Archive for February, 2011

VDI Smackdown! version 1.2

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in App-V, HDX, HDX 3D Pro, RemoteFX, Whitepapers, XenApp, XenDesktop

Ruben Spruijt (CTP) have updated his awesome whitepaper “VDI Smackdown to version 1.2

If you’re searching for an independent overview of the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) vendors and solutions or are curious about the different features and functions of each vendors, then this awesome paper is for you! In the current market there’s an increasing demand for unbiased information about Desktop Virtualization solutions. This white paper is focused on solutions that are anticipated to have an important role in VDI deployments. A complete overview of available features has been created to better understand each solution’s capability. The solutions included in the feature matrix are: Citrix XenDesktop 5, Microsoft VDI with RemoteFX, Quest vWorkspace 7.2 and VMware View 4.6; Compared to the previous VDI Smackdown, more than 100 new and updated features are included in this whitepaper.

The overall goal of the white paper is share information about:

  • Application and Desktop Delivery Solutions overview
  • Explain the different Desktop Virtualization concepts
  • Explain the pros and cons of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
  • Clarify the essential VDI strategic questions
  • Describe the different Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) vendors and solutions
  • Compare the features of Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft VDI/RemoteFX, Quest vWorkspace and VMware View

Making applications available to the end-user, regardless of the technology being used, is the ultimate strategic objective of an Advanced IT infrastructure. The Virtual Desktop (vDesktop) is an essential component in the range of application and desktop delivery solutions and in essence, provides the following functions:

  • Flexibility: Detach the vDesktop from the endpoint; Several vDesktops next to one another
  • Access: vDesktop works independently of location, endpoint and network; Uniform workstation
  • Security: Server Hosted – VDI; data in the computing center
  • Freedom: Every user has their own desktop with administrator access when needed;
  • Management: Hardware-independent ‘image’
  • Legacy: It is simple to offer legacy applications on a state-of-the-art platform
  • Sustainability: Power Management, handling the necessary resources in an efficient manner

The growing reality of the transition to a dynamic datacenter is causing many IT organizations to reevaluate traditional IT operations, support, and management methods. Virtualizing the desktop is a reasonable piece to support growing numbers of unmanaged desktops, external users, and other use-case scenarios. It’s important to have a vision and strategy around application and desktop delivery. Designing, building, managing and maintaining the vDesktop infrastructure using the right technologies, corresponding vendors and products is an important last step.

We see a lot of organizations primarily focusing on products and vendors and lacking a clear and profound vision and strategy. This approach isn’t good or bad, it just depends on what the goal of the organization is. When the organization needs a point solution, the various vendors and corresponding products can help to solve this issue and fill-in the demands.  When the organization is investigating possibilities, advantages, use cases and functionality of the vNext “optimized desktop”, a profound vision and strategy should be in place.

The following themes should be part of the vDesktop strategy:

  • What are the use-cases? And does the use-case require virtualization?
  • VD-why, what do I want to achieve?, lowering TCO?, business enabler, overall cost of ownership and cost reducer?
  • What is the business-case?
  • What’s the user experience using multimedia, NextGen, video/voice, 2D/3D applications? What do users expect from the vDesktop?
  • What endpoints do we support and facilitate and what is the role of these devices in the end-user experience?
  • Secure access and secure networking (http://bit.ly/fGgOHz), how do users, with a variety of endpoints (rich, thin, zero-clients and mobile devices) connect to the vDesktop?!
  • What is the impact of secure access and secure networking solutions on mobile devices while connecting to the vDesktop? What is the user experience with these solutions?
  • Do we need to manage the endpoints?
  • How is the vDesktop managed? OS deployment, application distribution, patch management etc… Isclient management mandatory?
  • Do we need image management?
  • How are Windows applications delivered within the vDesktop? Unattended or manual installation,application virtualization or are the applications part of the (golden) image? What is the strategy?
  • Are User Installed Applications inside the vDesktop needed?
  • What is the performance and storage impact of application virtualization?
  • What is VDI’s impact on storage and how does it effect the business-case?
  • Do you need local or centralized storage?
  • Do we focus on stateless (pooled, shared) and/or stateful (assigned, private) images? What is, for example, the impact on storage, manageability, security, legal and business-case?
  • What is the impact of client management solutions in a stateless VDI scenario?
  • How do we design, build and maintain the (golden) image(s)?
  • Windows 7 or Windows XP as core vDesktop OS platform? x64 or x86?
  • How does the solution scale? What do we need from a scalability point of view?
  • How do we size the vDesktop and corresponding infrastructure and what are the best-practices for optimizing the vDesktop?  http://www.virtualrealitycheck.net/
  • What is the performance and bandwidth impact on the network infrastructure; LAN, WAN, wLAN
  • How do we design, build and maintain the user’s profile and their ‘workspace’?
  • Licensing; operating system, client access licenses and (business) applications
  • Do we need to backup (and restore) the vDesktops?
  • Is Anti-Virus needed? Inside the VM or as service module on the hypervisor? What is the performanceimpact of antivirus?
  • Is the IT organization mature enough to support and maintain the complete technology stack? What is the knowledge and skill-set of the IT-department?
  • Is separation of operating system, application, and user preferences inside and outside the vDesktop part of the overall strategy?

