Brian Madden and Gabe Knuth's 2010 year in review

A lot of people predicted that 2010 would be a big year for desktop virtualization. Independent experts Brian Madden and Gabe Knuth review the hits and misses in the year's trends.

Read the full transcript from this video below:  

Brian Madden and Gabe Knuth's 2010 year in review

Brian Madden: Hello. From San Francisco, this is Brian Madden.

Gabe Knuth: And in Omaha, Nebraska, I'm Gabe Knuth. Today we're going to
talk about our top ten themes, trends, topics, I guess, from 2010. We
went through, made a list, we can't really classify them as anything,
so I guess we should probably just hop into it and make of them what
you will. Brian, what do you have?

Brian Madden:  Yeah. So my first thing from 2010, trend or whatever,
I'm going to say the biggest thing about 2010 for me was that I wrote
an article that said, "The Windows 7 train has left." What I mean by
that is that for years before, well, lots of people, myself included, said,
"Hey, desktop virtualization and Windows 7 are really tied together"
because as desktop virtualization was getting to become more popular
over the past few years, a lot of companies weren't really doing it in a
wholesale way because they didn't want to do all that work for desktop
virtualization just to end up on Windows XP again.

Gabe Knuth: Or Vista.

Brian Madden:  Exactly. People said, "When Windows 7 comes out"…
Windows 7 is so new, it's got new security models, new application
compatibility, new profiles, new hardware requirements. Most people are
going to 64 bits. Windows 7 is going to be such a big change anyway you
might as well kind of kill two birds with one stone and do Windows 7 and
desktop virtualization together. That's what I was saying, up through,
even as late as middle of the year, this year. What happened is we got into
Q3, Q4 this year, we realized a lot of customers are actually moving forward
with their Windows 7 plans, but they're not thinking about desktop virtualization.
They're doing Windows 7 "the old way" where they're installing Windows 7
manually, locally, on laptops. So, my biggest trend for 2010 is that, yeah,
we're getting Windows 7, we are going down the path to Windows 7,
but it is not about desktop virtualization.

Gabe Knuth: No, yeah. What more can I say? I agree with that. Number two,
I guess on our list, and I guess these probably aren't any huge order. Maybe,
that one is your most important one, but I don't know that the tenth one is the
least important. So number two is our Geek Week that we did way back in
March. It was our first one and, to date, our only one, but for that we actually
got five VDI vendors, Citrix, VMware, Quest, Microsoft, and Virtual Bridges all
in a room and spent a day with each one of them standing up their products,
taking them down, taking a look at their protocols and putting them through
different WAN tests and really kind of getting deep with engineers from each
one of those companies. That was nine months ago now, so let's take a
look at some of the things that have changed since then.

First up is VMware. Since then, originally we tested VMware View 4.
Now 4.5 is out; 4.5 supports Windows 7 and has a local mode that uses
a type-2 client-side hypervisor to kind of check out your VMware View
virtual machines.

Zen Desktop 5 just came out within the last few weeks. It has a brand new
install process which is one of the big knocks that people have against
Zen Desktop was that it was so complicated to configure all those
moving parts. They've wrapped that up in to a new process. It's
got new administration consoles, or should I say one administration
console? I don't know if we can call it one yet or not, Brian, can we?

Brian Madden:  It's got fewer administrative consoles.

Gabe Knuth: It's got a main one.

Brian Madden:  But there are newer ones and there's administrative
consoles for like, task-specific. So, there's a Help Desk specific
admin console so that your Help Desk console that someone uses to
reset sessions and shadow users is not the same console you use to
re-architect the configuration of your form which makes sense.

Gabe Knuth: There you go. And the last thing, and probably the biggest
change overall is the new database. They've gotten rid of IMA basically and
changed it into something that should be just awesome for everyone in
the future because it actually uses Sequel to native database. It's not
Eldap shoved into a Sequel database and then unmanageable by
normal Sequel management standards.

Next is Verde 5, and when we had Virtual Bridges in for Geek Week
we were reviewing their 3.0 product. Since then they've released
Version 4 and Version 5. Now what we've got is integrated management
for their branch office products and their Leaf client hypervisor. We
also have Spice involved and we've been looking forward to seeing
it again. It kind of went off the radar for a little while, and now it gets
Virtual Bridges back in the game as far as these next-generation
remote display protocols go.

VWorkspace, Quest vWorkspace 7.2: They have a new installer,
a new reporting engine, and probably the coolest looking thing is
EOP Extreme which is Quest's enhancements to remote effects.
Well, to RDP, also including remote effects to optimize the protocol
for the use in WAN environments.

Last, Microsoft. They haven't done anything since then, however,
they are still screwing us with the licensing.

Brian Madden:  Will it ever change? The third kind of big trend,
the big idea of 2010 is, I think what we also found with 2010 looking
back, is those people who are using VDI, they're using it in a one-to-one
mode. So what I mean is they're using it with persistent desktops. They're
using it, where each user has his or her own disk image where all
the changes persist. When we first started talking about VDI a few
years ago, we thought, "Oh, in this fantasy world of VDI we are
going to have one master disk image, and all of our users are
going to share it, and we're going to use app virtualization and
user virtualization. It's going to be amazing" and maybe,
but you know what? That stuff's hard.

