Tuesday Jul 10, 2012

Oracle Virtualization at Oracle OpenWorld 2012

Mini-Series Entry 1 of 3: Hands-On Virtualization

This is the first entry of a three part mini-series aimed at highlighting server and desktop virtualization at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld. 

Oracle OpenWorld 2012 is fast approaching! If you are as excited as we are about the fascinating new Oracle virtualization content featured at Oracle OpenWorld 2012, you won’t want to miss this blog mini-series. We will be highlighting sessions that cover advances and innovations in our products, our product strategy and roadmap, and hands on labs for step-by-step instructions from our field and product experts.

In the blog mini-series you will learn about:

  • The Oracle Virtualization general keynote session
  • Hands-on labs 
  • Key Oracle server and desktop virtualization sessions

In this entry, we will cover the Oracle Virtualization keynote session and the hands-on labs you won't want to miss.

Session ID: GEN8725

Oracle offers the industry’s most complete and integrated virtualization portfolio enabling organizations to realize benefits beyond simple consolidation as they transform their data centers into flexible cloud-based infrastructures. Join Oracle executives and experts to learn about Oracle’s desktop-to-data-center virtualization solutions, such as the OS, with built-in management integration at all layers that can help you virtualize and manage the complete computing environment, from physical servers to virtual servers and applications. This “don’t-miss” session offers details of the latest product updates and strategy; product roadmaps; integration with enterprise applications; and real-world examples of how Oracle server, desktop, and storage virtualization is benefiting customers.

Here are our top picks for Hands-On Labs for Oracle OpenWorld 2012:

Session ID: HOL9907
This hands-on lab demonstrates the performance (using an industry-standard load tester) and roaming capabilities of Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Oracle’s Sun Ray Clients, Apple iPad and other clients.

Session ID: HOL9558
This hands-on lab takes you through the planning and deployment of an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environment with Oracle VM as the foundation. It covers a range of topics, from planning storage capacity, LUN creation, network bandwidth planning, and best practices to designing and streamlining the environment for ease of management. Learn from deeply experienced field engineers and product experts.

Session ID: HOL9559
This hands-on lab is for application architects or system administrators who will need to deploy and manage Oracle Applications. You’ll learn how Oracle VM Templates can turn you into a power user who can virtualize and deploy complex Oracle Applications in minutes. Longtime field-experienced engineers and product experts will show you, step by step, how to download and import templates and deploy the applications.

Session ID: HOL9870
The purpose of this hands-on lab is to demonstrate the functionality and usage of Oracle’s enterprise cloud infrastructure for x86 with Oracle VM 3.x. It covers: 

  • Creation of VMs
  • Migration of VMs 
  • Quick and easy deployment of Oracle applications with Oracle VM Templates 
  • Usage of the Storage Connect plug-in for the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance
You can find these and other great sessions on the Oracle OpenWorld 2012 Content Catalog. Start checking now to better plan and organize your week at the conference. Then you’ll be ready to sign up for all of your sessions in mid-July when the scheduling tool goes live.

While the hands-on labs allow you to directly interact with Oracle virtualization products, the conference sessions allow you to hear from a wide variety of industry experts on how they're using they technology in real world deployments, solving specific challenges, and more. In tomorrow's entry, we'll start talking about the many conference sessions related to Oracle server and desktop virtualization you can attend during the show. See you then!

- The Oracle Virtualization marketing team

Monday Jun 25, 2012

DIA2012

If you've read this blog before, you probably know that Oracle desktop virtualization is used to demonstrate Oracle Applications at many different trade shows. This week, the Oracle desktop team is at DIA2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

The DIA conference is a large event, hosting about 7,000 professionals in the pharmaceutical, bio technology, and medical device fields. Healthcare and associated fields are leveraging desktop virtualization because the model is a natural fit due to their high security requirements. Keeping all the data on the server and not distributing it on laptops or PCs that could be stolen makes a lot of sense when you're talking about patient records and other sensitive information.

