May 19, 2010 - Matthijs Haverink

VMware View 4.5 Expected Features

Yesterday I had a presentation (not under NDA) from VMware about the improvements and features that we can expect with View 4.5 (no guarantees) and I was impressed as well as disappointed.  Impressed by the small additions/improvements that together create a more mature and complete Desktop Virtualization solution. Disappointed about the fact that the feature that really drew my attention : Virtual Profiles (the RTOSoft acquisition) has some big disadvantages which gives me the feeling I still need a “real” Profile Virtualization solution.

It’s my personal guess, not mentioned by VMware, that View 4.5 will be released at VMworld 2010 San Fransisco in August 2010.

First thing: the client hypervisor There’s been a lot of buzz about View 4.5 and the client hypervisor that would be in or out. It’s pretty clear that VMware won’t release its client hypervisor with View 4.5. I think it shows by the sales strategy they seem to choose as you can read in Brian Madden’s post. And its not that I’m falling for the sales blabla of VMware but I don’t really see the value of the client hypervisor for business needs at this moment. I see it being used in BYOPC concepts but especially for the Dutch market, where Bring Your Own PC concepts aren’t really common mainly because of legal/tax related issues, I find it hard to come up with a good use case.

Then Virtual Profiles: finally VMware starts completing the View product with features that are unbearable in a Desktop Virtualization scenario. With Virtual Profiles VMware offers a technique that “detaches” your Windows profile from the OS. It works nice but if I understand it correctly it is still very much based on the roaming profiles technology of Windows itself. And the biggest downside : since it depends so much on the profiling technique of Windows itself it needs different profiles for Windows XP (profile v1) and Windows Vista/7 (profile v2). So this won’t help you migrate from XP to Windows 7 since all user settings will be lost! And that is a real killer when you ask me… Desktop Virtualization projects are often combined with a Desktop OS upgrade and if this is the case you still need a third party product from a party like Immidio, AppSense, RES, Scense etc.

And the inflexibility between desktop Operating Systems isn’t the only downside. The Virtual Profiles solution is a VMware View only solution. So if you switch to a VMware View solution for 100% of your desktops it might be a good solution. But wake up; VDI is perfect in certain use cases but in the majority you will have local desktops and/or terminal servers in your environment too. What about them? How do you manage user profiles in those environments?

Well enough negativity; there are some pretty cool improvements that all together create a pretty mature solution:

–          “Local Mode” : off-line VDI finally out of experimental phase. There is also a new role in this scenario: the Transfer Server.

–          ThinApp 4.5 with Application Entitlement (assign applications to Desktop Pools; MSI only)

–          Tiered Storage : define different datastores for different datatypes (replica’s, userdata etc.) <- great feature !

–          Full Sysprep support

–          Disposable Disk technology (ability to identify Temp/Swap data in your image and clean that data automatically).

–          Snapshot support for Linked Clones (Floating Pool)

–          Role Based Administration

–          Kiosk Mode Desktop Pools (GUI suppression and device-based assignments)

–          Native MacOS client

–          Web Download Portal (for downloading the client software via the web)

–          A good dashboard with more event logging for better troubleshooting

In general all the interfaces look better because of the use of Adobe Flex. Adobe Flex is the new standard for VMware management consoles. And yes: a standard also means that in the future we can expect seamless integration of different management consoles from View and vCenter for example!

All together I think VMware is making a big step with View 4.5 and it really starts to compete with the more mature Citrix XenDesktop solution!

Virtual Desktop / Virtual Infrastructure / Virtualization news / Workspace Management BYOC / Client Hypervisor / entitlement / expected / features / local mode / off-line VDI / Thinapp 4.5 / tiered storage / View 4.5 / VMware / VMworld 2010 /

Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Great post !

  • Marshall says:

    “starts to compete with the more mature Citrix XenDesktop solution” ?

    Yes, if you are looking for a pure LAN based VDI solution. But then it still lacks performance. PCOIP is a marketing joke. And if you want something more like remote access, you are completely left in the cold. VMWare doesn’t “get” the desktop.

    • vmlover says:

      How can you say PCoIP is a “marketing joke”…have you tried it, have you tested it….I think not.

      Try it compare it against ICA or whatever and then you will see. Both LAN and WAN it performs as good if not better. And if you say it doesnt work over WAN – it does extremely well – we have done tests with 30 users across 8 MB line with heavy usage (no multimedia) and peak usage for 30 was 200K. PCoIP is UDP based so if you have tested it with a WAN sim then forget it. Need a specifc WAN sim that understands UDP.

      • I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. The tests I’ve seen so far show ICA with HDX as the better protocol over PCoIP. But PCoIP being a marketing joke is bogus too: I’ve seen it work pretty good, but it just isn’t ICA.

        But what do you expect from a company (I know they bought PCoIP) that just entered the “user-end/user-experience” market ?

      • Tom says:

        I am unable to use PCOIP through my firewall do you need to setup a direct connection on the connection server?

  • Adam says:

    PCoIP is certainly a great display protocol. However in some scenarios of slow remote connections (like over certain WANs) there may be issues where PCoIP doesn’t function quite as well. In those cases, you can complement the VMware View deployment with Ericom Blaze, a software-based RDP acceleration and compression product that provides improved performance over WANs. Besides delivering higher frame rates and reducing screen freezes and choppiness, Blaze accelerates RDP performance by up to 10-25 times, while significantly reducing network bandwidth consumption over low-bandwidth/high latency connections.

    You can use VMware View with PCoIP for your LAN and fast WAN users, and at the same time use VMware View with Blaze over RDP for your slow WAN users. This combined solution can provide enhanced performance in both types of environments, letting you get the best out of VMware View for your users.

    Read more about Blaze and download a free evaluation at:
    http://www.ericom.com/ericom_blaze.asp?URL_ID=708

    Adam