Monday Aug 16, 2010

Oracle VDI 3.2 In Action!

An attempt to use Jing here.  Even went "Pro".  Still a five minute limit and I got cut short, but you'll get the gist.  Check out the functionality!  Big hat tip to the folks in Hamburg, Leeds, and Dublin.  :)  (I just realized I have 2GB traffic limit per month with pro...I'll see what I can do)

(And no, I cannot tell you why Javier was not ruled offsides there. )

Oh, and Jaap...this is for you.

Wednesday Aug 04, 2010

Oracle Virtualization Event line up...Holy Cow!

On August 19th from 9 AM until 3 PM, Oracle will be hosting an Online Virtualization Forum that covers our v12n technology from the Desktop to the Datacenter.  What I'm really impressed by is the two people that will comprise the "panel".  Former Sun hardware guru and now Oracle's Executive Vice President of Systems John Fowler and my boss's boss's boss, Oracle's Chief Corporate Architect Edward Screven.

Folks, these are what we call "Big Guns".  What's more, they are extremely scratch that.  They are "scary smart".  Be honest, you've sat through more than your share of executives pitching things they could care less about.  These two gentlemen are in a different league.  Passionate is the best word that describes them. 

I'm sure long time followers of Think Thin are more than familiar with the Executive branch of "the company formerly known as Sun Microsystems" and you've seen John Fowler many times.  But unless you were an Oracle customer, you may not have had the chance to hear Edward Screven speak.  With absolutely zero patronizing involved here (like he reads this blog), watch him.  He's brilliant.  He gets it.  And by "it" I mean pretty much anything you could imagine, but specifically he gets VDI.

If there's one thing I've learned about the executives at Oracle, it's that they don't mess around.  You wouldn't get this caliber of people talking about the entire virtualization stack if Oracle was not committed to it.  I've also noticed, "Committed" = "Wants to dominate" in Oracle speak.

So to the v12n world out there, and specifically the VDI market, watch out.  The "Big Guns" are about to fire a warning shot across the bow of the marketplace.  To paraphrase Al Pacino's character in "Scent of a Woman", We are just getting warmed up.

Monday Aug 02, 2010

TechCast Live: Sun Ray and Oracle VDI Edition

Happy Monday to all the Think Thin readers!

I'll be on Oracle TechCast Live tomorrow at 10 AM Pacific where I'll be having a nice little chat with Justin Kestelyn about Sun Ray and Oracle VDI.

I'll also be taking some community questions.  From the TechCast Live page, you can can sign in using your Twitter, Facebook, AIM, or Myspace account.  Can't promise I'll be able to answer every type of question, we have different rules at Oracle than Sun did.  I hope however to make it worth your while and I hope you find it enjoyable.

Friday Jul 30, 2010

Multi-Core or Hyper-Threaded? Or Both?

Recently a question was posed to the Sun Ray User Community:  Intel or AMD for Linux Sun Ray Server?

Ford vs Chevy!  Coke vs Pepsi!  What a great blog topic for a Friday.

You could choose from dual Intel 6 core X5670 2.93 GHz ("Nehalem") or dual AMD Opteron 12 core 6168 1.9 GHz ("Magny-Cours")

Of course the "I love my job and I'd really like to keep it" answer would be Intel since Oracle does not offer any servers based on the 12 core Opteron (just 8 core models).  But let's throw caution to the wind and think about this in the context of what a Sun Ray Server in "traditional" mode (i.e. not kiosk mode) really is.  It's a desktop.  Unlike kiosk mode where normally applications execute "somewhere else" (i.e. terminal server, a VM, etc) in traditional mode the applications execute on the Sun Ray Server.  Unlike a desktop, it's multi-user.

So while you definitely want something "server class", you also want something that is going to run \*your\* applications at the best price/performance ratio.

At the end of the day, both options offer 24 threads.   The Intel solution does so by offering 6 Hyper-Threaded Technology (HTT) cores per socket and the AMD by offering 12 single threaded cores per socket.  There's a 1 GHz clock speed difference favoring the Intel solution, but let's not fall prey to the "megahertz myth".  Not just yet anyways.

