Thursday Dec 17, 2009

VirtualBox gets rave review in InfoWorld

VirtualBox

InfoWorld's Randall C. Kennedy published a desktop virtualization review that looks at the latest developments made by VirtualBox, VMware and Parallels. Randall described VirtualBox as the “one freebie that breaks the mold and delivers more, not less than you're expecting,” and said of the three programs VirtualBox has had the most compelling recent developments. He pointed out that with the latest innovations in the 3.1 release: “Users from the three major platforms – Windows, MacOS X, and Linux – are flocking to VirtualBox for its scalability, robust networking, and bargain price point.”

Randall said that in general VirtualBox “after years of wallowing in obscurity” is now causing quite a ruckus.” He pointed to VirtualBox's quick evolution after being taken on by Sun, describing features such as 32-way virtual SMP support as unrivaled while noting that the branched snapshots feature “brings it on par with its commercial competitors.”
Sun VirtualBox
However, Randall said “the real shocker” with VirtualBox 3.1 is its new Teleportation ability, which adds the capability to dynamically move running VMs between VirtualBox host systems. With this latest addition Randall said “suddenly, this once shy, awkward desktop VM solution is sporting speeds and feeds that seem more at home on a VMware ESX or Microsoft Hyper-V datasheet.”

Randall noted that this latest development takes VirtualBox in an entirely new direction, one that leads directly to the corporate datacenter and the lucrative rack space turn carved out by the commercial virtualization heavyweights.” He concluded by saying: “If VirtualBox proves as capable and scalable as its latest incarnation seems to indicate, it could have a dramatic effect on the balance of power among the raised floors set.”

Wednesday Sep 02, 2009

Public Utility Delivers Innovative Voice, Data, and Cable Services to 3,500 Customers with Sun Technologies

customer

In 2004, the cities of Monmouth and Independence, Oregon founded Monmouth Independence Network, or MINET, to deliver high-speed Internet, cable, and VoIP phone services to area businesses and residences, who were not scheduled to receive broadband services until 2015 or later. By the end of 2007, MINET needed to expand its IT architecture to support its growing customer base, and was also looking to offer additional services on its underutilized network bandwidth to increase revenue.
Sun Customer MINET
(Image courtesy: MINET)
Already a user of Sun technologies, MINET chose to expand its infrastructure with Sun hardware and software, and implemented the new solution in just 10 weeks. Three Sun Fire X4150 servers now handle the virtual PBX capabilities and run the Mitel Unified IP Client for Sun Ray Software. Virtual desktops, managed by Sun Secure Global Desktop Software, run on virtual servers set up with Solaris Containers or LDoms. All the virtual environments exist on a mix of 24 Sun Blade X6250 Server Modules and Sun Blade T6320 Server Modules, which are housed in a Sun Blade 6048 Chassis.

All of the company's services rely on a multi-tiered Open Storage solution. A Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 server uses CMT to simultaneously process storage requests, and one Sun StorageTek 6540 array serves as a redundant controller. Data that is regularly accessed by services is stored on one Sun Fire X4540 server, while data that is not often accessed resides on two Sun Storage J4500 arrays. Solaris ZFS gives IT personnel the ability to manage and change the various storage components in a single pool without affecting availability.

The solution was fully deployed in April 2008 with the new architecture providing 99.99% availability or higher. Additionally, the virtual environments, Sun blade server modules, Solaris ZFS, and Open Storage solution have simplified the provisioning and modification of customer services and helped fuel a 10% growth in customers each month. The solution's small footprint and energy requirements have also helped MINET save 25% annually on power, cooling, and space requirements. Phil Garrett, General Manager of MINET said: “Our large power and cooling savings translates into more than just money savings, it also gives us more space that we can use to sell more services and generate additional revenue.”

Check out the complete details, including a podcast, here.

Wednesday Aug 05, 2009

InformationWeek's positive Sun VDI 3.0 review


Sun VDI Solution
Sun Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software
InformationWeek’s Randy George reviewed Sun VDI 3.0, which he called “new and improved,” citing “impressive performance” and “seamless” authentication against Active Directory as top features.

Randy found that “Virtual Desktop access screamed with Sun's VDI 3 on Sun Fire servers connecting to Sun's VirtualBox virtualization engine.” He also complimented provisioning features and the ability to automatically clone new virtual desktops as well as compatibility with a variety of software platforms.

Randy was also impressed with the Sun Ray 270 thin clients he tested, praising both their aesthetic appeal and the smartcard reader, which can be used for two-factor authentication. Overall Randy concluded that “Sun VDI impresses.”

Tuesday Mar 24, 2009

Sun News in Review: Christopher Kawalek on Sun Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Software 3.0


This morning we announced the availability of Sun VDI Software 3. The latest release offers great storage economics for VDI, built-in virtualization capabilities and a wide variety of virtual desktop operating systems. With increased flexibility, management efficiency and data security, Sun VDI customers are already saving big bucks.

