By Chris Kawalek-Oracle on Feb 22, 2012
[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.