While you can go out there and find all kinds of "Bench This", "Spec That" types of reviews, those tests are generally written to take the most advantage out of any platform.  However, most of the end user applications we all use aren't.

So, which design is better for "desktop applications", Intel with HTT or AMD with all those glorious physical cores? 

Here's I get to use the most popular, catch all answer of all-time when it comes to any Server Based Computing or VDI question. 

It depends. 

It depends on the applications.  Doesn't everything?

Recent history would indicate that desktop applications prefer the multiple cores over HTT.  Or perhaps better stated, the developers of those applications may prefer multi-core development (or at least find it easier).  

Remember that Pentium HTT ("Northwood") actually was replaced on the desktop in favor of  multi-core processors (see CoreDuo). In a traditional Sun Ray environment where a variety of "desktop applications" execute on the Sun Ray Server, understanding some of the possible reasons HTT was replaced by multi-core is interesting, if not important.

When HTT was introduced, most desktop applications simply weren't able to take advantage of the it.  Add to that, the HTT chips actually consumed a lot more power.  End result was a system that increased your energy costs while decreasing your application's performance.  Explain that one to your boss, Mr Technology influencer.   Especially with "all those CPUs" showing up in mpstat or perfmon.

None of that of course was the fault of the technology, well the power was, but not the bad performance or the misconception of threads as physical processor that sits in a socket.  Truthfully our traditional performance monitoring tools still promote that misconception.  The performance was due to applications not taking advantage of the HTT and it being on a single core.  Didn't it seem like around 2004-05, the catch-all response to all desktop application performance queries was: "Pentium 4, you say?  Did you try disabling Hyper-Threading in the BIOS?"

With Nehalem, Intel put all that bad PR behind them and brought HTT back to the desktop, but with a twist, it's also multi-core.  

This is different, but is it better?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Probably, depends.  (Ha!)

We know that the OSes are better equipped for HTT (i.e. Solaris is now optimized for it along with a million other things), and they actually don't consume that much more power, so they are "greener".  Goodness for the data center.

From my experience, I'd say both Sun Ray Software and the Oracle VDI stack performs better with HTT (based on sizing numbers in kiosk mode and per core VM sizing data under Solaris) than they did under the non-HTT models of those chips.  Considerably better, all other things being equal (clock speed, # of cores, etc).  But those aren't typically considered "desktop applications", they are more in the realm of pseudo-operating systems, or at least "Server Systems".  Both of which have been HTT aware for a long time, but that doesn't exactly help \*your\* application.  Which leads us to the million dollar question:

How many of the applications that you use today are parallelized so they can execute across multiple threads simultaneously (i.e. HTT aware)?  If the answer is "very few" then you're not taking advantage of the Intel design and the physical cores on AMD solution may actually perform better for your apps even with the "lower clock speed". 

Making applications multi-core aware is fairly easy (says the non-programming "developer"), and most existing applications already support this.  However adding HTT capabilities to existing applications is considerably far more work.  And sure, there are those that will say that HTT can help certain multi-core aware applications depending on what they are doing. Though I think a lot of these arguments mistake multi-threading for Hyper-Threading, which in fact is simultaneous multi-threading.

But really, to get the most out of HTT, you need to code your applications a certain way.  Intel has guides, and all kinds of tools to aid the application developer get the most out of HTT.  But what if those aren't used?

In a single user use case, the average person might never know the applications they are using aren't taking advantage of HTT technology because of the multi-core and relatively high clock rate. The HTT multi-core becomes a Swiss Army Knife so to speak.  If your app can take advantage of HTT, great.  If it can't, we've got cores.  And on top of that we have speed!  That's beautiful for a PC.  A single user PC.

But how well does it scale out when we are talking about multiple users running those "non-HTT aware" apps on the same server? In the AMD design, multi-core (but non-HTT aware) apps have 24 "physical" cores to work with, what's the trade off of the "virtual" cores on the HTT chips?  Is the clock speed enough to overcome? The other features on HTT chips enough to tip the scales? Maybe.  Probably.  It depends.

