I'm investigating virtual desktops at work. My goal is to do a small proof-of-concept trial of VDI this summer, see how it works out in practice, and then expand it or dump it as appropriate into the future.
What I like about both products:
- Uses the Linux-based KVM hypervisor
- Supports both Linux and Windows Desktop VMs
- Designed with VDI in mind rather than bolted on
Another presentation from RHVE 2009. This one is entitled, "Virtualization and Multi-Level Security" by James Labocki and Greg Pryzby of Red Hat.
Another presentation from RHVE 2009. This one is entitled, "The Sky is the Limit: Building your Own Cloud Infrastructure using Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization" by Hugh Brock and Jan Mark Holzer of Red Hat.
Another presentation from RHVE 2009. This one is entitled, "Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization" by Navin Thadani who is a big wig at Red Hat. It is from the business track and higher level view.
Another presentation from RHVE 2009. This one is entitled, "Red Hat Virtualization: Breaking Performance and Scalability Barriers" by John Shaksober and Vijay Tehran of Red Hat.
The Red Hat RHEV presentation lasted for about an hour and forty-five minutes and I video taped it. I can only relase the first 23 minutes of the presentation which is where the slides ended. The demo after the slides contained details about the upcoming (and currently in beta) RHEV for Desktops product which can't be shared because it is subject to change between now and the GA release.
As an attachment to this article you will find the PDF of Tom's slides.
The video should work in Firefox 3.5 and above... or any browser that supports the HTML 5 video tag and Ogg Theora video. In-browser playback isn't always perfect so if desired, right-click on the video and select "Save Video As..." to download and play locally. The videos is approximately 105MB.
Red Hat actually opened up the SPICE protocol yesterday during their Virtual Experience 2009 event. Somehow I missed that. Have a look at the press release if you are interested... as well as their site to house the new open source project - spice-space.org.
This seems to have caused some buzz in certain corners of the virtualization websphere (does anyone still use that word?) but so far no one has said what it could mean for us run-of-the-mill Linux users looking for a good, fast remote desktop protocol. I asked a couple of questions on the fedora-virt mailing list and received some informative replies. I haven't had a chance to actually check out the SPICE website in depth yet though. For those wanting technical documentation, I've attached their spice_for_newbies and spice_user_manual PDFs.
I did want to share with you my response to one of the articles about the SPICE release that I ran across. You can go there and see the context this came from but it is pretty self explanatory.
Red Hat held the Red Hat Virtual Experience 2009 today and it was awesome. What was it? It was a completely online conference that offered everything you'd find at a traditional face-to-face show like the annual Red Hat Summit.
I was hoping Red Hat would use this event to introduce / announce RHEV for Desktops but no such luck. I guess we'll have to continue to wait until January.
- Conference Center - 15 presentations in three tracks with live video, audio and slides including chat submitted questions from the audience
- Exhibition Hall - 3 regions, US region had 14 vendors with staffed booths offering public and private chat
- Resource Center - 15 background items (PDF and Flash videos)
- Birds-of-a-Feather - 4 Topics
- Networking Cafe - Chat center with presenters and guests
- Help Desk - Section for help with the virtual experience usage
Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers on November 3rd. A couple of weeks before the release, I emailed Red Hat media relations contact Kerrin Catallozzi and asked for an interview with some Red Hat employees regarding Red Hat Enteprise Virtualization.
It took a several weeks to get the answers back mainly because the official product release happened... and after I had the chance to download, print and read the documentation, most of my questions had been answered... and I ended up coming up with all new questions. Kerrin found Andy Cathrow (Product Marketing Manager) and Jim Brennan (Senior Product Marketing Manager) of Red Hat to provide the answers. Andy Cathrow will be referred to as "AC" and Jim Brennan will be referred to as "JB".
Jim Brennan serves as Senior Product Marketing Manager for Desktop Virtualization at Red Hat. He is responsible for the market strategy and positioning of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops. Jim has over 12 years of experience in the development, management, and marketing of technology products.
Prior to joining Red Hat, Jim spent eight years with Internet Security Systems (now part of IBM), where he held positions in research and development, product management, and product marketing for various information security products and technologies.
Andy Cathrow serves as Product Marketing Manager at Red Hat and is responsible for Red Hat's virtualization products. Andrew has also managed Red Hat's sales engineers.
Prior to joining Red Hat in 2006, Andy worked in product management for a configuration company, and also for a software company that developed middleware and messaging mainframe and midrange systems. Earlier in his career, Andrew held various positions at IBM Global Services.
[Update: - Dec. 9, 2009 - I got a chance to chat with Andy and Jim in real-time and ask several additional questions at the Red Hat Virtual Experience 2009 online conference. See the comment below the main interview for a transcript.]
I haven't seen it mentioned on Slashdot or LWN yet... and I even emailed LWN informing them... but Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers and the accompanying Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor products today. There are a slew of press releases and demo videos. They even had a webcast press conference. Oh, and hey, they also released all of the manuals too.
Didn't we see this coming?
Those who have been paying attention were expecting these releases... but I must admit that once I learned the details, I was shocked. Why? Because the Management side of the product requires Microsoft Windows products. What products? Windows Server 2003 is needed to run the management server. What services is the Windows Server running? IIS, Microsoft SQL Server, and it'll need to be connected to a Microsoft Active Directory Server for authentication and management.
Then of course once you have the proper Windows environment established you can actually install the RHELfS management app provided by Red Hat. Oh, if you don't have your own Microsoft SQL Server setup already, they can install the Express edition for you.
The Management server software includes a local management client app you can run on the management server but it also has a web-based version of the management app for remote management. Yeah, at last open standards! Not so fast. What browsers are supported by the web-based management app? Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and up. Other browsers (according to the docs) are "untested". What? They haven't even tested them? What, you aren't curious if Firefox works? To clarify it appears as if the web-based management app sends Active-X based content to the web client... and that .Net technology is also used.
Ok, after reading those last few paragraphs, I'm guessing you are shocked too.