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Symantec & DinamiQs strong into the VDI Market

Created: 26 Mar 2010 • Updated: 29 Jul 2010
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In 2013 there will be over 500 Million virtual desktops according to Gartner. To reach these numbers and to get a high grade of customer adaptation the price of a single Virtual Desktop needs to go down. In the beginning of the 80's most companies were using a $299 device called a typewriter. The typewriter was a very stable device that needed no maintenance, further than exchanging the ribbon. Years and years the typewriter was the only way of getting letters to the customers in a good fashionable way. Off course several people have good handwriting and they can write them.

Then marketing people went to the customers and they explained that exchanging their $299 typewriter for a $2999 computer would be the best thing to do.

No way you can sell devices to end customers that need a lot of maintenance, training and expensive consultants just because they are 900% more expensive. The new device called personal computer was sold because it ensured end users the ability to store data in a centralized place so that everybody with an identical device could use the data inside the company. The personal computer soon took over the place of the typewriter and now there are almost no typewriters left.

The era of the personal desktop has started and collaboration of data, processes and knowledge was started. With this collaboration it became much easier to share all of this without sending mail by putting postage stamps on it.

25 years ago a new era started and this was called the World Wide Web, or better known as the internet. Internet made it easy to share data over the world and work in joint venture to deliver the data best of breed, fast and on demand. Companies that took advantage of all these new ways to work, like Google, made it easy to find data in the new era. Now today Google is one of the most used Internet search engines and millions of people use it every day to find what they need in data, websites and exchange knowledge.

Every day again thousands of personal computers are sold to end users and companies who spend millions of dollars on buying, installing and maintaining these personal computers.

The costs of a personal desktop, including maintenance, are estimated up to $2000 a year.

In the beginning of the new century thousands of companies experienced the new methods of virtualization. Server virtualization became a commodity, and in the years after everybody was convinced that Virtualization was a way to lower the costs of expensive consultants and the high costs of power consumption.

With software virtualization this starts again and several vendors developed highly technical virtualization solutions to lower the overall cost of the desktop.

In 2008 the first steps to desktop virtualization took place and with the knowledge of server virtualization in mind, the first implementations into the virtual desktop took place. But where companies have up to hundreds of servers, they can easily have over 10 thousands of desktops.

Current solutions from vendors like VMware, Microsoft and Citrix do not have the ability to scale in these large numbers, and in fact scaling above 2000 desktops is something that has not been seen before.

In September 2009 DinamiQs came to VMworld and showed their VDI solution VirtualStorm based on VMware ESX and/or ESXi hyper visor. With the DVS management console DinamiQs solved several problems at once. Not only did they show a management solution to deploy thousands of desktops form their management console, but also did they solve other management tasks. The DVS management Console can be used to deploy thousands of images manages the software virtualized and local installed, and this can be done based on computer name or Username.

Now there is a solution that manages the deployment, customization and software of Virtual desktops.

With the integration of DinamiQs SMART the Virtual desktop and the fat client are managed in one console, where administrators can easily solve all problems by single mouse clicks.

In 2009 there is finally a solution that makes VDI work against the lowest costs ever. In their goal to get the customer a device that make the costs of VDI go down much more, and that means that DinamiQs faced several other problems that needed to be solved.

One goal is to make the density of Virtual Machines per host higher. The VirtualStorm image can do its work with only 384 MB of Virtual RAM. We removed all unnecessary stuff that is usually installed when you install Windows and removed all drivers that you never will use. Then we developed a new form of the page file. The DinamiQs MES (memory enhancement Stack) allows Virtual desktops to extend the base 384MB of memory with an enhanced memory stack so that the Virtual Image has up to 1.5GB of memory available and in use. This MES is located on the SAN and connects to the image by using the Disk I/O protocol in VirtualStorm.

A VirtualStorm image exists out of two disks. The first disk is 1.2 GB in size and contains a very basic Windows XP image. The second disk contains all applications that end users need in the cloud. These two disks are connected to each other by using a Disk I/O protocol that enables the disks to work with each other on storage without claiming expensive resources of the VMware ESX host. The disks act together as they were one, but every user has the second disk as if it is his private disk.

In an environment with up to 50 GB of applications every end user has 1.2 GB of storage in use and thinks the repository of 50GB is his own private disk. So in a 10.000 user environment you should expect that you have 10.000 x 51.2 GB in use is 512 TB. In a VirtualStorm environment this would be 10.000 x 1.2 GB + 50 GB is 12.5 TB. This saves almost 500TB in storage. The costs of 500TB are tremendously in buying, maintaining and power consumption.

To reach this amount of savings you need software that enables you to virtualize the applications. In the current world there are several versions of virtualization. Microsoft and VMware are players in that market, but Symantec is also a player in that market. Several years ago Altiris, now part of Symantec bought FSlogic. FSlogic developed a Virtualization solution that was kind of different from all the other approaches. They developed a redirection driver that keeps the files in their location, but make Windows think that the files are actually in the correct place. And not only the files, but also the registry keys and folders.