If you were running Sun Ray Server Software in Kiosk mode or choosing a server to be the hypervisor for Oracle VDI, go with Intel and their HTT "Nehalem" processors.  You won't be disappointed.  At least I haven't been.  I'm sure I'd also have a lot of good things to say about the AMD as well.

But if you are actually running desktop apps on the Sun Ray Server, and trying to do so at any kind of scale, I'd say it's at least worth doing some investigating and maybe even some application testing at scale.  Then you can really understand what's the best fit for your environment.

Thursday Jul 22, 2010

Oracle VDI Webinar

If you're interested in learning about Oracle's VDI offering, our very own VDI Engineering Manager (and personal friend) Dirk Grobler will be holding a webinar that covers the benefits of VDI to modern enterprises.  Along with the typical VDI benefits surrounding centralization and TCO, this high level overview will include an architecture of Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, how it works, and how it can be used in the modern enterprise to increase manageability, security, and flexibility.

The webinar will take place July 27th at 9:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time and you can register for the session here.

If an overview is not your thing and you crave more technical details, stay tuned as we'll be diving deeper in the near future.

Monday Jul 19, 2010

Sun Ray Connector for VMware View 4 Available

In a recent post I highlighted some new features offered for Sun Ray Software 5.  If you actually read the press release, you probably saw mention of a "Sun Ray connector for VMware View 4".  And you might be wondering why I didn't blog about it in that recent post.

Since people are asking about it,  I thought it would be smart to provide the link to the actual software.  You can download the Sun Ray Connector for VMWare View 1.2 Manager today.  You can also read the Installation and Configuration Guide.

Why didn't I mention1 this new feature?  I was actually waiting to blog about it once the VMware HCL pages reflected both the new software and Sun Ray 3+ as being View 4 Certified under a search for "Oracle".  But since the software is available, why wait?  The certification process is done, and we are just waiting on web pages to be updated, so have at it.

Update:  Since I was already asked if the VMware View 4 certification applies to only the Sun Ray 3 Plus, I thought it best if I addressed that here as well.  If you understand the Sun Ray Architecture (i.e. nothing runs on the Sun Ray itself, it all runs on the Sun Ray Server) , there's no reason to have any correlation between the actual Sun Ray device models and our Sun Ray Connector for VMWare View.  However, that's not how VMware does their HCL (or one can read that as nothing else is like a Sun Ray). So in short, this will work with everything from a Sun Ray 1 to a Sun Ray 3+ (including the OVDC) though our MMR features will vary.   We've asked VMware and we will have to wait to see how open they are to a single entry that reads "All Sun Ray Clients".

1Since I'm all about honesty, now I'll tell you the real reason I didn't mention it.  I \*thought\* we were going to name it something easy to remember that,  you know, made sense to someone looking for a Sun Ray connector that was certified to work with View 4.  Perhaps even something catchy like "Sun Ray Connector for VMware View 4".  When looking at the download page I saw "Sun Ray Connector for VMware View 1.2 Manager" and thought it was the old version. Note this is purely my opinion and it is not that of my employer, nor is it meant to disparage, poke fun at2,  or otherwise make those who named the product feel bad.  I honestly thought we were changing the name.

2 OK, I may be poking fun, but it is well intended, utmost respect, kind of poking fun.

Saturday Jul 17, 2010

<Sarcasm> Oracle executives don't care about Sun Ray </Sarcasm>

Pictures speak louder than words.  Although, there are quite a few words on the Official Oracle Virtualization Blog\* too. :)

Check out the office of my boss's boss.  (Psst.  You can follow him on Twitter @wimcoekaerts )

 While it's true we are far less transparent than a lot of you are used to, we are no less passionate about, and dare I say more committed to, our portfolio than ever before.

\*Don't worry, we will keep Think Thin going and continue to be focused mainly on Sun Ray, SGD, and Oracle VDI.

