The Dell Enterprise Forum EMEA parties have traditionally been something a bit special with previous years taking the delegates to the Tower of London and on a Trip down the River Seine in Paris. This year maybe didn’t have quite the same wow factor but it is appreciated with the show growing putting on intimate parties like that would be increasingly difficult. The party this year was a German focused event that took place in The Squire near the event and the airport >> http://www.thesquaire.com/en/the_squaire/the_project

There was food, drink, live entertainment as well as a fantastic opportunity to socialise and meet new individuals. This is the important aspect for me and it was a pleasure to meet some fantastic people from Dell, discussing many aspects of Dell and anything and everything else.

Below are a selection of photos I took at the event.

 

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Yesterday was day 2 of the Dell Enterprise Forum EMEA in Frankfurt Germany, due to attending a number of NDA sessions there wasn’t so much tweeting and blogging from me but it was a very productive and insightful day. 

Every year what stands out to me at these events is not just the content and labs, but the access to the execs and great technical people at Dell, speaking as a Dell Partner and a previous Customer the opportunity you get at these events is really unrivalled. It really does show you the levels of effort and skill that are behind the scenes, which by the time it reaches the partners and customers I feel is some times masked. 

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My day started off with a session discussing storage in a VDI world and in particular Compellent configuration options, this was really insightful and whilst the subject matter is something I feel very comfortable with the insight into the Compellent specifics was of a great help. This session also led to me speaking to some great technical people at Dell that are actually specialising in VDI in terms of storage and configuration options. I am hoping to be able to do some follow up with these guys in the future and will blog what I can. 

VDI

As mentioned all my other sessions during the day were NDA and whilst I can’t blog about these, once again I want to highlight how beneficial it is to have access to these sessions and the subsiquent access to the execs afterwards. 

Outside of the sessions I did sit the Compellent vSphere integration lab which was good to see how the integrations between the two works, particularly with the web client integration. I also had some further time speaking to vendors and looking around the show floor. 

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Random shot of hardware but I liked it! :)

During the evening reception yesterday at the Dell Enterprise Forum I spent some time speaking to some of the vendors and Dell staff on the stands on the show floor. Amongst one of the stands that grabbed my attention was the desktop virtualisation stand with Dell Wyse Thin Clients and the nVidia GRID technology on display. The Dell Wyse Cloud Connect is a pocket sized Thin Client Dongle, I had read about it when it was released but hadn’t had a chance to see it in action.

The Cloud Connect was demonstrated on a lovely Dell 27” touchscreen display (I really need to find out more about this), the Cloud Connect runs an Android OS and as well as supporting remote connectivity to all the usual VDI and Session Host providors it also supports local Android Applications and web browsing. The unit itself has built in WIFI, Bluetooth as well as a limited amount of storage, room to add further storage and USB host ports for external devices. 

With its mobile form factor and the fact that you can manage these devices via a cloud portal, this could potentially make a very interesting device for remote workers and education environments amongst others. I work with a number of companies that wish to enable staff to use their home PCs to connect into VDI environments, but due to legislation that dictates only company owned devices can connect to the VDI environment this isn’t possible. With a cost effective device like this, potentially this situation could be solved?

I need to spend some time with one of these units to figure out actually how feasible it is to use as regular thin client, but when I manage to get my hands on one I will post my results. If you are at Dell EF be sure to check it out on their stand. 

Dell Wyse Cloud Connect

All of my photos can be found on my flickr page for the conference here >> https://flic.kr/s/aHsjX7xaQX. A few of my favourite are below

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These seem to have got a lot of attention on twitter and at the conference today. I generally create these for my benefit to help me note down key takeaways from the sessions, but I am pleased to share them and if others find them useful thats great! I am creating them with Penultimate and my Evernote Stylus, they are created in real time and are probably full of spelling errors etc.

