BriForum Day 1 VDI Smack down


This was a comparison of all the different VDI products on the market.

Brian thinks that VDI is still not ready for general main stream use like XenApp/Terminal Services is. He think now it is good for point solutions but that in a year our two it will be main stream.

Brian is of the opinion that the management interface, connection broker and web portal are all the same and not a reason to buy one over the other.

Protocols is one of the big bottle necks in deployment of VDI solutions.

He said the only one that has true image management is Citrix via Provisioning Server. All the others use an ugly cloning, linking syspreping process that is not clean like PVS.

He did a survey on how many used ESX/Xen/other from Virtual Iron on Microsoft. Half the room raised their hand for ESX, two people raided their hand for Xen and nobody raised their hand for any of the other products.

Representatives from all venders were in the audience

He compared the 5 mainstream products:

– Citrix XenDesktop
– VMware VDM 2
– Qumranet Solid ICE
– Quest/Provision Networks Virtual Access Suite
– Ericom PowerTerm WebConnect

Citrix XenDesktop

– VDI Only
– XenServer, Hyper-V, ESX or blades for hosting/managing VDI sessions
– Derivative of XenApp – For example if you know XenApp then the learning curve is very small.
– Uses ICA – Port ICA and is a bit different than the XenApp ICA.
– Some of the ICA features are not there – Multimedia features for example
– Same WI as XenApp
– Same farm concept
– etc..

VMware VDI – VMware Created the VDI term.

– VDM is has the lest functionality of the products compared. All of the other products have some sort of wow factor that no one else has.
– RDP+, the + is a multimedia feature add-on.

Qumranet Solid ICE

– Complete solution (hypervisor based on KVM, broker, protocol) – all in one from one vendor.
– Amazing technology
– SPICE Protocol – best one of all – can run full motion high def video.
– SPICE doesn’t work over a WAN because it requires more bandwidth for all of multimedia to work.
– For WANs they use RDP because for WAN you can’t expect those anyway.
– Has the biggest WOW factor
– KVM designer works for Qumranet
– Higher density of VMs – 52 VDI sessions on a dual quad core/16 GB RAM giving each 1 GB RAM.
– Does memory sharing like VMware

Quest Virtual Access Suited (formerly Provision Networks)

– TS and VDI solution from one management interface
– App and Desktop support
– Can totally manage ESX/Virtaul Iron VMs from creating to deletion to deploying.
– Basic support for other hypervisors
– RDP soon RGS – an HP solution

Ericom PowerTerm WebConnect

– very similar to Quest VAS
– Most Hypervisor agnostic
– RDP, Teradici PC-over-IP

A very informative session. I want to check out the SPICE protocol in action in the demo lab.


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