Eye on Blades Blog: Trends in Infrastructure
Get HP BladeSystem news, upcoming event information, technology trends, and product information to stay up to date with what is happening in the world of blades.

HP Client Virtualization: Hello from Citrix Synergy 2010!

I'm here in beautiful San Francisco with my fellow client virtualization fans at one of the most exciting conferences in the client virtualization industry, the 2010 Citrix Synergy event.  And it's been a great week so far with a number of big announcements from both Citrix and HP, and chock full of great sessions. 

I've got a few minutes before the next session, so here are some of this week's highlights:

  • Citrix announced their much anticipated XenClient product, which takes client virtualization to users on the move, allowing users to run multiple desktops on a single laptop, while providing the benefits that come with virtualizing your desktop.  Very cool demo at the keynote, and express versions of XenClient are available for download at the Citrix website.

  • As our partner, Citrix, announced the XenClient, HP announced the XenClient hypervisor technology readiness of the HP Compaq Elite 8000 Business Desktop and HP EliteBook 8440p Notebook PC, providing customers the power to deliver the most demanding business applications, combined with the protection of a secure, centrally managed virtual machine.

  • HP also announced the new HP 4320t Mobile Thin Client, designed to meet the security and reliability needs of remote and mobile workers. It enables secure access to server-based, virtual PC or blade PC computing solutions while providing the mobility of a reliable notebook PC.

  • And by popular demand... HP has released our VDI reference architecture for XenDesktop and XenServer! I'm particularly excited about this offering since I'm often asked about HP's take on implementing client virtualization.  Reference architectures are how we convey that, and I'm proud of what we've been able to develop jointly this with Citrix.  Check out the reference architecture in all its glory here.

  • Finally, HP also announced new RDP Enhancements for Adobe Flash, enabling the decoding and playing of embedded flash for VMware View and Microsoft Remote Desktop Services environments. RDP 6 does not natively support flash, so our enhancements both decodes and plays embedded flash, enabling users to enjoy enhanced productivity and communication benefits. It takes advantage of client processors, rather than server processors, to decode flash media – lowering the CPU load on the server

Be sure to check out some of our great HP folks on short Citrix TV clips (including yours truly), recorded at the event this week!

As a final note, HP just released a new client virtualization TCO calculator if you're interested in understanding how client virtualization from HP can help you meet your business objectives.  Try it out here.  Note that your HP rep has access to a related client virtualization ROI tool that gets you an even more customized report out, so be sure to bring this up with your HP contact.

OK, going to head over to Laura Frombach's deep dive session on the new HP Reference Architecture - talk to you soon!

Until next time,

Joseph George
HP Client Virtualization Team

Client Virtualization: There's No Substitute for Experience

I love to grill.  More to the point, I love to grill steaks.  (Hey, I’m from Texas – it’s a requirement!)  Over time, I’ve developed my own special system, which include a specific seasoning mix, just the right temperature on the grill, and the perfect cut of meat, among other things.  And I can’t describe the satisfaction I get from taking a bite of a steak I’ve grilled to my liking, with just the right flavor.  Mmmmmm….

(Hungry anyone?  Please take this moment to grab a snack, then come right back.)

Looking back, there was a journey I had to take to getting this process right.  As with most things I get excited about, I started by consuming as much data as I could get on the subject.  I watched television programs about grilling steaks.  I read articles online.  I conferred with “grillmasters” I trusted on their tips and tricks.  When I felt I was ready, I took a stab at it (no pun intended).  And, wow -  let me tell you – that first steak?

Meh. It wasn’t that great.

It was a bit too charred for my taste.  I later learned I’d left the grill too hot the entire time.  So the next time I grilled, I made an adjustment with the temperature.  But this time, it was too dry because I left it on the grill too long.  I fixed this on my subsequent attempt, but felt the seasoning could have been better.  I learned that certain cuts of meat delivered the right flavoring I was seeking.  Then I experimented with various levels of thickness and hot / cool spots on the grill.  Every chance I had, I honed my skill with research, time, and trial and error.

Eventually, I was able to grill a steak that was perfectly tuned to my liking.   And now, grilling that “perfect” steak – well,  it’s almost second nature.  There’s something to be said for all the experiences and lessons that led me to this point.  In fact, my process now is more efficient that it used to be.  I can quickly spot if there’s a problem with the process because I’ve done it so many times.  And, my family no longer feels the need to keep the pizza delivery number nearby when I grill.

What does all this have to do with client virtualization? 