Thursday Jul 15, 2010

SRS 5: Big updates disguised in a patch

Greetings Think Thin Readers,

Those who watch things like SunSolve for new patch releases noticed starting last Saturday that a slew of new patches began showing up.  If you read the "fixes" in the patch read me files, that's exactly what it looked like...a patch.  But there's so much more.  Beyond numerous bug fixes ("black screens", High CPU using Flash or USB redirection, etc) these patches enable some great new features, details of which were in a press release today.  Just some of the highlights:

New Platform Support:

  • Support for Oracle Enterprise Linux as a Sun Ray Server Software Platform
    • Continued support for Solaris, RHEL, and SLES
Oracle Virtual Desktop Client 2.0 (formerly SDAC)
  • Renaming & Oracle branding of the Sun Desktop Access Client (SDAC) to Oracle Virtual Desktop Client (OVDC)
  • New Apple OS X Version of the OVDC 
    • Continued support for Windows XP, Vista, 7
  • Smart card support for OVDC
    • Hot Desk from your PC or Mac with a smart card reader to a Sun Ray Thin Client
  • Support for Upstream Audio
  • Support for Client Serial Port Mapping

Sun Ray Connector for Windows OS

  • Upstream Audio
    • bidirectional audio capabilities for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003
    • Requires SRSS 4.2 and SRWC 2.2 patches, version -03 or later, and the SRWC Components 1.1 patch, version -01 or late
    • Note upstream audio is off by default.  New uttsc argument required -r soundin:(low|medium|high)
  • Multiple pesky bug fixes ("Double login" for 2008 session directory, black screens, Flash and USB-R fixes)

Install the latest patches per platform, download the new OVDC and let us know what you think!

And as always...Stay Tuned.  Hopefully making noise about things like this will put to rest any doubt that Oracle is committed to it's Desktop Virtualization Portfolio (Sun Ray, SGD, Oracle VDI).

Wednesday Jul 14, 2010

PC/SC-Lite 1.3 Released

The Oracle Desktop Virtualization Team is proud to announce the availability of  PC/SC-lite 1.3 and CCID IFD Handler 1.3.10 (enables PC/SC-lite to access external USB Smart Card readers) for Sun Ray Server Software running on Solaris 10.  The packages are available for download here.

This update is recommended to increase security and improve stability of smart card use in a Sun Ray environment.

The 1.3 release contains two critical bug fixes and incorporates the fix for security vulnerability CVE-2010-0407 discovered in the M.U.S.C.L.E. open source project, and described at the National Vulnerability Database website.

As always, please see the PCSC-Lite and CCID IFD Handler release notes for more information.

Tuesday Jul 13, 2010

Sun Ray Boot Process Defined

Hello Think Thin Readers,

I am proud to present a new page on the Sun Ray Software Wiki, a detailed work flow of the Sun Ray Boot Process.  This took a bit of work to get into human readable format on behalf of several people, not the least of which are Paul Kasper and (the non-blogging) Kent Peacock.  Please take a look and provide feedback!


Saturday May 29, 2010

Sun Ray 3 Plus Firmware now available

Hi Think Thin Readers,

Sun Ray Core Services Patch -02 for SRSS 4.2 is available for download from

New firmware for the new Sun Ray 3 Plus clients is included in this patch, which means you can now deploy your 3 Plus clients via VPN (factory firmware is the non-GUI variety).

140993-02 - Solaris SPARC

140994-02 - Solaris 10 x86

140995-02 - Linux


Thursday Apr 08, 2010

The New Sun Ray Hardware Information Center...Pass It Along!

This might be old news for some of you, but Oracle has just released the new Sun Ray 3 Plus Client.  Beyond providing the normal Getting Started Guide that typically comes in the box, the product team wanted to provide a place to give you (our users) up-to-the-minute release notes, detailed technical specifications, and the environmental data for the new shiny Sun Ray. 

Since I was fresh off of using for the Sun Ray Software 5 release, I made the case for to be that place for sharing and the Sun Ray Hardware Information Center was born.

The Sun Ray Hardware Information Center isn't fancy (yet), but it does provide the juicy tidbits and important information for the new Sun Ray 3 Plus Client.  If there is anything missing or other information you'd like to see, either provide a comment on the wiki or on this blog.  As always, I'll see what I can do.

