Wednesday Mar 06, 2013

Final Day of HIMSS13

We're just getting ready to wrap up the booth at HIMSS13. Like a lot of Oracle shows, every single demo of Oracle Applications was done using Oracle desktop virtualization. I sat down with Adam Workman, Principal Consultant with Oracle, to talk about the booth deployment. Adam and team were responsible for designing and implementing the demo infrastucture for the booth.

Why is Oracle using desktop virtualization instead of laptops at the demo pods?
One of the philosophies we have at Oracle is we have the entire stack to run the infrastructure. So we like to show our customers that we can do that, and that's why we bring the infrastructure to the show.

The other reason why we do it, quite frankly, is because it makes our lives a lot easier. It allows us to bring in an infrastructure that can support dozens of applications without needing to configure individual laptops. We don't have to worry about all the infrastructure and administration to bring in dedicated PCs, which makes things much easier.

What is the server backend required to support the show?
Interestingly enough, we can actually run the show on a single Oracle Sun Server X3-2. But we want to provide an enterprise solution, so we bring a second server to make sure everything will  stay up if we had a hardware fault, etc., This year, since we want to give people a real world visualization of what it would take to bring this into their organizations, we brought a real rack and hardware that would be similar to a customer deployment, and it lets you run over 500 desktops. That's more capacity than we need for this show, but it's more typical of a real deployment.

This is your 3rd year doing this show, were there any different challenges this year versus previous years?
The move to a "real world deployment" actually made the show even easier. In years past, we would ship the hardware, set it up onsite, get it all ready for the demo people to use. By moving to a larger real world infrastructure, it changed our setup a little and allowed us to rack and stack all the servers prior to the show and made our setup a lot easier.

Do the customers even know they are seeing a "virtual" desktop when they are looking at Oracle Healthcare applications on the booth?
From a performance standpoint, they have no idea that they're not looking at a notebook or a hidden PC. The reason the customer knows is that the demo staff point out the Oracle Sun Ray Clients on the desks and show the customers the servers that are running in the booth.

Is the end user experience is the same as it would be if you were using laptops?
It's the same or better, and from a demo staff perspective, they actually prefer when we do this. They used to have to bring laptops or preconfigure a laptop before the show, keep track of it, maintain it, and so on. With desktop virtualization, they can just show up and know that things are going to work.

Were there any Oracle Applications that weren't compatible or didn't work with the booth setup?
There are no applications that we we're demonstrating here that were incompatible or didn't work. Oracle's browser based applications are certified to work with Oracle desktop virtualization and everything we've had here has worked great.

Have you had any downtime?
We've had no downtime whatsoever, the system just hums along and runs.

How long did it take you to do the set up before the show?
It takes approximately one work week - 40 hours - to build the infrastructure. There were three of us, so it happened very rapidly, over the span of a couple of days. We had one person who physically racked and stacked the servers. We then made sure all the servers and the storage array had the latest firmware on them, and from there, things go really fast. We just install the operating system, install Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which takes maybe 15 minutes, and from there, we just load the official Oracle golden template that comes from our global IT operations.

And how will teardown go?
The teardown is actually ridiculously fast. We just have to walk around and power off the Sun Ray Clients, we give the servers the shutdown command, and unplug them, and that's it. So, literally, 15 minutes and we'll be done. And the convenience going to the whole setup is that it literally rolls back into a crate and goes back to Oracle.


How easy is it to reuse this setup for anther show?
We designed the the servers, storage, and rack as a reusable component, so it's just a refresh between the shows if an update comes out. You always have to update the Windows golden image before it goes out for security reasons, but it's very easy to get it ready for the next show.

Was there anything healthcare specific you had to do for the booth deployment?
There's aren't settings in the software that I would say are specifically for healthcare, but there any many features we take advantage of with healthcare. One of the features we talk about a lot is caregiver mobility. And one of our newer features related to that is location awareness. So, as a doctor or nurse moves inside a facility, the applications need to know where the person updating the record physically is and we've added a flexible software feature so that the EMR and applications know that they've changed locations. So we're showing that today.

-Chris 

Monday Mar 04, 2013

HIMSS 2013, Day 1

We just wrapped up day one of HIMSS13 in New Orleans. HIMSS is always a really important event for us because so many healthcare organizations leverage Oracle technologies. And desktop virtualization lends itself perfectly to healthcare, especially with "caregiver mobility." This simply means that doctors and nurses can move from place to place and retain secure access to patient data. In our case, it also means desktop mobility between PCs, iPad and Android tablets, and in-room mounted thin clients.

We're here with some really amazing folks from the Oracle Healthcare team and the Oracle desktop virtualization team, and we're going to get some videos up for you over the next few days shot live on the show floor.

And if you're here, please stop by and say "hi" to us! As usual, the entire Oracle booth is being hosted with Oracle desktop virtualization, and we'll go into more detail on that in our next post.

