SGD and VDI
By Fat Bloke on Oct 11, 2007
Most of you may know this already but for those that don't, I thought I'd take a minute to explain a little about SGD and its place in the new VDI market....
Server Based Computing (SBC)
SGD was originally designed to allow people to run local and remote apps side by side in a hybrid desktop model. The remote applications were made to look like local ones (seamless windows), and behave like local ones (printing, filesystem access, audio, etc) but they were actually running on back end server platforms. And most SGD customers use multiple local and remote apps simultaneously, e.g. they'll have several windows open running a mix of Windows, Solaris, Linux, etc. apps
This approach solves issues of data security (lost laptops), manageability (apps live on servers in datacenter) and mobility (use any client from any network location). So administrators can decide which apps should be centrally located and which local on the users PC.
But what if you wanted to deliver not just the apps, but the whole desktop environment too? Well, some SGD users do this today when they publish a full Windows desktop or Gnome-session, say. But traditionally, these have been desktops delivered from Windows Terminal Servers or Solaris/Linux Servers. And the problem with Windows Terminal Server has been that some apps just don't work in a Windows server environment (e.g. they expect a unique IP address or global access to the registry/filesystem, because they were designed to run on a PC).
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
So what is usually meant by VDI is that the desktop environments (usually Windows desktop environments) are not running on servers, but running on Windows \*client\* OSes which are themselves running in individual virtual machines on a server. e.g. Windows XP or Windows Vista instances on, say, VMware ESX Servers.
This is interesting because those misbehaved apps now have a better chance of working because they are running on the platform for which they were designed, a Windows PC.
Now all we have to do is provide secure access to these desktops, and that's what SGD has been doing for years just like this...
So hopefully you can see that SGD is equally applicable for SBC and VDI.
One more thing: if the value you derive from SGD is proportional to the number of apps you access via it, should I pay as much when I use SGD in a VDI environment? After all I'm just delivering a single app - the Windows desktop.
Thankfully, those smart guys in Sun Marketing have delivered a new product for exactly this use case.
When you buy licenses for Sun xVM VDI Software you are allowed to use SGD or Sun Ray Software to deliver a single desktop environment per user.-FB