BTW, here's a cool unboxing video of the Sun Ray 3 Plus Client.

Paul Kasper, Sun Ray documentation guy

Thursday Jan 28, 2010

SRS Patch Information

We've put together a page on the SRS wiki that provides all the latest Sun Ray Software patch information.  We don't have any patches yet for the new SRS 5 release, but we have a placeholder when they are released.

Oh, and here's a little tutorial about how you can tell what SRS patches are already installed on your Sun Ray servers.

  • For Solaris:  showrev -p | grep SUNWut
  • For Linux:  rpm -q SUNWutfw

Remember, patching your systems will help you avoid time consuming problems in the future, and time is money.

- Paul, SRS documentation lead

Wednesday Nov 25, 2009

Command Line Reference Doc Updated

Hi everyone, short note here.

I have created a new version of the handy Command Line Reference doc for Sun desktop technologies. This is  a pdf with quick links to the complete man page reference for SRSS 4.2, SRWC 2.0 and VDI 3.1.

I know that the man pages are now up on the Wiki, but sometimes it's easiest to just have this thing as a shortcut for quick reference.

Enjoy, let me know if this pdf doesn't work on your system.



Tuesday Nov 24, 2009

Please Welcome Sun VDI Software 3.1

Hot on the heels of the Sun Ray Software 5 release, Sun VDI Software 3.1 was just made available (get it here). This is an exciting update for us, here is a quick overview of what's new: 

  • Microsoft Hyper-V support
    • Previous versions of Sun VDI Software already allowed for heterogeneous virtualization hosts, but we extend this support to include Microsoft Hyper-V in VDI 3.1. This means that you can use Sun built-in, VMware vSphere (or just ESX and vCenter, if that's what you've got), Microsoft Hyper-V, or any combination(!) to host your virtual desktops. This provides amazing flexibility and really reduces concerns around lock-in of any particular vendor. Want to change platforms? Easy, put up the new environment, test it with a group of users, migrate everyone over, and shut off the old one when you're ready (or keep it as a backup).
  • Remote Desktop Services support
    • We have lots of customers who use both classic server-based computing (SBC) and VDI at the same time. The trouble is that many architecture have you managing the two environments completely separately. But with Sun VDI Software 3.1, Windows Server 2003 and 2008 can be desktop providers. This means you can choose to assign any combination of VDI and SBC desktops to each of your users and manage the assignments from one management interface.
  • Sun Desktop Access Client
    • Sun VDI Software has leveraged both Sun Secure Global Desktop Software and the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection client to provide access from Windows PCs. With version 3.1, we add the Sun Desktop Access Client into the mix (no, we haven't dropped SGD or RDC support!). The Sun Desktop Access Client is a purpose-built piece of software that installs on Windows PCs and allows direct access to Sun VDI Software without any further server configuration or setup. It also leverages the exact same protocol as our award winning Sun Ray clients. It's simple, high performance, and allows you to seamlessly shift your virtual desktop session between a Sun Ray client and a PC.
  • Enhanced Adobe Flash media support
    • For a virtual desktop to be truly useful, it needs to approach the capabilities of a full desktop PC. A traditional stumbling block for any sort of remote access technology is high performance video and animation. With this release, Adobe Flash content is accelerated for both Sun Ray clients and Sun Desktop Access Client enabled PCs.
  • USB direction for Windows XP
    • If you're using a Sun Ray client and Windows XP as your virtual desktop operating system, you can now plug many USB devices into your Sun Ray client and they show up automatically in your Windows XP session.

There are lots of other smaller updates, too. For the full skinny, please read the  full product documentation and enjoy the new release!


Monday Nov 16, 2009

Sharing is Nice: The User Tested USB Redirection List

We all learn at an early age that sharing is the right thing to do.  I get to constantly remind my 3- and 5-year old girls about this very important aspect about being a good person.

How do I get from small kids sharing to the new Sun Ray Software 5 release?  Wait for it...wait for it....

It's another ThinkThin update about the Sun Ray Software wiki!

