Monday, April 07, 2008

The importance of (VMware) Unity

I'll start this post by talking about Citrix instead of VMware...

Part I: About Citrix's Seamless Applications

One of the things that Citrix has offered enterprises for many years already is the integration of a remote desktop with a local desktop by means of seamless windows. In theory, one does not need to know whether an application is running locally or on the server: it looks the same and reacts the same. This is important, especially if you note that Microsoft released a similar feature only with their just-released (2008) version of the Windows server OS.

Part II: About VDI

As an alternative to server based computing, VDI is gaining a lot of momentum lately. For specific users and workload, running a desktop on a virtualization platform can have significant benefits over traditional fat clients or server based computing.

The idea remains the same, however, and remote desktop protocols are required to transfer relevant data over the wire. In practice, what we 'see' on the client side is a published desktop, not an application. This is where the final part comes in:

Part III: Seamless VDI

What if we need just 1 application from our corporate VDI desktop and not the full desktop environment (with icons, Start menu, etc.)? We would need seamless applications for a VDI desktop.

Citrix obviously is able to achieve this with XenDesktop (they did it with Presentation Server), and now VMware is ready too. The technical roadblock that is required to embed applications running in a virtual desktop on the local machine is tackled. The rest is a matter of using an appropriate remote desktop protocol.

I wouldn't be surprised if the next version of VMware VDI/VDM support 'seamless' VDI applications, embedded in the local client desktop.

VMware Workstation 6.5 beta: Unity

Unity is a feature in the new beta of VMware Workstation that allows users to see only specific windows inside the VM, as opposed to a complete virtualized desktop. The feature exists already in VMware Fusion, the Mac counterpart of Workstation. This feature is long awaited and a welcome addition to the functionality of the product.

I was expecting a lot of comments about how this is a major roadblock in the ongoing battle with Citrix and Microsoft. I didn't find any references in the line of what I was thinking, so I will put them here. See my next post for what I think is the importance of Unity.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

VMware vscsiStats: The paper

I wrote about vscsiStats before, but it seems I was amongst the first to do so. Luckily, one of the creators has put some more info on his blog. In this post, he refers to his paper about the technology.

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