Remote desktop services in a new dimension

VDI and Application Virtualization

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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)

VDI: Balancing the Efficiencies and Challenges of the New Network

Enterprise IT has experienced a rapid evolution over the past few years. Cloud has revolutionized storage and brought with it a host of new and emerging information security challenges. Consumer adoption of mobile technology has forced enterprise networks to operate in a multi-platform environment in which the technology is largely selected, procured, and controlled without the advice or consent of IT. Of the many lessons learned in recent years, perhaps the most crucial is that IT must take a proactive approach to adopting emerging technologies, rather than being forced to react to and mitigate the inevitable fire drills. Of the transformative technologies now gaining traction in the enterprise, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has stayed relatively under the radar, but is nonetheless poised to play an integral role in the ongoing IT evolution. This article w... (more)

‘Hypervisity’ Rages On

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 anticipated. 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 advertising. Just over 80% of the IT shops in our survey are using VMware on at least some systems in their infrastructures.... (more)

Can You Trust VDI Storage Benchmarks?

by George Crump, Storage Switzerland VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) implementation projects are going to be priorities for many IT Managers in 2013 and a key concern will be end-user acceptance. If the users don't embrace their virtual desktops they won't use them and the project is doomed to failure. The key to acceptance is to provide users with an environment that feels the same, performs better and is more reliable than their current stand-alone system. The storage system bears most of the responsibility in delivering that experience. IT managers who want to capitalize on the opportunity that the virtual desktop environment can focus on two key capabilities when they evaluate storage system vendors. The first is being able to deliver the raw performance that the virtual desktop architecture needs and the second is doing so in the most cost effective way po... (more)

How to Get Full Value in a Flash Upgrade

Author:  Eric Slack, Senior Analyst, Storage Switzerland Companies that need to improve application performance, for example, in server virtualization or VDI environments, frequently come to the conclusion that flash is the best strategy. SSD technology is becoming the "go to" solution for enhancing the performance of these kinds of critical production applications. After realizing that a flash-based solution is warranted, the next question involves implementation. What is the most cost-effective way to add solid state flash technology into an existing production environment? For IT organizations that have multiple primary servers needing this performance boost, most find themselves looking at network based storage appliances as they can be easily shared across all servers and applications. Two alternatives, all-flash arrays and hybrid storage systems, are often co... (more)

Why VDI? And Why Now?

For most CIOs and IT managers, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) isn't a new concept. In fact, many of them have dismissed it more than once amid concerns such as ROI, security and user experience. But it's time to take a fresh look at VDI because a slew of new technologies have eliminated its biggest drawbacks - real and perceived. As a result, VDI - also known as end-user computing and desktop as a service - is now capable of addressing three of enterprise IT's biggest costs and headaches: Management scalability: Today, as the number of desktops in an organization grows, so does the amount of staff and other resources required to manage them. VDI breaks that link and makes managing 1,000 desktops as easy as managing 10. This directly benefits the enterprise's bottom line and competitive position because, for example, IT staff is now freed to focus on revenue-ge... (more)

Doing VDI, Only Better

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 archite... (more)

Understanding Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

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. Th... (more)

Using Desktop Virtualization to Create a New End-User Paradigm

Click Here to View This Presentation Now! 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? Click Here to View This Presentation Now! ... (more)

Speed-up and Simplify Backup and Restores

Click Here for FREE vmPRO Standard Edition Download! Speed-up and simplify backup and restores with the industry's only native backup application for virtual environments, Quantum vmPRO. Native file format allows for drag and drop restore of files or entire VMs from any location, in seconds. Click Here for FREE vmPRO Standard Edition Download! ... (more)

An Application-Driven Approach to Virtualization

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)