-Chris

Monday Mar 19, 2012

Oracle Virtualization Newsletter, March Edition: Hot off the Press

The March edition of the Oracle Virtualization newsletter is now available. Articles include:

  • Take the Oracle VM Survey
  • Geek Week review of Oracle's VDI on brianmadden.com
  • Webcast: Simplify Oracle RAC Deployment with Oracle VM, March 20
  • Oracle VM VirtualBox Commercial Licensing
  • Links to the latest technical whitepapers
  • Training
  • Upcoming Events

Read it here.

Subscribe to the newsletter. 

Friday Feb 24, 2012

Videos from HIMSS12

We just finished up our stay at the HIMSS12 healthcare show in Las Vegas, NV. It was fantastic show for all of Oracle, and for virtualization in particular!

We did a number of videos while we were there. Here is a list:

Oracle Healthcare Wrap-Up of HIMSS12 - Reid Oakes

Oracle Desktop Virtualization Wrap-Up of HIMSS12 - Jeff Harvey 

Delivering Population Health - Simon Stone 

What is Caregiver Mobility? - Adam Workman 

A Different Approach to Trade Show Demos - Glenn Babbitt 

Moving Your Desktop to an iPad - Stuart Scurti

Desktop Virtualization Introduction for HIMSS12 - Chris Kawalek 

You can find all these and more vides from us on our YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/OracleVirtualization

Many thanks to everyone who stopped by and said hi to us at the booth!

-Chris 

Wednesday Feb 22, 2012

HIMSS 2012 Booth Deployment

[Posted on behalf of Oracle's Adam Workman, Principal Consultant, Oracle Desktop Virtualization]

Oracle is at HIMSS 2012. In this post we are going to focus in on the actual technology that we are using to run our booth.



The technology in the Oracle booth is all built on Oracle's motto: hardware, software, complete. Our engineers develop, test and run Oracle software on Oracle hardware. This leads to systems where all the components seamlessly work together, making them easier to use, and reducing TCO. We are leveraging this advantage to run a rock solid display of Oracle software on Oracle hardware at HIMSS12 using Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.2.1, Oracle Sun Ray Clients, and Oracle Virtual Desktop Client for iPad.

The first thing we needed to do was size the amount of system resources we needed to run the booth. As I mentioned, our engineers have done a lot of work on this, and have documented how to right size VDI environments. Our sizing led us to run Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.2.1 on an Oracle Sun Fire x4170 M2 server. This server has dual 6 core processors, 24 GB of RAM and 8 SAS disks. The proverbial long pole in the tent–the resource you are going to run out of first–in a virtual desktop environment is disk IOPS. Our sever selection allowed us to provide the necessary RAM, GHz and disk IOPS for the environment. The servers are running Oracle Solaris 10 u10 which gives us the power of the ZFS file system. Two of the disks are mirrored for the OS, while the next 6 are in a large ZFS RAID pool and used to host the virtual desktop images. Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is an enterprise grade software solution and has built-in clustering and failover. To provide the DR for our solution, we tied in a second x4170 M2 (configured identically to the first), and the solution is automatically load balanced across the two servers.

Now that we have an infrastructure to run virtual desktops, we have to decide what type of desktops we are going to use. Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure can virtualize Windows 2000 through Windows 7, Solaris, Oracle Linux, and many other operating systems. Since many of our customers are still using Windows XP and are used to it, most of the demo pods opted to use a Windows XP virtual desktop. We are also able to demo Windows 7, Oracle Linux, and Solaris as well.



Next up, how do we display those virtual desktops? Oracle is the only tier 1 solution provider that has a complete desktop virtualization solution. In addition to the servers and storage needed to run the environment, Oracle has both a virtualization mechanism and display mechanism. We are displaying our virtual desktops at thirteen pods in our booth. The first twelve pods have two Oracle 21.5 monitors each, attached to a single Oracle Sun Ray 3 Plus Client. Now, as anyone who has ever designed a booth for a trade shows knows, floor space is at a premium. By using Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, it allows us to have twelve demo stations, but we're set up to demo up to 24 different Oracle solutions. Using the built-in "hot-desking" technology in the Sun Ray Clients, we can assign a demo environment to a smart card, and then pull up any demo at any station just by inserting the proper card.



The lucky thirteenth station is where we are showing off the Oracle Virtual Desktop Client. OVDC allows us to display virtual desktops on existing PCs and tablets which can be running Windows, Linux, Mac OS X or iOS. If you look carefully at that iPad above, it is running Windows XP!

Alright now we've got some great desktops, but hey, Oracle is an application vendor. Where are all the apps coming from? At Oracle, we maintain all of our demonstrations apps in the cloud. The demonstration center is built using Oracle hardware running Oracle VM. The demonstration center allows for our application teams to show their applications anywhere in the world, including at trade shows such as HIMSS. There are Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Applications which allows for the demonstration center to quickly spin up different VMs, allowing for demonstrations to be easily configured for different customers and purposes.

So how does it all fit together? At Oracle we like to talk about the Red Stack. We are the only tier 1 provider who can provide remote access to applications, from the desktop to the data center. And since they say a picture is worth a thousand words, here is an architecture slide to show how all the pieces come together.


Tuesday Feb 21, 2012

Live at HIMSS 2012!

