Friday Aug 16, 2013

UPDATE: Sun Ray and VDI Last Order Dates

For important updates and clarifications on Sun Ray and VDI Last Order Dates, please click here to view the updated blog.

Thursday Aug 01, 2013

UPDATED! Sun Ray Hardware Last Order Dates & Extension of Premier Support for Desktop Virtualization Software

For the latest updates on Sun Ray Client hardware and Peripheral Kit last order dates, and information about Sun Ray Software and Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure licensing and support, read the Sun Ray Hardware Last Order Dates and Extension of Premier Support for Desktop Virtualization Software document on OTN. We recommend to regularly check this document as it is frequently updated with the latest availability status of Sun Ray Clients and Peripheral Kits.

Please note that availability of the Sun Ray Clients and Peripheral Kits cannot be absolutely guaranteed up to the latest published last order dates due to the inherent unpredictability of demand, and we strongly recommend placing last time buy orders as early as possible to maximize Oracle's ability to fulfill orders.

Friday Jul 05, 2013

Friday Tips #35

It's a holiday weekend here in the US, so here is a quick Friday Tip entry for you. And it doesn't require any reading! These are two great introductory videos on our virtualization portfolio, and they're both under 4 minutes long, perfect for a quick afternoon break:

Oracle VM Templates and Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder

Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Have a great weekend, and we'll see you next week!

-Chris 

Wednesday Jun 26, 2013

June 2013 Virtualization Newsletter is Here!

The June Edition of the Oracle Virtualization Newsletter is now available! In this issue, you'll learn about:

  • Announcing Oracle Secure Global Desktop 5.0
  • Dell Announces New Infrastructure Offering with Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, and Oracle Enterprise Manager, Optimized to Run on Dell x86 Systems
  • Oracle VM Continues to Expand Partner Ecosystem with Cisco and NetApp 
  • Get Ready for Oracle OpenWorld 2013

And much more!

Head on over and read the newsletter. You can also subscribe and have it automatically appear in your inbox each time a new edition is released!

-Chris 

Friday Jun 07, 2013

Friday Tips #31

Happy Friday, everyone!

Our tip this week answers a question that comes up often.

Question:
When deploying Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, how many users can a single server support?

Answer from information in the Oracle's Single Server Solution for VDI white paper:
As part of a single server solution (meaning, the hypervisor, storage, and management pieces are all on one machine and no other systems are necessary), Oracle tested two different configurations and came up with a guideline for how many users these systems can support. Please remember, this is just a guideline and not a guarantee or assurance of performance.

Configuration #1 (this is called the "base configuration" in the paper):

  • Sun Server X3-2L based on Intel Xeon E5 2660 processors
  • 128 GB 1600 MHz RAM (expandable to 512 GB)
  • 16 x 600G SAS-2 10K RPM disks 
  • Based on a customized “Large” configuration on the Oracle store 
  • Targeted at 90-95 users per system

Configuration #2 (this is called the "performance configuration" in the paper):

  • Sun Server X3-2L based on Intel Xeon E5 2690 processors 
  • 256 GB 1600 MHz RAM (expandable to 512 GB) 
  • 26 x 600G SAS-2 10K RPM disks 
  • Offered as “Large” configuration on the Oracle store 
  • Targeted at 180-190 users per system

If you'd like to get some more detail on this, head on over to the Oracle's Single Server Solution for VDI white paper for a lot more info.

We'll see you next week!

-Chris 

Friday Apr 05, 2013

Friday Tips #22

Happy Friday, everyone! Today's tip on the really cool Location Awareness feature of Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure:

Question:
How can I tell if location awareness is working?

Answer from "Using Location Awareness with Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure":
Use the command prompt to check the clientname environment variable. Simply login to the virtual desktop from the first Sun Ray Client, start a Windows command prompt, and type:

echo %clientname%

Close the command prompt window, login to the same virtual desktop from a second device and repeat the process. If everything is functioning properly, the clientname environment variable will change.

We'll see you next week with another tip!

