Using Oracle VDI 3.2 and Oracle VM server for x86

Oracle VDI supports multiple backends hosting the Virtual Desktop Sessions. This is provided through, what is called, Desktop Providers.

There are ways to connect to Oracle VDI as a desktop provider, Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware vCenter, Microsoft Remote Desktop (Used to be called terminal server) and generic. The Oracle VDI desktop provider built-in is based on the Oracle VM Virtualbox technology.

Next to the desktop providers, there are also 2 ways for sessions to be accessed. The use of standard RDP (the Windows guest is configured for remote access to a specific port running an RDP service) or, in the case of the Oracle VDI desktop provider something called vRDP. Oracle VM VirtualBox has a built-in RDPserver in the hypervisor which can be used as an alternative.

The advantage of using vRDP is that it can work with any guest operating system, whether it be Linux or Windows, because the RDP server is actually running under the graphics device. This is actually quite a unique feature and allows us to be a lot more flexible in terms of choice of guest OS than other VDI solution providers.

The Oracle VDI provider also supports direct RDP access in the case of Windows guests as an option, so here you really have a choice.

Now, we have had some customers ask whether Oracle VM server for x86 can be used as well. so. yes it can.

Microsoft Windows operating systems are supported as guests on Oracle VM and we also provide optimized virtual device drivers for Windows 2008, 2003, XP, 7 etc.

With Oracle VDI 3.2 you can access Windows guests through RDP using the generic desktop provider very easily. All you do is create your guest VM on Oracle VM, installed the optimized device drivers if required and enable remote access in the Config section of Windows (exactly same way as you would do with the other solutions). Then register the virtual Desktop's IP address in the VDI pool and you are all set.

It works great - I was testing this out using a Windows 7 install on Oracle VM and connected to the session from my Sun Ray 3+, great video, audio, worked like charm.


Comments:

RDP has been shown to have significant performance issues, especially with flash and other types of streaming video. Many companies are using Citrix's transportation protocol (sorry, forgot what it is called) or PCoIP - are there any plans to support these current generation protocols? Also, printing from virtual clients is a big issue for many customers. What is Oracle doing to address this with Oracle VDI?

Posted by Jay Weinshenker on September 26, 2010 at 01:22 AM PDT #

RDP is evolving as well so there are a number of things we are doing 1) virtualbox has a built-in vRDP server which can do things underneath the operating system, we can do multimedia streaming that's independent of the guest and send these streams directly to the sunray without additional translation 2) because of rdp server we can do Linux desktops with MM support, flash or others, unlike the other solutions out there 3) RDP7 has many new enhancements in RDP as well, and we are incorporating support for these standard out of the box windows enhancements in our products so we can make use of rapid changing areas and so forth 4) the ALP protocol on the sun ray has many advantages over other protocols in particular when it comes to wan and unreliable connections. (I can easily watch youtube videos with audio at home on my sunray with my VDI session at the office which goes from SF to austin back to SF (austin is vpn concentrator SF is server (and on the other side client) that's 3400 miles one way (so 6800 roundtrip). and yes for many customers WAN matters a lot, in particular in the VDI world 5) we can combine SGD and VDI together so you have access from anywhere n the world to the same virtual desktop, through a browser, through a sunray, a laptop etc. 6) with VDI you can assign a set of printers to specific pools. it is possible to set up printer queues on the sunray servers running vdi and assign those to the guest pools. we also have the ability to do follow me printing with sun ray server, that even works with hot desking.

Posted by wim.coekaerts on September 26, 2010 at 04:35 AM PDT #

Hi Wim, First off I'm confused with your title Using Oracle VDI 3.2 and Oracle VM server for x86. Oracle VDI 3.2 has to be installed on Solaris Bare Metal and can't run on Oracle VM Server. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is what the wiki docs say. Also we experience the same poor performance as Jay with flash content, videos from websites and currently only Windows XP and Windows 2003 have agents to make it optimized. When will Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 be supported with multimedia extensions and with the new release of Windows 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 when will Oracle support RemoteFX which contains all the multimedia and USB redirection functions?

