.@lenzker’s year of VDI: What has changed in 2016 with #VMware #Horizon

Everyone working within the EUC and virtualization field knows this joke. Every year some analysts and vendors are promising us that this year is going to be the year of VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).

Within the last 5 years of my professional career I gained a lot of practical experience and feedback about VDI projects within Germany. I am trying to summarize what has happened within the VDI field over the last years and which technologies and solutions within the Horizon stack changed the way how we deliver virtual desktop in 2016 compared to 2012 (2013/2014/2015 ). If you want to see how specific Vendors within the VDI world evolved I would recommend you to also read this nice article about the state of EUC market by Rob Beekmans.

In theory a EUC strategy based on VDI offers many advantages.

  • Operational benefits (control over the desktop, easier rollouts & updates of OS and Applications)
  • Multiple access options (multiple endpoints from every location)
  • Security benefits (Data is always within a controlled domain)
  • Management benefits

To have a great VDI infrastructure as an outcome of project the following conditions should all be met within the implementation. I would simply call them success factors:

  • The Total costs of ownership (capital and operational expenditures) did not exceed the old solution
  • The user experience was identical or better than the old solution
  • The VDI design allows all of the operational benefits
  • The organization around the desktop has been adopted to manage virtual desktops

The_good_the_bad_and_the_VDI

How did the technologies and therefore our design constraints have been changed over the years? Let me try to summarize it.

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#VMworld 2016: Las Vegas in 251 Seconds (video) and some personal insights

I started in 2015 to create a short video summary of the Barcelona conference. Since more than 300 people watched the video, I thought: Let’s do it again.

Some personal experiences during the conference (not really technically related – you find the technical related articles here (product updates) and here (IMO on VMware’s strategy):

Once again VMworld was a great event and experience. Las Vegas is a extra-ordinary city. Even though not everyone favours Sin City for this tech event, it is very overwhelming (and to be honest… the lights, the buildings, the crazy people, the shows, the gambling…

I don’t like it…………………I LOVE IT!!!!

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#vBeers Munich Double Edition: (post- and pre #VMworld / Oktoberfest edition): 21th September 2016

###Update

WHEN? 21th September 2016 – 06:30PM

WHERE? Augustiner Keller (Arnulfstr. 52, 80335 München)

IMPORTANT: If you want to come it would be great if you sign yourself up in the doodle mentioned so I can make sure we have enough space/seats for our meet-up.

Sponsored? Nope ;-( (BYOW – Bring your own wallet)

The decision was pretty hard to take since 2 dates had nearly similar amount of votes. The good thing is. Let’s double the amount of #vBeers. In the week of the 26th of September I deliver a Application Management in the Horizon Enterprise to selected VMware Partner in Unterschleißheim. Therefore we will definitely meet up during this week again (#vBeers Double Edition).

WHEN? 29th September 2016 – 06:30PM

WHERE? TBD (Maybe Oktoberfest)

Sponsored? Nope ;-( (BYOW – Bring your own wallet)

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After the success of the first #vBeers I have organized in Munich, I want to meet up with friends & community geeks who are interested in virtualization & beer/drinks.

Since I moderate from time to time the (famous) #beer2b in the center of Munich, I realized that a lot of useful input/information/thinking can come up as soon as you talk to other people in the field in a relaxed atmosphere. This will be the second edition of #vBeers in Munich. We had a group of 10-12 people at our first gathering. Let’s see if we can keep up with the number.

Since VMworld US has just passed by and VMworld Europe is about to start in a few weeks, I am pretty sure we will find great topics for further discussions.

virtmeetsbiergarten

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IMO: #VMworld US 2016: My Summary (On the new products and strategy)

It’s been a few days since VMworld is over and it took me a while to internally process the input I gathered through sessions, discussions are thinking/sleeping/gambling about them.

VMworld2

After the first 2 days, many of the articles & comments about  the general sessions at VMworld have been really harsch.  And to be honest, the technological guy inside of me absolutely agrees. No announcements about the next vSphere release. The new features and updates presented on the big stage were only useful for specific customer or user-groups .