The technology called SVS used a small filter driver named fslx.sys to make this possible.

The current version

Still the end user needs to logon to an image and he needs a desktop or a thin client. And all these devices have one disadvantage. They are not only expensive but you also need to manage them because there is an Operating System on them.

With SVS or SWV as the name is inside Symantec, VirtualStorm reached the ultimate goal of virtualizing over 98% of the applications without giving up other benefits of not using this technology.

Why buy a $400 thin client device that still needs to be managed when you can easy reuse the old equipment? In January 2010 DinamiQs brought DCIP to the market. DCIP is based on open source technologies like PXE, Thin image and open FTP fully managed into the DVS management console. Every thin client, fat client and laptop can now be transformed into a zero managed fat client. Take out the hard disk, boot on LAN and get access to a VirtualStorm image. This reduces the overall costs because there is no need to replace the current equipment.

Another task is to provision desktops on demand. In current solution when a customer needs 10.000 desktops the administrators deploy 10.000 desktops and keep them running, with all the maintenance. This replaces the management from the fat client into a virtual client, but a virtual fat client is still a fat client with all the costs.

DinamiQs developed DRPA and in November 2009 DRPA showed the world that there is now an on demand solution. Deploy desktops when you need them. The system always keeps the necessary amount of desktops available and with easy to build and use schedules administrators can easily add or remove desktops when needed. Now administrators can sleep in the morning while the system is working for them. And when an end user logs off, the profile is checked and the image is destroyed. Every day again the end user gets a brand new and clean image provisioned with the end users applications and his personal settings. The end-user will not notice it, but he is working on a new machine. Management of 10 thousands of desktops is now identical to managing one desktop. If this master desktop is managed, end-users get a copy of it with out using more then 2GB of storage and still all applications are inside the image. End user specific settings are stored with the DinamiQs hybrid Virtual profile and the end-user can work where ever he wants to work without losing settings, data or whatever.

Companies that use Virtual desktops like DinamiQs provisions have the highest grade of security. All data is stored into the network on SAN, fully backed up and the data can not be stolen when a device is stolen.

DinamiQs delivers various solutions like:

  • DRPA DinamiQs Resource Pool Allocate
  • DCIP DinamiQs Client Image Provisioning
  • DVS management console
  • DVS4VDI Also known as VirtualStorm
  • DVS SMART
  • DVP DinamiQs Virtual Profile

With the very secure and high performance network systems DinamiQs now faces several other problems that are already solved or need to be solved.

At Cebit 2010 in Hannover DinamiQs provisioned multi scalable solutions through its partners. An EMC Symmetric systems was delivered by EMC, Dell provisioned a blade rack and because of the fact that Cisco could not deliver the Cisco Nexus switch, Consolidate-IT was asked if they could help us out by provisioning a high performance switch that could handle the throughput VirtualStorm demanded on our goal to deploy more then 4000 Virtual Machines. Consolidate-IT provisioned an Arista switch that was used to deliver up to 900 GB throughput for the VirtualStorm deployment. The switch handled over 240GBs throughput and surprised everybody with showing zero collisions. A switch like that needs to be investigated to see what happened and why this switch is so high performance.

The results of that test make Arista the number one switch to go into the world of VirtualStorm.

DinamiQs is now building the Veos management into the DVS management console so that the switch and all the other management tasks can be added to the same console leveraging the highest performance, management and easiness in management.

Why DinamiQs?

DinamiQs has a strong base with their customers and while listening to the customers they designed and build a single point of management to deploy fat clients, virtual clients, manage these with Virtual software solutions and local installed software so that managing computers is now an easy task. Manage one, deploy millions. One system administrator can manage hundreds of thousands of desktops by ensuring that the desktop they manage can be used to provision many.

Helpdesk employees now have the ability to add or remove software in seconds without going to the physical location of that machine or without even logging on to that machine. Repairing software is now a matter of seconds instead of hours. The fast software deployment and repair functions ensure that end users never have to wait for their computer to be available. The costs of end users who cannot work because of defects in their computer or software are calculated to 16 hours a year. Just figure out if you have 1000 employees. The costs then will grow to 16.000 unproductive hours or the equivalent of 20 full employees. Just saving these costs make VirtualStorm very effective and affordable.

Now today DinamiQs has a full VDI solution with a yearly cost price that can be as low as $500 to $600 a year, with simplified management and the highest end user expectations and performance.

If you want to see it in full, you can request a demo and look at our whitepapers and documents. They can be found on our website www.dinamiqs.com and www.virtualstormusa.com

But even better?

Come see us at Manage Vision in Las Vegas and ask all the questions you want to ask while we are showing you a full setup with all possibilities you can ever imagine.