In my earlier posts, I talked about how you can use the Comment feature on any page to leave feedback. And, I still encourage everyone to keep doing that.

But, since the SRS 5 Early Access releases, we've provided the following User Tested page for all wiki users to share the USB devices they've tested with the new USB redirection feature.

Currently, Sun supports USB redirection for all USB devices that fall within the following device types:  flash drives, printers, scanners, USB-to-serial adapters, and USB-to-parallel adapters.

The USB Redirection User Tested List lets you (the Sun Ray user community) share what devices are working for you, including USB devices not in the supported device type categories.

This page already has over 200 edits and over 100 entries from a number of users. And, I just added a Recent Contributors section that dynamically shows who has made the latest edits to the page.

So, what are you waiting for?  If you are using the USB redirection feature and you want to share the devices you are using with this cool new feature, share away! 

- Paul, SRS documentation lead

Thursday Nov 12, 2009

What can the Sun Desktop Access Client do for you?

On November 10th we announced the release of Sun Ray Software 5. Among the fantastic set of new features, we included a new client called the Sun Desktop Access Client. Simply put, this is a software application that installs on Windows PCs, allowing you to access your desktop session on Sun's desktop virtualization technology. This sounds great, but what does it really mean for me or my customers? Let me explain...

A couple of fairly common scenarios I hear from customers is they believe only a portion of their end-users will fit the desktop or even laptop thin client model. Or many times customers have recently refreshed all their desktop systems and don't want to switch them out just yet. They all agree on the unequaled security and simplified management aspects of the architecture, but usually have concerns for mobile end-users who require a usable laptop even when offline, or maybe they need more graphical power locally, or simply are not ready to exchange their desktop systems for whatever the reason. With the Sun Desktop Access Client, users can now leverage their existing PCs to access the same virtual desktops any Sun Ray client user would. And with the added convenience of choosing between window mode or fullscreen, it's easy to work side-by-side on their current PC.

This now means all end-users, whether they're on a Sun Ray client or not, can access the same data and applications on the same secure architecture. And to make it even more convenient, you can "hot desk" or move your live session between any Sun Ray client and any Sun Desktop Access Client enabled PC.

This makes the Sun Desktop Access Client an extremely powerful and simple migration tool. For example, we have a customer that has several offices all over the world, some very small in remote locations, some large housing over a thousand employees. This makes training each group of employees on any new infrastructure a real challenge. With the Sun Desktop Access Client, they are able to provide everyone instant access from their current PCs to the new infrastructure, and roll out Sun Ray clients to groups in controlled stages. The option to deploy Sun Ray clients in this staged manner, allowed them to immediately standardize onto a single secure and scalable architecture on the back-end, providing every employee access to the same data, without spending all their money and IT resources trying to do a near-impossible replacement of all desktops in one big switch.

These examples use cases are just a sample of how the Sun Desktop Access Client might be able to help you and your business. I'll be posting many more use cases and customer examples in the weeks to come; however, for now, the best use case I can think of is to download the software and try it yourself! Of course you can contact your Sun sales reps and try out a Sun Ray client anytime you want. But for now, with the free 90 day trial period and the ability to use your Windows PC as a client, there's nothing stopping you from giving it a try right now!


Tuesday Nov 10, 2009

First Sun Ray Software 5, then Sun VDI Software 3.1...

Sun Ray Software 5 was released today and I've been asked by lots of folks when they can expect to see the new features appear in Sun VDI Software. I'm proud to tell you that the next version of Sun VDI Software is just around the corner, so watch this space closely over the next few weeks or follow the Sun VDI Software Twitter feed to be the first to know when it's released.

Just some quick notes on what you can expect from Sun VDI Software 3.1:

  • Most Sun Ray Software 5 features, including the Sun Desktop Access Client, Adobe Flash enhancements and USB redirection to Windows virtual desktops. (Read Angela's excellent post for more detail on the SRS 5 enhancements).
  • Support for Microsoft Hyper-V as a virtualization platform. Now you can mix and match Sun built-in virtualization, VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V all in the same deployment.
  • Support for Microsoft Remote Desktop Services as a desktop provider (that means you can do VDI and classic server-based computing all from Sun VDI Software!).
  • Additional virtual desktop OS support (including Windows 7 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11).
  • And lots of other smaller improvements.