There’s something to be said for good old fashioned, roll-your-sleeves-up, hard work to hone your skills.    Sure, HP offers the best end to end client virtualization product portfolio, but we also offer the best client virtualization services portfolio as well.   HP Client Virtualization Services provide you with the best means to meet all your client virtualization needs, born from experience and steeped in expertise. We simplify the client virtualization implementation process, by designing the right solution for each customer.  And we can do the same for you. 

Learn more about HP Client Virtualizaiton Services here, including news on an announcement made last week about our exciting Client Infrastructure Services Portfolio.  It's a comprehensive set of services and solutions, built to help organizations extend the benefits from converged infrastructure to the desktop. 

Whether it’s implementing a sophisticated VDI environment, or making a killer ribeye on an open flame, there’s just no substitute for experience.  OK, that's it - I need to fire up the grill.  I knew this would happen...

(Before I sign off, check out a great blog here from our partners at Citrix, highlighting the value that HP Thin Clients can add as you begin planning for Windows 7 migration.)

Until next time,

Joseph George
HP Client Virtualization Team

Planning for Client Virtualization: Know Thyself

Have you noticed how difficult it is to get information on client virtualization?

Exactly – it’s not difficult at all.

Vendors are talking about it.  Analysts are devoting research to it.  IT / Virtualization events and conferences dedicate a good portion of their agenda to it. Do a quick web search on client virtualization – it brings up a number of web sites, articles, webinars, community forums, technical sessions, blogs, and tweets on the topic. 

(Anyone had a chatroulette about client virtualization yet?  Probably not.)

As with many things that are shiny and seemingly new (client virtualization has actually been around for a while), it’s important to understand what goes into the real world planning, implementing, and managing of it.

Here are a few starting points.

First and foremost, you’ll need to learn about your user community.  There are varying needs when it comes to applications, customization, and horsepower, and many times you may not be as familiar with your desktops as you’d like. Be sure to start with an assessment to understand what your user landscape looks like.  In fact, you may discover that some users may be better off staying on a traditional desktop!

Educate yourself on the client virtualization technologies available to you. There are a number of options available, including server based computing, VDI, and dedicated desktops like workstation blades. Various forms of client virtualization have unique values that they bring to the table, and in many circumstances, strengths are complimentary. Like chocolate and peanut butter, many customers discover their best bet is to have a mix of technologies. 

Help your users prepare for the transition by setting the proper expectations with them.  The better you prepare your user community for this next stage in desktop evolution, the easier the migration path to client virtualization will be.  The overall experience can be identical to a traditional desktop depending on the technology selected, but some things will just be different.

And this is just a start.  HP can help you go through all the details with the expertise you need to make client virtualization a reality, leveraging the best end-to-end technology and services portfolio around.  Drop a note to your HP rep today – you can learn more about the different client virtualization technologies available, work together on your first user assessment, or even have your very first client virtualization discussion.

Where are you on your client virtualization journey?  What other considerations do you find yourself accounting for as you plan for client virtualization?  Let us know - feel free to leave a comment below. 

Until next time,

Joseph George
HP Client Virtualization Team

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About the Author(s)
  • More than 25 years in the IT industry developing and managing marketing programs. Focused in emerging technologies like Virtualization, cloud and big data.
  • I am a member of the Enterprise Group Global Marketing team blogging on topics of interest for HP Servers. Check out blog posts on all four Server blog sites-Reality Check, The Eye on Blades, Mission Critical Computing and Hyperscale Computing- for exciting news on the future of compute.
  • I work within EMEA HP Servers Central Team as a launch manager for new products and general communications manager for EMEA HP Server specific information. I also tweet @ServerSavvyElla
  • HP Servers, Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and ExpertOne
  • WW responsibility for development of ROI and TCO tools for the entire ISS portfolio. Technical expertise with a financial spin to help IT show the business value of their projects.
  • I am a member of the HP BladeSystem Portfolio Marketing team, so my posts will focus on all things blades and blade infrastructure. Enjoy!
  • Luke Oda is a member of the HP's BCS Marketing team. With a primary focus on marketing programs that support HP's BCS portfolio. His interests include all things mission-critical and the continuing innovation that HP demonstrates across the globe.
  • Global Marketing Manager with 15 years experience in the high-tech industry.
  • 20 years of marketing experience in semiconductors, networking and servers. Focused on HP BladeSystem networking supporting Virtual Connect, interconnects and network adapters.
  • Working with HP BladeSystem.
  • Greetings! I am on the HP Enterprise Group marketing team. Topics I am interested in include Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and Management, and HP BladeSystem.
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