-Chris 

Friday Mar 29, 2013

Friday Tips #21

We hope you're having a great Friday! Here is our Friday tip:

Question:
Can I run VDI with just a single server?

Answer by Chris Kawalek, Senior Principal Product Director, Oracle Desktop Virtualization Marketing:
Absolutely! Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure allows you to deploy on a single server for everything you need for a VDI deployment: brokering, running VMs, and storage. Properly outfitted, this single server should be able to support up to 180-190 users. You can read exactly how to do this, what kind of server it requires and more in this new white paper:

Oracle's Single Server Solution for VDI

Another great thing about this solution is that it easily scales. If you add a second server, you can use its own internal storage for HA. And you can add external storage and more servers if you want to scale even higher. And at no point do you have to install a different product or do a massive reconfiguration to grow from a small pilot or departmental deployment to an enterprise one.

We'll see you all next week!

-Chris 

Friday Mar 22, 2013

Friday Tips #20

We hope you've had a good week and happy Friday! It's time for our 20th Friday tip. This one is about installing Oracle VM VirtualBox for use with Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure:

Question:
How do I install VirtualBox to use it with Oracle Virtual Dekstop Infrastructure?

Answer by the Oracle documentation team:
Unzip the VirtualBox software archive, change working directory to the extracted directory, and install the software with the vb-install script, as follows:

# unzip vbox_4.2.zip
# cd vbox_4.2
# ./vb-install

VirtualBox consists of two components, a Base Pack and an Extension Pack. The VirtualBox software archive contains only the Extension Pack. However, the vb-install script downloads the VirtualBox Base Pack, and then installs both the Base Pack and the Extension Pack. If the Base Pack download fails, you must manually download it from here. Make sure you download the release that is bundled and supported with the release of Oracle VDI. Copy the Base Pack to the same directory as the vb-install script, and then run the script again.

The vb-install script prompts you for a user name, a password, and a port number to use for SSL connections.

The user name and password is for the user that runs VirtualBox on the host. On Oracle Linux platforms and Oracle Solaris platforms where root is a user, the root user is used by default. It is best to use the root user on these platforms. On Oracle Solaris platforms where root is a role, you must provide the credentials for a different user.

If the VirtualBox user is root, the SSL port is port 443 by default. Otherwise, port 18083 is used by default. If another process is using the default port, the vb-install script suggests another available port. If you plan to install Oracle Secure Global Desktop software on this host as well and port 443 is selected, choose a different port.

Make a note of the user name and port, you need these later.

After a few minutes, the installation is complete.


The answer to this question is from the Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Getting Started Guide for Release 3.5. There's lot of great information in there, so have a read through it if you want to get a good sense for how to plan your install.

We'll see you next week!

-Chris 

Monday Mar 18, 2013

Brand new VDI and Sun Ray Software releases!

We announced big updates to Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and Sun Ray Software this morning! The marquis feature in these releases is integration with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, which provides a complete monitoring view for your servers, storage, apps, and now, desktop virtualization. In addition, there are features for high availability for smaller deployments, updates to "Personal Hard Drives", a new "Application Hard Drive" type, and much more. Read more here:

Press release: Oracle Introduces Comprehensive Management for Desktop Virtualization

And over at the Fat Bloke blog, there is a great post going into a lot of detail about what's new in Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.5.

Download Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.5 or Sun Ray Software 5.4.

-Chris

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

Thursday Jan 31, 2013

Oracle Virtual Desktop Client updated!

You might have seen that Oracle announced updates to the Oracle Virtual Desktop Client for mobile platforms and desktop PCs today. The Oracle Virtual Desktop Client is an important piece of the Oracle desktop virtualization portfolio because it allows on the go access to your virtual desktop from many different devices, over WiFi and wired connections, 3G/4G/LTE for your mobile devices, pretty much anything that a modern client device would use. You can seamlessly and instantly move your desktop between any supported device–start on your laptop at home, pick up on a tablet on the train to work, continue on a Sun Ray Client at work, for example. And starting today, there are two new platforms that can enjoy this instant desktop access!