We're hope you share our excitement about the incredible things we have going in desktop virtualization at Sun!


Monday Nov 09, 2009

Announcing Sun Ray Software 5

The Sun Desktop Virtualization Marketing team is pleased to announce the release of Sun Ray Software 5!

This release focuses on improving the end user experience with a broader choice of end client devices, improved Adobe Flash performance and expanded support for USB peripheral devices. Additionally, Sun Ray Software 5 improves application server support, by adding support for Windows Server 2008.

The Sun Desktop Access Client (SDAC) is revolutionizing Sun Ray Software as we know it, making our vision and strategy of providing simple, user-friendly access to a centralized virtual desktop environment from nearly any device a reality. Easily installed on Windows PCs, the Sun Desktop Access Client removes the dependency on Sun Ray hardware clients, providing full access to Sun Ray infrastructure. It provides a simplified solution for end-users who do not fit the desktop thin client model, and require continued use of their current Windows PC. As well, it helps to mitigate the initial costs of migration to Sun's desktop technology by repurposing existing PCs. Providing client device choice to the customer helps our customers embrace our technology and enables them to become more environmentally friendly by extending the lifecyle of existing PCs rather than disposing of them into a landfill.

Unlike some of our competitors, the Sun Desktop Access Client frees users from being restricted to a particular device and enables them to choose whatever device best suits their needs. In addition to client choice, another key challenge CIOs often face, is how to provide a true PC experience to their end users from a virtualized desktop environment. This release beats many of our competitors to market by introducing multimedia enhancements for Adobe Flash audio and video on both the Sun Ray hardware clients, as well as any Sun Desktop Access Client enabled PC.

In addition to expanding client device choice and adding Adobe Flash multimedia acceleration, Sun virtual desktop users can now expect similar peripheral connectivity with their Sun Ray thin client environment that they would normally have with their standard PCs. Sun Ray Software 5 now enables users to connect many of their favorite USB devices to a Sun Ray hardware client, connecting them to their Windows XP virtual desktop environment. Peripheral support includes a broad range of devices such as USB flash storage devices, printers and scanners.

Finally, Sun Ray Software 5 includes support for Windows Server 2008, enabling access to applications running on Windows Server 2008 in 32 bit color. Support for Windows Server 2008 TS Session Broker is also included.

Read more about it at!

Angela Carducci
Product Line Manager Desktop Virtualization Marketing
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

SRS 5 Released

Sun Ray Software 5 Released

SRS 5 includes:

  • SRSS 4.2
  • SRWC 2.2
  • SDAC 1.0
See new feature details at & download from URL above.

Thursday Oct 29, 2009

Will Oracle continue Sun’s virtualization strategy?

From page four of Oracle's Oracle and Sun Overview and FAQ

"Yes, Oracle plans to continue Sun’s “desktop to datacenter virtualization” strategy and integrate with Oracle’s virtualization products. By unifying management across desktop virtualization, server virtualization, storage virtualization, and network virtualization, Oracle and Sun provide comprehensive, flexible, eco-efficient solutions to maximize utilization, consolidate to reduce costs, increase productivity, and decrease management complexity.

We expect to continue Sun’s desktop virtualization products: VDI, Secure Global Desktop, Sun Ray, and VirtualBox."

Ed note: Recommended Music to Read By

Monday Sep 14, 2009

Sun VDI 3.1 Software EA & Sun Ray Software 5 EA 2

The Sun Desktop Virtualization Marketing team is pleased to announce the Sun VDI Software 3.1 Early Access program and the Sun Ray Software 5 Early Access 2 program. Both programs begin 9/15/09, at 5am PDT and they will end on 10/2/2009.

Which program should you join?

Choose Sun VDI Software 3.1 when you want to deploy server hosted virtual desktops running inside virtual machines to a variety of client devices.
Choose Sun Ray Software 5 when you want to deploy Sun Ray Software to Sun Ray Thin Clients or PCs in a more traditional server-based computing model. You should also choose this program if you want to deploy Sun Ray Software + VMware View Manager.

