Friday, May 31, 2013

VMware vExpert 2013

On Wednesday, I found out I was awarded the VMware vExpert designation for 2013. It is such an honor to be recognized by Vmware. It is an award that recognizes individuals who share their passion for virtualization and technology through contributions to their community and their willingness to share their expertise with others. For me, this is an extremely gratifying award, as I have written in the past, I enjoy inspiring high school kids into becoming the next generation of IT professionals.

I’ll admit that when I first signed up to speak to kids, I didn't fully appreciate what I was doing. However, it only took that one volunteer event to show me just how many young people there are in our community who need a role model, someone to inspire them. 

I wrote about this topic last year; in 10 to 15 years most the people I know in information technology, from infrastructure support to developers to IT leaders, will be near the end of their careers or retired. Scary! No really, it is very scary. A recent conversation I had with one of my colleagues reflects this sentiment; "I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Only a couple more years before I retire." Fortunately, if history serves us right, when the market place opens up due to the significant retirements (estimated at 10,000 to 12,000 a day for the next 12 years) there will be a flood of ambitious young individuals diving into the IT job pool to take advantage of the burgeoning salaries. But will they have the skills required?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

VMware Horizon Suite Licensing

Licensing of users is according to which Horizon bundle or suite you purchase:


Any product purchased with a bundle or suite inherits the license type of the bundle or suite. Thus, ThinApp purchased within the Horizon View bundle is licensed per concurrent user, and ThinApp purchased within the Horizon Suite or Horizon Mirage bundle is licensed per named user.

Horizon View desktops within the Horizon Suite are licensed per named user, even though Horizon View desktops purchased with the Horizon View bundle are licensed per concurrent user. If VMware View concurrent-user licenses were purchased previously outside of the Horizon Suite, then placed on the Horizon Workspace, the Horizon View desktops remain licensed per concurrent user.

For more information go to the VMware KB: Horizon Suite 1.0 Licensing.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

School Testing

When I was in elementary school, each year, we were administered a standardized test called the “California Test of Basic Skills” or CTBS.  This test involved using “number 2” pencils and filling out a form with boxes from A to E.  I remember thinking that if I didn’t know the answer, I should guess “C” because it’s in the middle.  Today, I can’t remember the last time I actually used a pencil.  However, many schools still use this antiquated way of administering standardized tests to students.

This is all about to change in the next couple of years.  According to the San Jose Mercury News, California, as one of 45 of the 50 states in the U.S. participating, will move toward a broad state-led program called the “Common Core State Standards Initiative.”  This initiative requires the standardization of testing across states by the 2014-2015 school year to ensure consistent performance assessments.  Quoting the article:

“Multiple-choice, fill-in-the-bubble tests alone simply cannot do the job anymore, and it’s time for California to move forward with assessments that measure the real-world skills our students need to be ready for a career and for college,” said California School Superintendent Tom Torlakson.

These next generation assessments will be computer-based and Pearson TestNav™ is a leading test delivery platform in K-12 schools that delivers over 4 million tests annually.  VMware is pleased to announce that our VMware® Horizon View™ desktop virtualization solution has received “TestNav Qualified” certification, ensuring that TestNav tests administered using Horizon View are delivered securely, error-free, and with a good user experience.

Read the entire article here on VMware's blog site.

Mirage Windows 7 Upgrade

Mirage is unique in its ability to perform an in-place upgrade of the operating system from Windows XP to Windows 7. After you have created your corporate Windows 7 Base Layer image, then you stream down that Base Layer to the business user endpoint devices. Now, if you have a very large environment, you will use collections to deploy the Windows 7 Base Layer image to a segment your user population. These can be static collections based on site location, floors, or departments.

As the core image streams down to the endpoint device, the user is still able to continue to work on their current Windows XP operating system.

Before the new Windows 7 Base Layer image that has been staged on the endpoint device is deployed, the Mirage Server takes a pre-deployment snapshot of the device.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Horizon Mirage

Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite products in the Horizon Suite, Mirage. VMware Mirage provides several capabilities to physical workstations and persistent virtual desktops.  These capabilities include centralized image management through logical layers. Endpoint protection with desktop backups to network storage on an hourly basis that has daily, monthly, and yearly snapshot recoveries. And finally, one of the most critical aspects for the 45% of companies that haven't moved to Windows 7, an automated migration from Windows XP to Windows 7.

Don't forget, on April 8, 2014 there will no longer be patches deployed to one of the most porous operating systems. In order to get patches, you need a $500,000.00 support contract with Microsoft and each patch is $50,000.00.

Overall, VMware Mirage provides centralized management capabilities for physical desktops similar to the way VMware View provides centralized management for virtual desktops. The goal is to lower the amount of operational support provided by your end user computing IT professionals by centralizing device management in the datacenter. Additionally, you will be delivering enhanced capabilities to your business partners.


After you install the Mirage client on an endpoint device and register it with the Mirage server, it starts to backup the endpoint. Because Mirage uses deduplication and compression, network traffic is minimized and storage for each client is typically between 10 to 15 Gb in the data center. Deduplication is done at the file, chunk, intra-file, and inter-file level. Full desktop indexing ensure that only changes are sent across the network to storage, and a global shared index further improves transfer efficiency.

Mirage tracks desktop changes for automatic synchronization when connected to the Mirage server, and shows an indicator for files pending synchronization. Furthermore, users can download missing files on demand.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tuning Virtual Desktops for Video Playback

Several clients, especially in the academia, require decent playback of streaming video. For schools, course material is starting to be delivered as an interactive online learning subscription to provide online skill assessments, supplement curriculum instructions, and provide instructional videos to bolster learning skills. VMware Horizon View is tuned for optimal video performance over network links that have up to 150 ms of latency. Before you invest in hardware, there are a few settings you can perform to try and help video performance. If you are running your VMware View environment on a local area network, we can tune PCoIP to improve streaming video.

For virtual desktops using VMXnet3 NICs, you can significantly improve the peak video playback performance of the View desktop by simply setting the following registry setting to the Microsoft recommended value:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Boston VMUG

I will best speaking about View Horizon and End-User-Computing at the Quincy VTUG on May 9th and the Boston VMware Users Group at the Boston Convention Center on June 19th. Come out and say hello!

News: Top vBlog 2016 Trending: DRS Advanced Settings