We're proud to be supporting the Oracle Health Sciences team at DIA2012 by hosting all of the Oracle healthcare related demos on a central server, and providing simple, smart card based access using our Sun Ray Clients. And remember that you're not limited to using just Sun Ray Clients--you can also use the Oracle Virtual Desktop Client and freely move your session from your iPad, your Windows or Linux PC, your Mac, or Sun Ray Clients. It's a truly mobile solution for an industry that requires mobile, secure access in order to remain compliant.

Here are some pics from the show:

We also have an informative PDF on Oracle desktop virtualization and Oracle healthcare that you can have a look at.

 (Many thanks to Adam Workman for the pics!)

-Chris 

For more information, please go to the Oracle Virtualization web page, or  follow us at : 

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Friday Jun 22, 2012

Maintenance Release for Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.4.1 is now available from My Oracle Support. Read the docs here (the docs are for both 3.4 and 3.4.1), or login to MOS to get your update!

 -Chris

For more information, please go to the Oracle Virtualization web page, or  follow us at : 

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Tuesday May 29, 2012

BriForum London Videos

We're back from BriForum London and it was a fantastic show. Just amazing firsthand information on real world desktop virtualization deployments, future trends, best practices, and more. If desktop virtualization is part of your job, I highly recommend checking out the event. The next one is in July in Chicago, and Oracle will be there!

Here are a few videos from the show:

The video below was done by the brianmadden.com folks, so click on it to go over to their site to see it. Many thanks to the team there!

-Chris

For more information, please go to the Oracle Virtualization web page, or  follow us at : 

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Wednesday May 23, 2012

BriForum London 2012 Demos

We're currently at BriForum London 2012, and we're demoing the Oracle desktop virtualization portfolio. Oftentimes at trade shows, all of the Oracle Applications you're seeing are hosted by Oracle desktop virtualization. This lets us do things like show how you can instantly switch a Siebel session from a desktop PC to an iPad for working on the go, or using applications from literally "any old PC" just by logging in with a web browser.

This show is exclusively focused on desktop virtualization, so we were able to create a demo that highlights some of the cooler features of the portfolio. Here are some things we're showing:

- Impeccable full screen, high definition video from a virtual desktop on a large plasma display. Standing directly in front of the display, it's difficult to tell the video is originating on a virtualized operating system on a server, and the view of that entire desktop is flowing over the wire to a very inexpensive thin client that has no local operating system and requires no management. It's pretty much indistinguishable from video you'd see by hooking a high powered PC to a plasma display.

- A new feature in our latest releases is location awareness. This allows applications on the virtualized desktop to (optionally) access information about which particular client or device a user is logging in from. This is essential in industries like healthcare, where whenever something is logged about a patient, not only is the identity of the person doing the logging crucial, but where the person physically was when they did the logging is also required. Developers can use this information in other really cool ways, for example, making it so when a user prints from a particular place, the print job is sent to the printer physically closest to the user. In the demo here, we're showing location awareness by changing the desktop image to indicate the user's location with a dot on a map on the desktop wallpaper. So, login to one Sun Ray Client and you get a red desktop with the dot in room x, login to a different one and you get a blue desktop with the dot in room y. Very cool stuff.

- Multiple desktop environments across two monitors. This is something that people are getting used to with client side hypervisors (such as Oracle VM VirtualBox), but it's very innovative with server based desktop virtualization. The idea here is that, from a single client device, you can login to two different server side environments and access both simultaneously. This is ideal for developers and other users who might need to balance their time in multiple operating systems.

- Speaking of multiple operating systems, since Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure uses Oracle VM VirtualBox as the virtualization engine, users can run not only Windows desktops like other solutions, but can also run Ubuntu, Oracle Linux, and Oracle Solaris virtual desktops. Those are the operating systems that are tested, but in actuality, lots and lots of operating systems can work, too (at your own risk, of course). So, as an experimental demo, we're showing virtual desktops on operating systems going all the way back to Windows 3.1. Yes, Windows 3.1 from 1992 in a modern virtual desktop infrastructure. Not for the feint of heart, but fun to show, just the same.

