HP and Desktop Virtualization

HP and Desktop Virtualization

Summary: In a seemingly endless list of competitors in what could be called "desktop virtualization," HP stands out as one of the few competitors that plays in desktop systems, portable systems, handheld systems, blade PCs, blade servers, traditional servers, software and professional services. So, when Tad Bodeman of HP wanted to discuss HP's "Remote Client Solutions" I was more than happy to make time on my calendar for the chat.

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In a seemingly endless list of competitors in what could be called "desktop virtualization," HP stands out as one of the few competitors that plays in desktop systems, portable systems, handheld systems, blade PCs, blade servers, traditional servers, software and professional services. So, when Tad Bodeman of HP wanted to discuss HP's "Remote Client Solutions" I was more than happy to make time on my calendar for the chat. Let's face it, HP's story is complex. That's because it is very comprehensive. Tad was able to bring the story down to real-life scenarios so even a over worked analyst could understand what the company was doing.

I'm not sure that I could do justice to everything HP is doing in this area in a short post here. Let me just summarize HP's story by saying the company is offering a broad portfolio of hardware, the software necessary to drive that hardware, a huge list of partners and a powerful service organization that few companies could hope to match.

About the only downsides to HP's story that I could mention revolve around the comprehensive approach to engineering that HP deploys. I know. Picky, picky, picky.

Quite often HP will start working on something and while they're architecting and then testing the heck out of their product, others quickly bring a competitive product to market. So, even though HP may have started first and may produce a better product, they appear to be first in industry followship rather than industry leadership. HP's proponents don't appear to mind. They'd rather wait for a well engineered product rather than jumping onto a technology that was not as well thought out or tested. Believe it or not, HP has been benchmarking quite a number of different approaches to providing remote access to applications and data not just designing products. They want to be totally confident that their products will perform well in a customer's environment.

HP also has a tendency to develop more than one solution to a problem (for architectural completeness I suspect) and customers need to take the time to understand all of them before making a selection. To steal a section of a television spot, Slapping one's head and saying, "I could have had a V-8" won't be of much use if an organization selects a combination of products from HP that won't quite hit the desired mark. I guess that's one of the reasons why HP has developed such a strong services organization.

If your organization is using one of HP's remote client solutions could you let us know what you're doing, why you selected HP's approach over that offered by others and what kind of benefit your organization has gotten due to that choice?

Topics: Servers, CXO, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Virtualization

About

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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  • What about OS Streaming ?

    I used in the past an amazing product developed by a small French company named Qualystem.
    The product was named LAN-PC3 and it was able to stream a complete virtual disk to diskless clients. I used to build "cheap diskless PCs" with Via Epia boards and to stream Windows XP Pro OS to these clients, from a Linux server.
    The beauty was that the local OS on the clients "believed" it had a real disk drive, but actually there was a single virtual disk drive file on the server, that all the client used at the same time.
    There was no deployment to do: We just had to teach the user how to update its single virtual disk file and all the clients could use the updated disk after they rebooted.
    We could also share such a virtual Windows XP disk drive to VMWare "diskless guests" and connect an RDP client to such guests (we were doing VDI before VDI existed, without any connection broker thought).
    My customers were mainly schools and libraries. And I think that a lot of them still uses the solution we built for them.

    I know that Qualystem has been acquired by Neoware and that Neoware marketed and sold the same product under "Neoware Image Manager" name.

    Now that Neoware has been acquired by HP, it seems that there are a few web pages on HP site regarding "Neoware Image Manager", but I thought that there would be more focus on this "virtual desktop" technology/OS Streaming now that everyone is talking about VDI.

    In the past, with this product, I could stream a Windows XP Pro OS to a VMWare guest, stream another Windows XP OS - it could have been XP embedded, but I used XP Pro - to a diskless device and run "Remote Desktop" so that diskless device opened the remote desktop that was run on VMWare guest. I did that for maintenance reasons, I never thought about using it for "production" in the way that what the smart folks thought about for VDI!

    So what about "OS Streaming" in HP? It seems that they own a decent technology for that, that it fits perfectly in the "Desktop Virtualization" scope... I would love to be able to offer complete "HP virtual desktop" solutions to my customers, with an "OS Streaming" component. I think it would be perfect for some usages (even if not for all the cases, of course)
    zaz0u