June 3, 2008 - Sven Huisman

CDG Technical Update Event 5

This afternoon I visited the 5th Technical Update Event organized by CDG, a dutch distributor and training company of VMware, Citrix, RES and more. At these events, there are allways 3 products presented or technically explained. This time the following products were presented:

The Installfree presentation was okay. A colleague told me about this new Application virtualization product and he was very enthousiastic about it. I attended a webinar a couple of weeks ago, and it couldn’t impress me a lot. This time the presentation impressed me more.

InstallFree has 2 main products, InstallFree Bridge and InstallFreeDesktop. Bridge is for application streaming and Desktop is for presenting a shell to the user with applications. Both can be made available offline. Besides that, there is the Encapsulator (the one that actually packages the applications) which uses a mini-OS, so you don’t need a clean PC to package applications. The applications will use this mini-OS. None of the products are released yet, but are soon to be.

The advantages are:

  • Ease of administration. You can give users, groups or OU’s rights to applications, plugins or even updates.
  • Virtualized applications can interact with each other, for example: in the demo Excel 2002 was integraded in Word 2007.
  • Application can be streamed over HTTP(S).
  • Integration with the desktop.
  • User data is sync’d. 

As I said, I was impressed. But as a VMware-fan, I’m really looking forward to VMware’s Application Virtualization sollution Thinapp (the new name for Thinstall). This will also feature dynamic linking between virtual packages. I haven’t seen the latest beta, but I will try it soon.

Next up was Vizioncore. vEssentials is a bundle of 3 products:

  • vRanger Pro – Backup
  • vReplicator – Replicate VM to other destination(s)
  • vCharter – Monitoring

I had heared from these products in the past, but never used them. From what I saw today there are some of the features that these products have I’d like to see in the next release of VMware 🙂 :

  • vRanger and vReplicator uses VSS (Volume Shadow copy Service). The presenter claimed that vizioncore was unique on the market with this feature. 
  • vCharter has a lot of must-haves like: alerting on things you really want to now (VMkernel swap for example) and trend-analyses. Click here for a video.

Final was VMware with Site Recovery Manager. There a already a lot of things said about this new product, but here are 2 points that I want to mention:

  • SRM is said to be released on June 19th 2008.
  • SRM 1.0 version is not able to failback after a site-failover. You can do it, but you have to manually reconfigure a failover the other way around.

Afterwards there was junkfood and we got a goodie-bag. I couldn’t stay for the food, but the goodie-bag was okay:

  • 1 GB VMware USB-key
  • a mini-mouse from vizioncore with automatic rollup cord
  • a little lamp-key-thing from vizioncore (useless)
  • Evaluation CD from Platespin
  • Mini noteblock from Vizioncore
  • a Vizioncore pen

Update: presentations can be downloaded here.

Virtualization news CDG / Installfree / Site Recovery Manager / SRM / vCharter / Vizioncore / VMware / vRanger / vReplicatior /

Comments

  • Hey Sven, nice recap of the event!

    I went into the event thinking about InstallFree: what’s all the fuzz about? But now that I’ve seen it; it does look promising en distinctive.

    What differs InstallFree from the rest is their JeOS based principle of the mini-OS that Sven mentioned (what they call the “IFV Core Engine”). This IVF Core Engine contains a read\write file system, virtual registry, virtual services, named objects, services manager, a so called PowerGuest protection layer and a special dynamic Real-Time Connectivity Layer. This makes “snapshotting” and deploying the applications a lot easier since no clean OS is needed and various platforms are directly supported (Windows XP, Vista, 32bit, 64bit). Also in SBC and VDI scenario’s like with XenApp, MS Terminal Server and within VM’s this is easily applicable.

    That is what, in my opinion, makes InstallFree differentiate themselves from the rest. So I’m curious how for example the new ThinApp is going to compare to this.

    But… all is beta and their “top-product” InstallFree Desktop is not being released soon, so let’s wait and see!