Bottom Line: What’s your current Desktop strategy?!

Get a head start! Download our complete, in-depth, and independent whitepaper “Head-to-head analysis of Citrix XenDesktop 5, Microsoft VDI with RemoteFX, Quest vWorkspace 7.2 and VMware View 4.6.”

Citrix Valentines gift – WAN*tastic

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Branch Repeater, HDX, HDX 3D Pro, XenApp, XenDesktop

Today, Citrix raised the bar again, announcing a new addition to its popular Citrix XenDesktop that promises to juice performance even further for employees accessing their virtual desktops, apps and data over a wide area network (WAN).

Starting today, any customer who buys the Platinum Edition of XenDesktop gets a powerful new WAN optimization virtual appliance at no additional charge that can be deployed quickly and easily in any branch office to boost XenDesktop performance for branch users. The new solution, powered by the breakthrough Citrix Branch Repeater VPX virtual appliance, is specifically architected for accelerating and optimizing the delivery of virtual desktops, apps and data for end users, while reducing bandwidth utilization for IT administrators.

Citrix XenDesktop, combined with the HDX WAN Optimization technology from Branch Repeater – accelerates the delivery of virtual desktops and provides a high definition experience to branch office workers (See 3rd Party Performance Report: XenDesktop vs View with and without WAN Optimization). They have led the transformation of desktop virtualization and WAN optimization markets with innovative and integrated use of these technologies.

  • XenDesktop Platinum will include the new HDX WAN optimization feature, powered by Branch Repeater VPX – at no additional charge. You can deploy the new HDX WAN Optimization virtual appliances in unlimited number of branch offices with WAN links up to 45Mbps, if you buy XenDesktop Platinum, are current on XenDesktop Platinum SA or trade up to XenDesktop Platinum. This will allow XenDesktop Platinum customers to accelerate and optimize, on WAN links of up to 45Mbps bandwidth, delivery of virtual desktops and virtual apps, as well as native apps such as Microsoft Exchange, Outlook, SharePoint, and other data or application traffic.
  • The new HDX WAN Optimization feature runs as a virtual appliance on either Citrix XenServer of VMware vSphere. In related news, the standalone Citrix Branch Repeater VPX virtual appliance is also now available for both XenServer and VMware hypervisors.
  • Unlimited number of VPX appliances in any number of branch offices to accelerate any and all traffic beyond XenDesktop Platinum traffic… if you buy XenDesktop Platinum, are current on XenDesktop Platinum SA or trade up to XenDesktop Platinum in those branch offices.

So the answer is if you wan the perfect VDI solution on the market its Citrix XenDesktop 5 Platinum Edition, these new features makes its shines brighter than the SUN =o)

Enjoy the ride of the virtual desktop with the power of Citrix. Go Virtual, go Anywhere,  go fast. fasten your seatbelt this ride is going to be thrilling.

