to be on the leading edge, we may be
overlooking some great existing technology.
In fact, some technology, for example data virtualization, is even more
useful in a Big Data world.
What Is Data Virtualization?
Data virtualization is an agile data integration approach organizations use
to gain more insight from their data. This includes traditional sources
such as transaction systems, data warehouses and more as well as new sources
such the cloud and Big Data.
Unlike data consolidation or data replication, data ... (more)
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has been a hot topic for years - and
every year one expert or another makes a claim that this will be the year of
VDI. Finally, 2013 may be the year that VDI goes mainstream. We're seeing the
cost of VDI implementation come down to being roughly comparable to the cost
of managing PC endpoints. Many organizations are starting to move from pilot
While the pilots worked fine, many organizations are finding that VDI
projects fail in the rollout phase due to performance and poor user
experience issues. One of the key reasons for this is that the pilot phase is
often over-provisioned and less complex.
Don't miss the infrastructure demands by focusing too much on the desktop
Very often, when an enterprise begins the virtual desktop journey, the focus
is on the user desktop. This is only natural; after all, it is the desktop... (more)