Is There a Microsoft “Mobile First, Cloud First” Strategy for VDI?

Since Satya Nadella became Microsoft’s CEO, “mobile first, cloud first” is the new mantra.  But what about Windows desktops and applications delivered from the cloud?  If you want to establish an enterprise-level VDI or remote desktop environment that is only based on Microsoft products and components, you will be confronted with different management challenges. While the individual components of an RDVH/RDSH environment are great, putting them together properly and maintaining them sufficiently is a dark art.  Sure thing, Citrix and VMware are able to compensate such shortcomings, but is this what Microsoft really wants? If not, what are the missing pieces? Read more..

Seamless Remote Apps Reloaded

What a coincidence! While I was working on the draft version of a slide deck Nico Luedemann (@NicoLuedemann) and I want to use during our “Microsoft RemoteApp versus Citrix Published Applications” sessions at Citrix Synergy in Anaheim and BriForum in London, VMware made a spectacular announcement. They said they will include access to Microsoft Remote Desktop Session Host and published applications in the upcoming VMware Horizon version 6, using Teradici’s PCoIP protocol. It was only an announcement like many others before, but this one certainly generated a substantial buzz in the VDI and desktop remoting market space. For details, check out the following articles published by Brian Madden (BrianMadden.com), Warren Ponder and Pat Lee (VMware), Kit Colbert (VMware), Rakesh Narasimhan (Citrix) and Gunnar Berger (Gartner). Now let me take a step back and think out loud what this means when looking at it from a technical perspective. Read more..

3D Graphics for Virtual Desktops Smackdown

Yesterday, Ruben Spruijt (@rspruijt), Shawn Bass (@shawnbass) and I published our brand new whitepaper “3D Graphics for Virtual Desktops Smackdown”. Our intention is to provide an independent overview of GPU-accelerated desktop virtualization solutions and products. Like Ruben and Shawn, I’m absolutely convinced that accelerating the remoting of 3D graphics by hardware is a game changer in our industry. Running high-end CAD/CAM application in virtual desktops and gaming from the cloud are only two of the most obvious use cases. But there are many more, leveraging greater flexibility at work, seamless application integration, improved security and control, and advanced Bring Your Own scenarios. Even though suitable GPUs are still expensive today, prices will drop after a while and most certainly make GPU-accelerated remoting a commodity. Now is the time to investigate the opportunities this hot technology brings to enterprises and public administrations, allowing you to make smart decisions in the near future. Find more details about the whitepaper on BrianMadden.com. The complete, unbiased and independent whitepaper can be downloaded here. Read more..

Synergy 2014, here we come…

In a little bit more than a month from now, it’s Citrix Synergy time again. Synergy will take place May 6-8, 2014, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. This global Citrix conference is focused on virtualization, mobility, networking and cloud solutions. I’m looking forward to play an active role in three breakout sessions in the virtualization track:

  • SYN324 Comparing GPU-accelerated high-end graphics performance of virtual desktop platforms, Tuesday, May 6, 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm, ACC room 304C, together with Shawn Bass
  • SYN255 Smackdown on hardware graphics solutions for VDI: 2014 edition, Thursday, May 8, 8:30 am – 9:15 am, ACC Ballroom A, together with Ruben Spruijt and Shawn Bass
  • SYN249 Delivering seamless remote applications: Citrix published applications vs Microsoft RemoteApp, Thursday, May 8, 10:30 am – 11:15 am, ACC Room 303A, together with Nico Luedemann

But there is much more. For details, check out www.citrixsynergy.com. To find my sessions in the session catalog, simply click on the banner below.

SynergySpeaker

 

Spring Conference Season Kick-Off

Only a couple of more days and it’s time to kick off the spring 2014 conference season. Over the next weeks I have a full slate of appearances at upcoming technology events. It all starts March 10 to 13 at the CeBIT computer expo in Hannover, Germany. I will present four sessions on the IT Pro stage at the Microsoft booth in hall 4. My session topics are hardware-accelerated graphics performance over RemoteFX and using PowerShell for automating the installation of RDS lab environments on Hyper-V. Only one day later, on March 14, I will be on a visit to the Dutch Citrix User Group in Amsterdam, presenting a session on “GPU-accelerated high-end graphics performance in Citrix XenServer/XenDesktop environments”. Read more..

GPU Accelerated VDI

A little while ago, VDI expert and community fellow Ruben Spruijt (@rspruijt) asked Shawn Bass (@shawnbass) and me if we want to join him to write a new “smackdown” whitepaper on hardware accelerated graphics solutions for VDI. In the past, Ruben has published a number of such comparison whitepapers covering various topics, and they enjoy a great reputation in the market. The goal of this new whitepaper is to inform community and industry about use cases, vendors, solutions, technologies and differences around hardware accelerated desktop virtualization. But why is this important? This article sheds some light on why I truly believe that GPU accelerated virtual desktops and remote Windows applications will be a general trend in the near future. Read more..

VDI Market Constellation 2.0

For so many years we took it for granted that when it comes to End User Computing and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Microsoft and Citrix are close friends and VMware is their enemy. This rather simple view of the world allowed IT consultants and IT architects to make equally simple statements about hypervisors and desktop brokers. Depending on their preference, they recommended either a Microsoft/Citrix-only or a VMware-only solution. In the second half of October and in early November I had the opportunity to attend VMware VMworld in Barcelona, Citrix Technology Exchange in Munich, Microsoft Partner Conference in Kassel and Microsoft TechNet Conference in Berlin. At these events I came to the conclusion that nothing’s like it used to be, and here is why. Read more..

SenseConnector – an RDP Client for Hyper-V and Azure

I like to get my fingers dirty with new Windows tools and technologies. Typically, I only believe what I see in my own test lab. This helps me both in my role as CTO for bluecue consulting and as an active member of the virtualization community. A typical scenario is that I install an entire proof of concept or demo environment with several VMs and connect to them by using the RDP/RemoteFX protocol. For this use case, I have checked out a number of different RDP clients, such as Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Manager, ASG-Remote Desktop (fka vRD), Devolution Remote Desktop Manager, rdesktop, Royal TS, mRemote, iShadow or iTap mobile. They all have their strengths, but none of them suits my particular requirements when installing test environments hosted on servers or laptops with Hyper-V. What I really need is a lean tool with some particular virtual lab manager and live demo features. The good news is that I was able to convince a developer team to build such an RDP client, called SenseConnector. Read more..

Remoting Protocol Testing Methodology

Over the last couple of weeks and months, Shawn Bass and I have presented the latest findings of our remoting protocols comparison tests at several industry events, such as Citrix Synergy, BriForum and VMworld. Even though I have already published a blog article on “How to Compare Remoting Protocols”, session attendees are still asking us what our exact testing methodology is. In addition, they want to know what the difference is between our tests and other tests. So I thought it’s time to shed some light on this and update the information provided in my previous article. Read more..

Summer Break is over

Summer break is finally over! After living off the grid for a couple of weeks, I’m now back in business again. Since mid-June I’ve only delivered some sessions and workshops at community events, such as CUGTech in Norway, BriForum in Chicago and ice:Lingen in Germany. But I did not published any blog article. If you want to know why, just check out this article on BrianMadden.com. (Thanks Brian, Gabe and Jack.) If you want to know what I’m up to in the future, here’s another article on www.bluecue-consulting.com that sheds some light on this topic. (Thanks Nico.)

The good news is that I’ve used the time between jobs to get some work done in my little research lab. I’ve upgraded my protocol comparison test and recording environment, played around with interesting new product prototypes and invested some time into designing some cool tools. Now I can get back to writing about interesting community stuff. Stay tuned.