- Accessory devices that use USB have historically been difficult for desktop virtualization, thin clients, etc. But today, our solution provides excellent support for USB devices. At the booth here, we're showing a couple of devices connected through the USB ports on a Sun Ray 3 Client, and communicating with a server side Windows XP environment. The first is a digital camera with a remote capture application on the Windows virtual desktop...press a button in the Windows virtual desktop and it sends a commands over the wire to the Sun Ray Client, Sun Ray Client sends to the camera via USB, camera takes the picture, and then uploads the picture by reversing the path back to the server. And, even more interesting is a remote sensor device used in education. This device samples information from the environment (sound levels, temperature, etc.), and sends it as a stream over USB to a Windows application, again, installed on the virtual desktop at the server.

If you happen to be at BriForum in London, please take a moment to stop by the booth and let us show you around the portfolio. You might be surprised what we can do!

-Chris


Thursday May 17, 2012

New Smart Card Features for Oracle Desktop Virtualization

Sun Ray Software 5.3 and Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.4 now include a completely new and improved smart card software stack for Sun Ray 3 Series Clients and clients installed with Oracle Virtual Desktop Client 3.1. The new smart card software stack allows end users to quickly and easily login to their virtual desktops and applications, and offers users an even more secure virtual desktop environment by providing the capability of using two-factor authentication - what you have (your smart card) and what you know (your PIN). Some partner products can also add biometric authentication in conjunction with PIN authentication, thus providing three-factor authentication, making Sun Ray Clients one of the most secure virtual desktop thin client solutions in the industry.

The new smart card software stack allows administrators to easily deploy smart card solutions with Sun Ray 3 Series thin clients or Oracle Virtual Desktop Client on PC, Mac or Linux desktops in their environment.

The Sun Ray Software and Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure smart card software stack is one of the most versatile solutions, providing enhanced compatibility with more smart cards, and smart card middleware partner products, than ever before. By allowing applications to utilize the full addressing space and data storage capabilities of cards and middleware that use the extended APDU format, and by enhancing compatibility with PC/SC on Microsoft Windows, Oracle provides the fastest and most compatible performing smart card-based solutions for virtual desktops. In laboratory testing, smart card data transfer speeds up to 24 times faster than previous releases have been measured on Sun Ray 3 Series Clients, which means that operations such as PIN login and PKI are faster, and the user gets authenticated access to their desktop much more quickly.

With the use of a smart card, users can automatically launch their sessions without the need to enter their login credentials multiple times, saving time and increasing productivity. This enhanced smart card solution is extremely cost-effective and easy to implement, and is critical for environments where security and speed are a must - including healthcare, kiosks, and Point of Sale terminals.

Feature Benefit
Fast auto-launch of sessions - with or without a PIN Increases end-user productivity
Automatic identification of both user and card Provides instant identification and security
User authentication with password, PIN and/or Biometrics Provides additional security using multi-factor authentication
Manage smart cards at multiple levels - local user, sessions/domain  Gives administrators flexibility to choose a configuration that best suits their needs

(This blog posted on behalf of Oracle's Michael Bender) 

Tuesday May 15, 2012

Oracle Virtualization: Live in a City Near You!

It's been a very busy time for virtualization here at Oracle! One of the things we really like doing is getting out at trade shows to meet and talk to customers and show them our solutions first hand. 

We've been at a number of shows recently. Here is a short list of shows we've done just in the last few weeks:

Collaborate 12 (Oracle user community)
ICMI ACCE 2012 (contact centers) 

A recurring theme at these shows is how we can help customers deploy applications faster. One of the key benefits of Oracle Virtualization (both server and desktop) is that your Oracle Applications and virtualization (and servers and storage!) are all from the same vendor. This helps everything work together smoothly, which can cut down your test/deploy/fix time considerably.

Here are some pictures from ICMI ACCE 12:



And here are some pictures from Collaborate 12:

We hope you can get out to one of these trade shows and see our products in action! Speaking of which, we're getting close to our presence at BriForum London, May 23-24. We'll have live blogs from the show floor, Twitter and Facebook updates, nearly live videos on our Oracle Virtualization YouTube channel, and more. If you're going, we hope to see you there!