Sun VDI Software 3.1 Early Access

Sun Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software 3.1 allows organizations to deploy a secure desktop environment hosted in the data center and displayed on a number of client devices, including Windows PCs and Sun Ray Thin Clients. This release adds Microsoft Hyper-V as an additional virtualization host, support for virtual desktops generated by Microsoft Terminal Services, and the Sun Desktop Access Client for simplified access from Windows PCs. Sun VDI Software 3.1 also includes a number of additional features for Sun Ray client devices, including USB redirection and Adobe Flash enhancements. More details on new features are covered in the support documentation.

You can download the software here:

After you have downloaded and tested the software, please fill out the survey here:

Documentation is available here:

Support is available through the Sun VDI Forum here:

Sun Ray Software 5 Early Access 2 (EA2)

Sun Ray Software is a secure, cost effective solution that delivers a rich virtual desktop to PCs or Sun Ray Thin Clients. The Sun Ray Software Early Access 2 program delivers four core new features: USB device redirection to Windows, Adobe Flash Enhancements, Windows Server 2008 support and the Sun Desktop Access Client (code name was "Sun Ray Soft Client"). Details of the features are listed below.

1) USB device redirection to Windows
Remote Windows XP Desktop users can now deploy a multitude of Windows USB devices with Sun Ray Technology.  A full list of supported devices is available here.  Installation of Sun Ray Software for Solaris x86 or SPARC is required.  This feature is supported with Sun VDI as a part of the Sun VDI 3.1 Early Access Program or with VMware View Manager in the Sun Ray Software 5 EA2 program.

2) Adobe Flash Enhancements
Sun Ray Software 5 provides Adobe Flash enhancements which enable customers to experience improved frame rates along with synchronized audio, video, and Adobe Flash animation playback for the Sun Ray 2 family of clients and its follow-on product family.

Supported environment:
o Internet Explorer 7 and 8
o Adobe Flash 9 content with all Adobe Flash plugins from versions 9 & 10
o Windows Server 2003 R2 (32-bit) and Windows XP SP3 (32-bit)

Users will need both components of Sun Ray Software - Sun Ray Server Software & the Sun Ray Connector for Windows OS. In additional to the Windows environment mentioned above, users need to install Sun Ray Server Software which runs on the following platforms:
o Solaris 10 5/09 or higher on SPARC and X86
o SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10 Service Pack 2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
o Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 Update 3 (32-bit and 64-bit)

3) Windows Server 2008
Sun Ray Software 5 enables customers to display applications within Windows Server 2008 in 32 bit color. Windows Server 2008 Session Directory support is also included.

Supported platforms:
o Solaris 10 5/09 or higher (SPARC and X86)
o SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10 Service Pack 2 (32-bit and 64-bit)
o Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 Update 3 (32-bit and 64-bit)

4) Sun Desktop Access Client (code name was "Sun Ray Soft Client").
The Sun Desktop Access Client is a software application that easily installs on common client operating systems and provides the ability to connect to centralized desktops running on Sun's desktop virtualization software products. An alternative to using a Sun Ray Thin Client, the Sun Desktop Access Client meets the needs of end-users who do not fit the desktop thin client model or who may need to connect from their existing laptop or desktop PC. The Sun Desktop Access Client also provides the flexibility to 'hotdesk' to and from your Sun Ray Thin Client and any supported Sun Desktop Access Client enabled PC.

Supported platforms:
o Microsoft Windows XP
o Microsoft Windows Vista
o Microsoft Windows 7

You download the software here:

After you have downloaded and tested the software, please fill out the survey here:

Documentation is available here:

Support is available through the Sun Ray Software Forum here:

If you have additional feed-back for the product team, please send it here:

Thank you for your participation in the Sun VDI 3.1 and/or the Sun Ray Software 5 Early Access 2 Program!

Angela Carducci
Product Line Manager
Desktop Virtualization Marketing
Sun Microsystems, Inc.


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« June 2016