We're here live at HIMSS 2012. I did a post a few weeks ago where I described how we'd be hosting the Oracle demos during the show, and I'm pleased to say it's a huge success!

Oracle has 12 demo pods showcasing our healthcare solutions. Things like "Accountable Care and Health Engagement", "Leveraging Data for Translational Research", "Next-Generation Healthcare Solutions", "Connected Health Platform", and 8 others. The exciting thing for us is that every single one of these demo pods is powered by a server-hosted virtual desktop machine running on Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Each pod has dual 21-inch monitors and a Sun Ray 3 Plus Client, and we have several Apple iPads in the booth that can demo any of the Oracle solutions using the Oracle Virtual Desktop Client.

In fact, one of the more interesting things I've done today involves the iPad, too. Right now, I'm composing this blog post on a Windows XP virtual machine provided by the booth infrastructure we created using Oracle desktop virtualization. It's displayed on my iPad2 and I'm using a Bluetooth keyboard to type. It's a pretty cool and portable way to work with a full desktop and I'm not slowed down by using a virtual keyboard.

Wednesday Jan 18, 2012

HIMSS 2012 and Oracle Desktop Virtualization

Last year, Oracle desktop virtualization provided the demonstration platform for all of the Oracle demos at the 2011 HIMSS Conference. If you're not familiar with The HIMSS Conference, it's one of the most important healthcare IT shows in the industry.

This year, we're proud to say that Oracle and Oracle desktop virtualization are back at HIMSS12, once again providing the stations for all of the Oracle demos in the Oracle booth. This is significant because it shows that Oracle desktop virtualization is an ideal platform for providing access to Oracle Applications.

New this year is the Oracle Virtual Desktop Client for iPad. This handy free download from the Apple App Store enables mobile access to applications and healthcare solutions that don't have native iPad clients themselves, by "front-ending" them with Oracle desktop virtualization (I've talked about the Oracle Virtual Desktop Client for iPad in several other posts). This means you can take nearly any existing application, and make it instantly available on the iPad. Each demo pod will feature an Oracle Sun Ray Client, and there will be iPads around the booth as well, so you can see how easy it is to work from either device, and freely move your session back and forth. And, of course, Oracle desktop virtualization supports standard PCs, Macs, and more, so you can work on practically any device you have access to.

If you're planning on going to HIMSS12, please stop by our booth and see how Oracle desktop virtualization delivers on the promise of caregiver mobility, and provides better access to critical data from nearly any location.

Oracle at HIMMS12
Feb 20-24, 2012
The Venetian Sands Expo Convention Center
Booth 2040

Read the Oracle invitation to HIMMS12

Tuesday Feb 22, 2011

HIMSS 2011 and New Press Release

 

IMG_0065.jpg

 

We're here at HIMSS 2011 in booth 1651. If you're at the show, tomorrow (Wednesday) is the final day for the exhibits, so come over and see all of the Oracle demos displayed on Sun Ray Clients. It's extremely cool!

Also, we did a press release here at the show about caregiver mobility with Wolf Medical Software. Have a read here.

Wolf Medical Software did a press release themselves, too. You can read their press release here.

Thursday Feb 17, 2011

Oracle Desktop Virtualization at HIMSS 2011

The HIMSS Conference is an extremely important industry trade show put on by The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. It's being held in Florida starting this Sunday, February 20th. Their slogan, "Linking people, potential, and progress" could be true of Oracle desktop virtualization as well! The Oracle desktop virtualization group has worked very closely with the Oracle healthcare business unit to have a large presence at this show, and I wanted to tell you a bit about what we're doing:

- All Oracle demos are being done on Sun Ray Clients
That's right, every demo pod in the large Oracle booth will have a Sun Ray Client with each demo tied to a smart card. Too many people at your demo station? Pop your card out and go to a different one. We'll also be demoing Oracle desktop virtualization at a dedicated demo station, too. This is great stuff!

Find Oracle at booth #1651
Oracle's" page about HIMSS

- Focus Group - Caregiver Mobility with Oracle Sun Ray Clients and Desktop Virtualization
Feb 22, 3:15-4:15 PM
This focus group will be for customers interested in Oracle desktop virtualization. It's invitation only, but you can comment on this blog post and we can give you info on how to attend (your comment won't be made public).

- Solution Session - Fast, Secure, Workflow Optimized: Inexpensive Access to Care Information is Possible Inside and Outside of the Hospital
Feb 23, 4:15 PM Booth #685, Wireless and Mobility Theatre
Oracle's Adam Workman will cover caregiver mobility and the benefits of Oracle desktop virtualization to healthcare organizations.

- New healthcare solutions page on oracle.com
We've created a page dedicated to content involving desktop virtualization and healthcare. This will be your onestop shop if looking for desktop virtualization and healthcare information.

- New desktop virtualization and healthcare solution data sheet
This document outlines how we define "Caregiver Mobility" and how Oracle products are used to facilitate quicker, more secure access to patient data.

We'll have some more updates from the show next week. It looks like its going to be an exciting event!

-Chris

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