Keynote

KeyNote

News Conference

News Conference

Blogger Panel Session

Blogger Panel Session

Customer Panel Session

Customer Panel

EqualLogic Session – Growing your EqualLogic with SSD and Hybrid Member

Growing Your EqualLogic SAN with SSD and Hybrid

Yesterday we saw the announcement of VMware Horizon 6.0 with over 150 new features including some major new features for VMware Horizon View. I am not going to spend long regurgitating information already available but the main new features in this release are as follows.

  • Remote Desktop’s through Microsoft RDSH have long been supported by VMware and View but it has always been treated as a second class citizen with no PCoIP support, now RDSH desktops are fully supported with PCoIP, even more importantly you can publish individual applications from remote desktop session hosts in a similar manner to XenApp
  • Horizon Workspace now not only supports SaaS applications and ThinApps but also RDS Hosted Applications and XenApp Applications!
  • Optimization and Integration with VSAN
  • Enhanced Monitoring and Automation capabilities with VMware vCenter Operations Manager and vCloud Automation Center
  • New cloud Pod and Block Architecture allowing high availability and scale out across multiple datacenters including VCHS
The image below shows the Horizon Workspace End-User App Portal, displaying VDI Desktops, RDS Desktops, ThinApps, RDS Apps and XenApps all in one seamless view
App Portal

I am going to dig into the technical features and how to’s in the coming weeks but in the mean time I would recommend checking out the following resources for more information

FAQ

Press Release

CEO Video Message

CTO Blog Post

The Future of End User Computing

If you look at the Horizon 6 release in individual components any one feature may not be classed as ground breaking or revolutionary more maybe evolutionary, but when you stop and consider what is actually happening within end user computing at the moment, I believe this sets VMware ahead of the competition.

If we go back 2 years or more ago we were all awaiting the year of VDI, which I think we have now come to realise is never going to materialise to the same effect that virtualisation had for x86 servers. More so end user computing has become more focused around freedom and flexibility as well as the importance of user experience, if we try and deliver this with VDI alone we are not going to be able to succeced in every situation and arguably alone in any situation. We need the flexibility to be able to deliver the end user experience in the right way for the given user and potentially in different ways for this user on different devices.

We have seen VMware over the years formulating their end user computing vision with many acquisitions namely Wanova and Airwatch to allow them to tackle much more than simply VDI, with Horizon 6 we are starting to see many elements coming together. The future of end user computing isn’t just VDI, isn’t just Tablets and isn’t just SaaS it is going to be a mixture of modern technologies and legacy to support our legacy applications and the methods by which we work. Organisations are still going to be using PC’s alongside their tablets and their legacy applications alongside their ThinApps and SaaS applications, we need a solution that can be as flexible as our users requirements whilst allowing us simplicity in management, monitoring and automation.

Why is having RDS Application Publishing Support Important? I have long said that Citrix’s biggest asset has been XenApp and I have been confused with their messaging over reason years of its on going support or lack of. Whilst session based desktops and applications can have their inherent problems they also offer simplistic ways to host and distribute applications. If you are able to publish applications individually, it allows the user to seamlessly work on the device that they want without having to chop and change between the native OS and a VDI desktop.

I am really excited by the vision of End User Computing that VMware are brining to us and I believe we are now seeing a suite of products that is able to assist with your end user computing strategy what ever that maybe VDI or not. They also aren’t shy to embrace the competition which we can see with the XenApp support, if you are using these systems you don’t need to do a forklift move from XenApp as Horizon Workspace will be able to seamlessly support these applications or Horizon View 6 will help you move away if you desire.

 

 

 

As always this time of year Eric Siebert has worked tirelessly and set off this years vSphere Land Top vBlog of 2014 competition, full details can be found on his website here >> http://vsphere-land.com/news/voting-now-open-for-the-2014-top-vmware-virtualization-blogs.html

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As ever if you read my blog and like what you read I would really appreciate your votes. My top vote as I am sure many others is Duncan Eppings Yellow-Bricks.com, his ESXTOP and VSAN resources have been invaluable to me over the last few months.

Good luck to all involved.