Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the CTP meeting followed by Citrix Synergy in Anaheim. In contrast to last year, I must say that this time it was a great experience. Citrix seems to be back on track when it comes to their “bread-and-butter” business around XenApp and XenDesktop. During his keynote, Citrix CEO Mark Templeton spent substantial time on introducing XenDesktop 7, formerly known as Project Excalibur. Read more..
I’m traveling a lot and I like to be able to test and demo things while I’m on the road. This is why I wanted to build an entire Windows Server 2012 RDS environment on my Windows 8 laptop with Hyper-V installed. A major goal was to make sure that I can play around with new features and functionalities introduced with Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8, such as the new version of RemoteFX. So initially I created four VMs and installed Windows Server 2012 on them using my TechNet licenses. The names of the VMs are DC, Infra, RDSH1 and RDSH2, each configured with a minimum of 1GB and a maximum of 2GB dynamic memory. In this article I will walk you through all further installation steps to build a working test environment. Read more..
When Shawn Bass and I attended the Microsoft MVP Summit in February, we presented the latest results of our remoting protocol comparison tests to the Microsoft Remote Desktop Services product team. The good news is that generally speaking they confirmed all our findings – the RDS product team has a long history of conducting their own scalability and performance tests. To make a long story short, RDP 8, which may also be called RemoteFX v2, made a huge step forward. This brings the most important question back on the table: Is the Remote Desktop Services functionality as shipped with Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 finally good enough for the enterprise? Read more..
Only a couple of months ago I wrote an article about how to use a Windows 8 tablet as a client hypervisor. Inspired by the promising results of this first test, I decided to go a big step further. I got me an HP EliteBook 8560w laptop with i7 CPU, 32GB of RAM, NVIDIA Quadro GPU and a 256GB OCZ Vertex4 SSD. On this mobile workstation I installed Windows 8 Enterprise edition and activated the Hyper-V role in the same way I did it previously on my tablet. The goal was to use the laptop for resource-intensive work, for testing and for high-end demos when I’m on the road. Now that I’ve used this setup for a couple of weeks I want to share my experience with you. Read more..
At one of the virtualization conferences where I presented a breakout session, I was asked to join a couple of other speakers for a panel discussion. To my big surprise, the conversation got sort of confusing when the question “What are the benefits of desktop virtualization?” came up. I thought that by now everyone in the market knows when desktop virtualization or desktop remoting are beneficial – and when not. This was obviously not the case. In addition to that, some of the speakers and many attendees didn’t know about the variety of goals that may lead to desktop conversion projects. Read more..
While at Citrix Synergy in Barcelona and at AppSense Management Summit in Daresbury over the last two weeks, I had many opportunities to exchange thoughts with customers, community peers and colleagues. One of the topics discussed most was the announcement of Citrix Excalibur as part of project Avalon, which is a solution designed to deliver Windows from the cloud. Avalon was first introduced at Citrix Synergy in San Francisco earlier this year (see also my blog article The VDI Party is Over), but in Barcelona things became a lot clearer. Read more..
In the past, I’ve been using Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 with Hyper-V activated on my laptop. For more details, read my two blog articles Building a Hyper-V Client Hypervisor – An Experiment and Building a Hyper-V Client Hypervisor – Part 2. But now Windows 8 is available, and it comes with a built-in client hypervisor called Hyper-V for Windows 8. As you can imagine, I’ve done some tests with this new Windows workstation role right from the beginning. Here’s what I’ve learned so far. Read more..
Summer break is over, and the fall 2012 conference and event season starts here and now. I’m getting ready to meet with Shawn Bass at Frankfurt airport this Sunday and fly to Billund in Denmark. From there, our community friend Rene Vester will pick us up and bring us to the Atea training facilities in Aarhus where Shawn and I will be teaching our 5-day Citrix and RDS MasterClass. We added stuff like Windows Server 2012, RemoteFX and Windows 8 to our agenda.
On September 8, Shawn and I will be at ice:2012, a really cool community event in Lingen, Germany. We will be presenting our latest results on comparing remoting protocols on mobile devices connected to 3G and 4G networks. A couple of days later, on September 13, I will be doing a “user is king” session at PCO Live in Osnabrueck, Germany. Next is a breakout session about advanced mobility use cases at Mobile IT in Dusseldorf, Germany, on September 20. So many great topics in such a short time. This is what I really like about my job – never a dull moment
And that’s only September. More great events to come in October, such as VMware VMworld and Citrix Synergy in Barcelona…
Only days after I have published my blog articleon Azure and Windows Server, Microsoft officially announced their Windows Server 2012 licensing model including pricing. You can check it out at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/2012-editions.aspx. The interesting thing about this Microsoft announcement is that it fits nicely into what I have predicted: Microsoft is getting ready for the cloud by making Windows Server a real cloud OS – and Windows Server 2012 is the first step into this direction. The new licensing model is simpler than ever before, no more Enterprise Edition or Web Edition. What I like most is that Standard Edition and Datacenter Edition both include the same feature set. The only difference is the number of virtual instances; two per Standard Edition license and unlimited with a Datacenter Edition license.
The only piece that’s still missing so far is an updated licensing model for virtual/remote desktop and remote application access.
After being a speaker on the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Community Roadshow and an attendee of Microsoft TechEd in Amsterdam, I want to share with you what my thoughts are on Microsoft’s current strategy. I get the impression that the more people are complaining and bitching about the Windows 8 user interface, the more relaxed Microsoft gets about that. It’s the old media principle “any news is good news” that applies here. If people are debating the different aspects of Windows 8 – including the announcement of the Surface tablet – in such a passionate manner, it must be relevant. Mission accomplished! But even more importantly, the public debate about Win8 allows Microsoft to secretly work on other stuff that may be even more relevant. So what are those things “hiding” behind Windows 8. Read more..