Read more about Citrix Branch Repeater
Read more about Citrix XenDesktop

XenApp 6 Fundamentals Edition Deployment Guide

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Whitepapers, XenApp

Citrix XenApp 6 Fundamentals Edition is the new release specifically for the Windows Server 2008 R2 platform. This deployment guide is a step by step guide for how to install and configure a XenApp 6 Fundamentals environment that can be used for proof of concepts, testing, and production. View the CitrixTV video series, http://www.citrix.com/tv/#series/219, for additional setup and configuration information. Many of the steps described in this guide are also applicable to XenApp Fundamentals 3.0 on Windows Server 2008 and XenApp Fundamentals 2.0 on Windows 2003.

Download the XenApp 6 Fundamentals Edition Deployment Guide here

Click here to evaluate XenApp 6 Fundamentals in 30 days

KMS configuration using Provisioning Services

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Office, Provisioning, Whitepapers, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008R2

Introduction

The purpose of this document is to help an administrator configure Provisioning Services 5.6 SP1 (PVS) target Devices that are using Microsoft Key Management Server (KMS) in the best way to fit their environment. KMS can be configured on a vDisk Image with the help of PVS to apply volume licenses for Microsoft Server 2008, Microsoft Server 2008R2, Windows 7 and Windows Vista, as well as Office 2010.

In PVS the option for KMS can be easily configured while building vDisk’s with the Imaging Wizard; alternatively it can be configured at any time using the Console or MCLI/Powershell command-line interfaces

The Product Administrator’s Guide, Section “Managing Microsoft KMS Volume Licensing” provides further details on KMS configuration for a PVS vDisk.

II. KMS Configuration Scenarios:

The following section outlines the steps to configure KMS in various scenarios to accommodate your deployment environment. Please make sure to read all the scenarios to verify which one best fits your deployment and follow the steps accordingly. It is recommended that you complete all steps in the right order for a successful configuration.

KMS configuration can be done in the following ways depending upon your environment:

Customers can configure KMS for both Windows & Office Customers can configure KMS for Only Windows Customers can configure KMS for Only Office

The Scenario’s below will help you to configure KMS accordingly.

Download the whitepaper here.

Official Guide to XenClient SP1 Best Practise

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Best Practise, XenClient

Douglas Brown (http://www.daabc.com) have released this cool “Official Guide to XenClient Service Pack 1 – Reference Design, Best Practise” Whitepaper. He have created the document combined with his own experience and with Citrix XenClient employees.

Douglas Brown tells bellowed why he created the guide and what value it can give to you:

Welcome to version 1.0 of the Official Guide to Citrix XenClient: Reference Design, Best Practices, and Additional Resources Guide.

The first thing you need to understand about this guide and XenClient is they are both 1.0 and Citrix has been very clear in their statements and positing that XenClient 1.0 Service Pack 1 is geared toward test, evaluation, pilots, and proof of concepts. The goal is for you to get familiar with what this technology can do for you and your organization. In keeping with that goal the design, best practices, and additional resources found in this guide are limited to this scope. In the future, this guide will be upgraded as Citrix releases future versions.

My goal for this guide is to provide you with the knowledge required to understand the architectural requirements and configuration best practices to successfully deploy and evaluate the new Citrix XenClient 1.0 Service Pack 1 client virtualization solution. This includes design requirements, best practices, and links to additional resources.

I‟ve also tried to organize this guide keeping as close as possible with the same flow a Citrix XenClient deployment would follow. However, this guide does not include step-by-step instructions, yet. In version 1.0 of this guide, I‟m not trying to recreate the wheel by reproducing a lot of content that is easily available in other locations in order to deliver this guide to you quicker. In future releases these sections will be „built out‟ to provide more comprehensive instructions and resources.

To me, client-side hypervisors are the future! I‟m excited and I hope this guide will help you to get to know what a technology such as XenClient can do for you! This is amazing stuff and brings the power and promise of virtualization to the end-points, something we seem to forget when talking about VDI and other related technologies. This guide is truly a labor of love so expect more and more of it

Download the The Official Guide to Citrix XenClient 1.0 Service Pack 1 Best Practices here

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