I talked with Chris Kawalek, Product Line Manager of Desktop Virtualization Marketing at Sun, about the new software. Get the highlights of the announcement by listening to the short segment below.

Chris Kawalek
Chris Kawalek

Tuesday Jan 27, 2009

Another Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) / Sun Ray Review in TechTarget


Sun Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software

In a follow up to last month's virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) review, Rick Vanover of TechTarget further examined planning a VDI implementation.

Rick outlined the main components in a VDI solution and stated, "the Sun Ray series of devices are among the more refined products in the space." Further, he noted, "for administrators who prefer to use an ESX hypervisor for their VDI, the Sun Ray server software can fill this void."

Rick explains the VDI architecture and planning involved, also noting a Sun blog that walks through the setup.

Overall he is quite pleased with Sun's solution, concluding, "setting up a Sun Ray server software installation is not overwhelming. In fact, Sun makes it quite easy by working to simplify the process and break down the steps for administrators considering Sun Ray software."

Monday Jan 05, 2009

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) / Sun Ray review in TechTarget


In a TechTarget overview of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), Rick Vanover reviewed the Sun Ray 2 VDC, 270 VDC and 2FS VDC, noting that "the Sun Ray 2 series of devices are refined products that operate nicely in today's VDI landscape in regards to network transport, multimedia, I/O redirection and a price point that may surprise you."

Building a VDI solution is comprised of three main categories: device, broker, and hypervisor. In this review, Rick focused in the device and core features that should be considered. He looked at bandwidth considerations for VDI, specifically highlighting Sun Ray Server Software (SRSS) and Appliance Link Protocol (ALP).
Sun Ray
Performance and multimedia are the more hot-button features one should look for. "By building a VDI solution around an optimized transport system like Sun's APL, a framework is in place for solid multimedia utilization while keeping the network usage reasonable," he noted.

While the device selection process is important, implementers must also consider cost, infrastructure investment, platform footprints, storage, networking and other factors. Rick noted, "the Sun Ray 2 devices deliver a great user experience and have several options for back-end configuration to meet most requirements."

His conclusion: "The use of the Appliance Link Protocol, while proprietary to Sun, is an optimized transport that allows the device to be simply a device. Updates and connection changes at the Sun Ray server allow administrators to be quite agile in what is delivered to the devices compared to most device, broker and hypervisor relationships."

Thursday Dec 04, 2008

Now Available: JavaFX 1.0!


Today we formally announced JavaFX 1.0!

It is a significant advancement to the Java platform that marries the functionality to build RIA with immersive media and content for web browsers and desktops.

Among the key innovations in JavaFX is a Drag-to-Install feature and a unique unified development environment, which provides an application deployment model for building expressive RIAs across desktops, browser and mobile platforms.
JavaFX
This release includes three components: the JavaFX Development Environment, the JavaFX Production Suite and the JavaFX Desktop.

The new JavaFX mobile emulator will allow developers to preview their applications on the forthcoming JavaFX mobile platform, available to Sun's mobile partners in Spring 2009.

The full product details, 80+ code samples and tutorials are now available here. Check out the JavaFX videos at ChannelSun. And here are the top 10 things to know about JavaFX.

The JavaFX blog is posting a round up of blogs and press so far today.

Download JavaFX 1.0 and try it NOW -- you'll be amazed!!!

Wednesday Apr 02, 2008

Customer of the Week: Cincinnati Bell


Cincinnati Bell is finding that desktop virtualization is a far better alternative to upgrading hundreds of PCs running Windows.

The company is in the first phase of its desktop virtualization rollout based on VMware Infrastructure 3 and our Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). With about 3,300 computer-using employees, the company will convert one-fourth of them to use virtual desktops in the initial effort.
Sun customer -- Cincinnati Bell
(Image courtesy: Cincinnati Bell)

Cincinnati Bell turned to Sun because Sun VDI is a great solution designed to work on top of VMware Infrastructure 3, which Cincinnati Bell already had installed. In addition, it offers a choice of end-user interfaces.

Check out the complete details from the InformationWeek article.

Tuesday Jul 24, 2007

InfoWorld special report on desktop virtualization

In a special report, Paul Venezia of InfoWorld takes a look at the VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) market and discusses how vendors, such as Sun Microsystems, are offering real world thin client solutions that are helping companies save on high rising energy costs, among other things like application compatibility. Mason Uyeda, Sun Microsystems marketing manager for desktop virtualization is quoted at the beginning of the report, "We're seeing customers who really want to move away from terminal services for application incompatibility issues, among other things, and this is a clear alternative. VDI is like putting gasoline on the virtualization fire."

Paul writes in detail about the differences between traditional thin client systems and VDI, and how VDI changes the way sessions are delivered to the clients. Sun Ray-based broker was included in the report, and his conclusion is that VDI is still in its infancy "but the future definitely looks bright" with vendors like Sun leading the way.

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