- This is first release to include support for Android. This opens up remote access to Oracle desktop virtualization deployments to a whole new group of users.

- The Windows Oracle Virtual Desktop Client now supports Windows 8. Just to be clear, the support in this release is *not* for gesture based Windows 8 tablets, but for Windows 8 desktops PCs.

- New gestures are available on the mobile client, and these are consistent across iPad and Android, which makes moving between devices easier.

- Expanded USB support in the desktop client, allowing you to use more of your USB devices.

This is a very exciting release, especially for Android and Windows 8 users! You can read the news release here, or download from here.

-Chris

Friday Jan 18, 2013

Friday Tips #11

Earlier this week, Oracle hosted a really cool event, the Virtual SysAdmin Day. If you missed it and happen to be in EMEA (or willing to stay up late in other parts of the world!), you can join the next one we're having on January 29th. You can learn all about Oracle Solaris, Oracle VM, and Oracle Linux straight from the experts here at Oracle.

During the event, one of the audience members tweeted a question about Oracle storage. We asked if we could use the question for our Friday tips series and he graciously agreed. Storage has a huge impact on the performance and cost of virtualization (both server and desktop) deployments, so we thought a short definition of Oracle optimized storage and the Oracle's Sun ZFS Storage Appliance would be in order.

Question:
What exactly is this ZFS Storage Appliance? Is it just a simulator or actual usable production appliance? 

Answer by Christopher J. Martin,  Principal Product Manager, Oracle Optimized Solutions:
The Sun ZFS Storage Appliance is Oracle’s preferred NAS storage system with unified storage capability for enterprise tier 1 environments that also simultaneously provides superior Block SAN features and performance. It offers a rich set of enterprise-class data services such as snapshots, clones and replication(local and remote) as well as industry-leading performance, and Oracle Hybrid Columnar Compression- a feature for Oracle Databases.  These systems also feature a comprehensive and intuitive user interface and storage analytics environment that is unmatched in the industry in terms of its ease of use and simplicity.  This dramatically reduces management time and complexity, reducing operating expenses.  The Sun ZFS Storage Appliance offers compelling economics along with extreme performance and efficiency for enterprise storage. 

Thanks Chris!

We also covered storage briefly back in our second entry in this series where we had a question on linked clones.

Thanks for reading today. We'll be covering more storage topics in future tips as well as anything else you want to ask regarding Oracle virtualization. Just use #AskOracleVirtualization on Twitter and we'll try to get your question answered.

-Chris 

Friday Jan 11, 2013

Friday Tips #10

Happy Friday, everyone, hope you've had a good week! We're very excited to to have reached double digits in our Friday tips series, and we hope you're finding them useful. Remember, you can get your questions answered by posting on Twitter with the #askoraclevirtualization hash tag. We're also very happy to receive questions via DM to the Oracle Virtualization Twitter account on the Oracle Virtualization Facebook page.

Today's tip is the last in our video series (for now) on Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure administration. Once again, this video is courtesy of John Pither, Principal Sales Consultant, Oracle Desktop Virtualization. In this video, John covers setting up a "Company", an important concept for multi-tenant or departmental deployments.

We'll see you next week!

-Chris 

Tuesday Jan 08, 2013

Hear us talk about BYOD!

Recently, I had the pleasure of spending some time on the phone with John Renko, consulting developer in the desktop virtualization group here at Oracle. You might know him from his fantastic answers to many of our Friday Tips questions.

While BYOD has become a pretty common idea over the last couple of years, John has been conducting his job using BYOD principles for many years. And given his job developing desktop virtualization technologies, he's an expert in the space. You can hear John and I talk about how BYOD works, what sorts of things are ideal for it, some things that aren't a perfect fit, and more in this podcast:

John Renko and Chris Kawalek Discuss Bringing Your Own Device for Enterprise Application Access

My thanks for John for taking the time to speak with me!

-Chris

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