Steve Herrods VMworld Keynote Summary

Welcome to the tuesday General Session. Steve Herrod is taking the stage with some cool new stuff. This blogpost is typed as-we-go, so bear with me if anything is misspelled or looks chaotic πŸ™‚


Steve is looking at three phases in VDI: Simplify, Manage and Connect. These three phases are important to distinguish: First you simplify, you need to manage your setup, and users need to connect. View 5 is built to accommodate this to the max.

Up next, the new goodness for small businesses and finally… Melvin the Monster VM!

The new way end-users will do their business

It is no longer about “just having a desktop”. Interaction will be bigger than ever before. The following stuff in introduced:

ThinApp factory and Horizon
New cool stuff. ThinApp factory will enable you to have your applications without the full weight of a VDI desktop. As SaaS applications are becoming a standard, you can have these put into a ThinApp bubble. Horizon is a centralized solution the enables your users to connect to these SaaS applications directly, using your local domain for management.

The way I see it, VDI may already be on its way out. The browser is going to be king. Wide and easy support for both mobile and less mobile devices. But do not stop your VDI project just yet, we’re not there quite yet πŸ™‚

Project Octopus
Using DropBox? Probably YES. Should you be using DropBox? Probably NO. Security is an issue here. But if the industry does not deliver these solutions, users will find a way, for example through DropBox. Project Octopus is exactly about this, but as a corporate solution. In either private and/or public cloud, you can access your data but in a secured environment.

Horizon Mobile
We ahve seen this for years, but it was never released. Now finally, it is being announced officially: A virtual machine running on your mobile phone. With a click on your mobile, you start a virtual instance on the same device that will start your “company phone”. All on one device! Bringing your own device is going to be both easy and secure. It effectively separates business from home.

AppBlast is a cool new thingy… It enables you to for example view an Excel file without actually having Excel or a viewer installed. AppBlast is able to display these files by converting them on-the-fly to HTML. Cool!

View 5: some cool new features

Announced today: VMware View 5. This new version is an important update to VMware’s VDI solution as a broker for virtual desktops.

Persona disks
An important new feature is the ability to have persona disks. These disks can hold all user specific information and can be detached and attached to VMware View5 desktops. So all user specific data can now “survive” even when your desktops need to be recomposed.

PCoIP improvements
PCoIP has been improved even further. The latency boundary is upped once again, giving you a better experience even on high latency lines. The Hand-on-Labs are a clear example of the power of View: Part of the labs are running out of Amsterdam, with latencies around 180ms! Another improvement on PCoIP is the ability to keep the delivered image from being rendered lossless. This saves a lot of bandwidth and vastly improves the experience.

Support for 3D graphics
3D-enabled desktops in View? Yes! Using PCoIP, you can now actually get 3D enabled inside your View5 vDesktop, immediately apparent when you enable Windows 7 Aero πŸ™‚

Client-side caching
On Windows desktops, you can now use client-side caching for parts of the display. Another small addition in the battle to fight bandwidth and latency limitations.

Some unannounced View 5 stuff
In previous View versions there was a limit for the number of VMs per LUN. This also applied to NFS, while NFS is not directly bound to VMFS limitations. In View 5, this limit has been lifted. OW yeah, you can now have up to 1000 vDesktops per pool!

Also, View 5 is supposed to solve the linked clone problem. This I gotta see πŸ™‚

iPad client

Cool new toy: Using your iPad to control your vSphere environment. Truly used by administrators? We’ll see. It ‘s cool anyway πŸ˜›

VMware Go and other new SMB features

VMware Go is the enabler for small businesses. It is web based, and you start out with scanning your network for your physical environment. VMware Go will automatically detect, identify and convert your stuff into ESXi.

For the same target audience, vSphere 5 introduces the VMware VSA. Shared storage for the smallest environments, neatly integrated with vSphere.

Continuing on the SMB front, SRM5 is able to use a feature called Host Based Replication (HBR). Now even the smallest SMBs can build a very compact version of VMware Site Recovery Manager.

The new networking trick: VXLAN

A brand new networking feature is something VMware has been working on for years. In an attempt to separate persona from location, VXLAN enables you to put layer 2 networking into layer3.

There was a cool analogy to phones: Just like your fixed phone, your persona and location are linked. With your mobile phone, the location and persona are no longer linked to each other. I’m not sure yet what it will look like exactly, or if we even need it at all. One thing is for sure: Can’t wait to see more of this!

Sneak preview: vCenter Operations mamager

Very cool stuff. vCenter Operations manager is actually able to look inside your VMs without any agents, then correlate the VMs and find out how they link together. Once that has been figured out, correlate this to VMware Site Recovery Manager and vShield. And best of all… Monitor it all. The next step on yet another front.

My take on this

Today Steve Herrod delivered a very convincing story today. User experience is placed first, and in the end that is how it should be.

The link to vSphere 5 made the story a complete one. Storage DRS and all other goodness inside vSphere 5 completes the picture. I left out most of the new vSphere 5 stuff in this post, because I previously posted this in vSphere 5: The Next Level.

Seeing all the bits being put together, VMware really took it to the next level.

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