  • vSphere integrated containers for developers
  • NSX enhancements for everyone ;-)
  • Horizon and Airwatch within the EUC field

All of the announcements and presentations were solid and sense-making, but most of the people in the room were missing the great thing, this big-bang feature, the vMotion moment that made most of us curious to learn more about VMware’s technology and products.

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#VMworld US 2016: New Products and Product Updates

During (and around) VMworld 2016 VMware has lifted many of their products to a new level to enable their customer a better and more agile software-defined datacenter than ever (wow, that sounded a lot like a marketing term. Therefore, back to facts).

The following post summarize the products and some of its enhancements that have been announced or even released so far.

During day 1 of VMworld the .next version of vSphere hasn’t been released. Once this is done the article gets extended. I am still hoping for any new here.

IMG_5102

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Lets introduce #VMworld bands: Fall Out Boy and Capital Cities

When this years #VMworld party band was announced it seemed that only a few within the social network were as excited as I was:

Capital Cities & Fall Out Boy

falloutboy

To be honest the music and sound of Capital Cities is something I am not too familiar with. But especially within Germany we know them because of this great Vodafone commercial spot  (well… I am kind of a romantic guy).

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Where are we with vGPU in #Horizon #View: Features and Limitations

The Usage of Graphical Processing Unit (GPU)  within the Virtualization field is getting more and more important. Shaders of the GPU can be used for massive-parallel calculations at the same time and speed up applications tremendously. Within the End-User Computing (EUC) field the GPU plays an important role as well (depending on the use-case). Not just certain 3d applications require the acceleration through the GPU (eg. CAD applications, Quake 3), even daily applications can benefit from it (Browser, Microsoft Office, etc.).

Since vSphere 6 there is not need to hide behind XenServer (on this specific feature) since the hypervisor platform supports vGPU or as it is currently called: Shared Pass-Through graphics.

You assemble the graphics-card which must be compatible with the HCL, install its correct drivers on the ESXi and the virtual machine and voila. Here we go… End-user experience at its best. Combine it with Horizon 7 and voila… Desktop Virtualization is really getting serious.

Unfortunately there are still some limitations when you use the GPU.

Limitations:

  • no vMotion: Virtual Machines having a vGPU built in cannot be migrated away via vMotion. This will definitely have an impact on the operational processes (maintenance-mode, patching, etc.) Read more

Deploying EUC Access Point via the Deployment Utility (fling) fails

Some of you might know that VMware finally creates an alternative to the Horizon View Security Server based on a virtual linux appliance. I don’t want to argue about that topic, but I think we all can agree on that many security people will like the idea to get rid of our Windows based Security Server within the DMZ.

Since the inital deployment of VMware Access Point can be really painful, Chris Halstead created a nice little GUI that helps us during the deployment.

Just fill in the relevant parameters and the small tool will create an output string that gets executed via my beloved ‘OVFtool’.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 16.18.49

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Why #vRealize #loginsight easily enhances #VMware #Horizon #EUC

(Wow..that were quiet a bunch of #hashtags)

Even-though End-User Computing and virtualization/automation until know haven’t met the expectation of the technology-enthusiasts (‘201X is the year of #VDI’) it has matured a lot within the last years. Since the beginning of the year VMware’s log-analyzing tool vRealize Log Insight (vRLI) has been bundled to every vCenter-license (25 Operating System Instances – OSI). vRLI is therefore a great opportunity to pro-active monitor log-files of all relevant Horizon components if you have smaller environment you can ‘for free’ (with no additional costs to be more specific).

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 10.14.59

The hypervisor has become a rock-solid stable product used as a platform for virtual machines and therefore virtual desktops. But the #EUC stack in VMware’s portfolio called #Horizon is creating new layers of components on top of the vSphere stack. So what is important to deliver a great EUC experience and directly increase the outcome of a company generating a lot of its profit out of desktop applications?

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