Posted by greendatacentre on October 17, 2010 at 04:33 AM PDT #

Hi - there are a few different things here : 1) my example of using Oracle VM server was in the context of VDI and a feature added in 3.2. A Generic Desktop provider in VDI3.2 means that you can run a Windows desktop on any machine and if it has RDP enabled in the windows configuration then VDI can let you connect to it from a sunray. in this case I had a Windows VM installed on Oracle VM and enabled RDP on the windows side in the VM. 2) the vdi middle tier was/is on a physical server running solaris x86 but the desktop session ran remote, similar to a remote vmview session or citrix xendesktop session 3) regarding multimedia. there are 2 parts to this : a) connecting with sun ray server directly to a windows terminal server session with the uttsc client or with VDI3.2 to a remote vmware view or citrix or other windows desktop session - in this case you are right there is a driver for this for xp and 2003 - however - stay tuned. in our roadmap we have clearly spelled out that we are working on enhancing our product and adding more RDP7 features to improve both. b) actually using the full oracle vdi stack with the embedded hypervisor. we already support multimedia here and in fact we support it for any guest, not just windows but also linux or others. when I have, say, an ubuntu VM on Oracle VDI 3.2 in our own infrastructure with virtualbox, I get full support for flash content etc because we do this in the VB vRDP server.

Posted by wim.coekaerts on October 17, 2010 at 04:59 AM PDT #

Wim, I am trying to accomplish what you have outlined here. I have already configured OVM svr on three x4140 servers along with a 7310 unified storage for the back end and high availability is enabled. Additionally, I have guest windows VMs running (which are currently fully virtualized.) I am trying to find a good procedure for propagating and managing the VMs both on the LAN and across the WAN with good fidelity. Also, is there any type of sunray emulator or software for non-sunray clients or do you suggest straight RDP / vRDP? Any articles, manuals or workflows you could suggest would be tremendously appreciated. Cordially, Jeff Tiemann

Posted by Jeff Tiemann on January 04, 2011 at 02:32 AM PST #

With respect to OVM, and the OVM Mgr, where does SRSS / VDI 3.2 fit into the architecture. Also does the administrator create new VMs (end user desktops) within OVM Mgr or on the SRSS / VDI level? I am confused about this and could really use a diagram or road map.

Posted by Jeff Tiemann on January 07, 2011 at 03:45 AM PST #

The full VDI stack by itself is of course SRSS/VDI3.2/VBox. In my playing around with Oracle VM alongside I was just using the generic provider feature in 3.2. At this point, Oracle VM Manager and Oracle VM server are a component and then VDI/Vbox are a separate component. If you want to use Oracle VM to host desktops that you want to access from VDI, you would have to use Oracle VM Manager to create/clone the VMs and then take the guest IP and add that into VDI3.2 in the generic provider section to register those VMs. So at this point they are separate products. I really just wanted to show that it's possible to do this. A few people were commenting that it was not possible to use Oracle VM to host desktops and well, even tho there is some extra work, it is actually possible to combine the 2.

Posted by wim.coekaerts on January 08, 2011 at 03:24 AM PST #

for sunray emulator. I take it you are talking about a soft client to run on a win/lin/mac desktops. we have that, look for Oracle Virtual Desktop Client. For managing the VMs, if you use Oracle VM server, then you'd probably just have to stick to Oracle VM Manager gui or cli

Posted by wim.coekaerts on January 08, 2011 at 03:34 AM PST #

Wim, I see what you mean about managing VMs in OVM Mgr. My question is - What is the most distinctive difference(s) between serving desktops via OVM Srvr or VDI? Is there a particular advantage or disadvantage for either method? Having established OVM, should I just should I just stay with the current setup or do you recommend I dismount and start fresh with the VDI stack as you described earlier?

Posted by Jeff Tiemann on January 12, 2011 at 11:00 PM PST #

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About

Wim Coekaerts is the Senior Vice President of Linux and Virtualization Engineering for Oracle. He is responsible for Oracle's complete desktop to data center virtualization product line and the Oracle Linux support program.

You can follow him on Twitter at @wimcoekaerts

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