-Chris

For more information, please go to the Oracle Virtualization web page, or  follow us at : 

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Thursday May 10, 2012

New Releases for Oracle Desktop Virtualization

Today, we officially announced the latest versions of Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Sun Ray Software, and the Oracle Virtual Desktop Client. There's lots of great stuff in these updates, have a read through the press release for a quick overview and follow the links below to download the latest versions! 

Sun Ray Software 5.3 and Oracle Virtual Desktop Client 3.1

Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.4

Tuesday May 08, 2012

Oracle Desktop Virtualization Security Solution at DISA Mission Partner Conference 2012

Oracle desktop virtualization is showcased with the Oracle Cross Domain Security Solution and Oracle Systems at the DISA (Defense Information Systems Agency) Mission Partner Conference 2012.  This annual DISA conference brings together decision-makers and subject-matter experts from the military services, combatant commands, industry, and academia to share information and ideas that are of mutual interest and are critical to helping the U.S. Department of Defense achieve mission success.  The conference also features a list of stellar speakers including Oracle President Mark Hurd as the featured speaker on Wednesday May 8, 2012.

Oracle Sun Ray Clients and Oracle Solaris with Trusted Extensions are key elements of the accredited Cross Domain Security Solution used by the U.S. Federal Government.  The Oracle Solution for Single Level Security adds the Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure software for the secure access and provisioning of Windows 7 Virtual Desktops.

This years DISA Conference theme is “The Joint Enterprise: Delivered Through Partnership.”  As described by Lt. General Ronnie Hawkins: "DISA realizes that delivering an enterprise that improves security, enhances effectiveness, achieves efficiency, enables innovation, and reduces the warfighter’s burden can be achieved by working with our mission partners".

Oracle Sun Ray Clients are featured at the Oracle Booth for the DISA 2012 Mission Assurance Conference. Solaris Trusted Extensions provide the cross domain multi-level security solution shown to the left with green and red window labeling indicating the security level.

Integrated labeling enforce secure access across security domains and applications including access to Windows desktops hosted on Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.  The Oracle Cross Domain Security Solution supports the Federal Government Common Access Card and SIPR Token Cards.

Lt. General Ronnie Hawkins stops by the Oracle Booth to discuss the Oracle Cross Domain Security Solution with Oracle sales consultants at the DISA Mission Partner Conference 2012.

Monday Feb 27, 2012

Solving The Storage Challenge for Desktop Virtualization Webcast

For many people, the storage design is one of the more concerning issues when moving to desktop virtualization model. It can get confusing for sure, but one of the things we're doing at Oracle is making sure our storage solutions and our desktop virtualization solutions work really well together. We get to take direct advantage of the features in our storage hardware, ensuring you get optimum performance out of your investment.

On Wednesday, we'll be doing a webcast on this very topic with two Oracle experts. We have Chris Martin from the Oracle storage team and Andy Hall from the Oracle desktop virtualization team. The webcast is live, so you'll be able to have your storage and desktop virtualization questions answered by our esteemed speakers.

Here are the event details:

Solving the Storage Challenge for Desktop Virtualization
Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM PST

Register for the free webcast here. Hope to see you there!

-Chris

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 Feb 08, 2012

Brian Madden site has a look at Oracle desktop virtualization

Oracle's John Renko spent a day with Gabe Knuth of brianmadden.com to do a profile of Oracle desktop virtualization. If you've ever wanted to get a better understanding of the architecture or the design philosophy of our products, this article has lots of in-depth information for you.

The article also has two very good videos. In the first, John does a whiteboard walkthrough of Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. And in the second, Gabe does some hands on testing of a Windows virtual desktop, including demonstrating video performance and showing in detail some of the optimizations that Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure does behind the scenes to improve the user experience.

Have a read through the article now.

-Chris

For more information, please go to the Oracle Virtualization web page, or  follow us at : 

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Tuesday Jan 24, 2012

January 2012 Oracle Virtualization Newsletter

The latest issue of the Oracle Virtualization Newsletter is now online! You can read about some of the awards Oracle Virtualization has recently won, get up to date on the latest product releases, read tips on accelerating Oracle VM and more. Read the January edition now.

-Chris

For more information, please go to Oracle Virtualization  web page or  follow us at : 

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