So in 2010 we found that people using VDI, they're like, "Yeah, you
know what, man? I just want to put my desktops in my data center
and not rock the boat too much, so we're just going to keep it with
every user having their own disk image." So even though that
sort of like is the backwards way of doing it, the trend for 2010,
those people out there who are using VDI by and large are doing
it with personal, persistent disk images.

Gabe Knuth: What's crazy to me is this is not how it's being marketed.
It's not being marketed to people that want to use them one-to-one.
It's still being marketed as many-to-one and to a use case the
people aren't really using.

Brian Madden:  I'll say part of the reason why they're marketing that
is because another trend, and this is not on our list, but part of this is a
lot of the vendors, 2010 is the year that the vendors are sort of trying to
sell VDI at a cheaper Capex than traditional desktops. I know VMware
has done this, I know Hookah Visa, a bunch of folks are doing this where
they're like, "Hey, finally VDI is only like $499 or sub-$500 per desktop".
But when they say $499 per desktop, there's a footnote there, and you
read the fine print and it says, "Assuming that you're using disk image
sharing". So it's funny, in order to get it cheap enough, they have to
do it in a way that's not the way that anyone actually uses it.

Gabe Knuth: Well, we're both from Cleveland, so we're both
used to saying maybe next year. Maybe next year will be the year
that we get shared images.

Brian Madden:  Maybe, maybe 2015.

Gabe Knuth: So, another thing that we've seen come out this year
is - I don't know how to classify this - I guess it's an application portal,
but now we're including all these different SaaS and web applications
alongside of our data center provisioned applications. I guess
those could be SaaS or web apps as well, and Windows apps.
VMware's Project Horizon was announced at VM World, and
we got some decent information about that there. Citric's Open
Cloud Access was then announced at iForm, or Synergy - iForm,
wow - Synergy in Berlin, and there's another company named
Centrics that actually has the kind of agnostic version of this application.
I guess it's probably more of a provisioning platform because you can
actually approve applications for certain users from all walks of life,
be they SaaS, Windows, web apps, you name it. So this is kind of one
of those growing things that I think we're going to see a lot more as
businesses adopt more and more applications that are not

Brian Madden:  Yeah, and that's the thing because you hit the nail on
the head with that is that using SaaS apps is great for businesses,
but the more SaaS apps you use, the more independent, discreet
places you have to manage stuff. So it's like you start on day one,
they give your domain account, you log onto email, but then it's like
"Oh, and we use Sales Force for this and here's our online expense
tracking system and here's our online newsletter publishing system
and here's our online travel management system and these are
all separate systems". So the application desktop delivery vendors,
Citrix and VMware, for them to try to manage both Windows apps
and the SaaS apps together is great.

I should point out also, by the way, Citrics Open Cloud Access
actually has been released. So it was released back on December
17th, and they sort of jokingly say that "Hey, while VMware's
Vision is over the horizon, we are here today".

Gabe Knuth: Good one.

Brian Madden:  I mean, I've got to say, when VMware calls it horizon,
they teed it up for Citrics to make fun of them in that way.

Gabe Knuth: Yeah. I want to add one more thing, and that is that
Open Cloud Access, at least, and I'm not about the other ones,
but Open Cloud Access actually secures that traffic, too,
going out to the web apps and SaaS apps and such.
It uses - what do I want to say here - the branch repeater to do
that, or a Net Scaler, I'm sorry.

Brian Madden:  The Net Scaler, yeah, yeah.

Gabe Knuth: Uses to secure that traffic to add more security to that.

Brian Madden:  We'll look at this stuff more next year. The problem
is it's based on Net Scaler Platinum and then Open Cloud Access,
it's a $50,000 license on top of that. So, this stuff ain't cheap.

Gabe Knuth: You got to want it.

Brian Madden:  Well yeah, yeah exactly. And, Citrix defends that
and says, "Look, do the math. Look at your alternatives. Divide it
out per user and everything, and we are cost effective" but in
a lot of cases it's more expensive than the other way of doing
things, although the other way of doing things is a very manual
way. And VMware, of course, has not yet announced pricing.

Gabe Knuth: Well, not to make this segment even longer, but that's
what opens the door for companies like Centrics with the agnostic
platforms to come in and do some things at a way lower price point
and maybe, even to the same level of integration.

Brian Madden:  I don't know Centrics. I will commit, to you,
the viewer, I will commit that Gabe will look at it next year.

Gabe Knuth: Oh, absolutely. He's emailing me right
now actually. So I will get on that.

Brian Madden:  So, the fifth sort of big news item of 2010
is the Remote Effects. As you know, we've done lots of video
on Remote Effects. We've written a lot about it. Probably not too
much more to say about Remote Effects. We can say that maybe
since what changed last time is we know that there's not a release
vehicle for it. It will be part of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and for
Windows Server 2008 R2 and that's scheduled for Q1 of next year.
So, Remote Effects is still not out yet, but that is that LAN only,
you know, purely fully host-rendering, zero clients, multimedia
protocol from Microsoft. We'll see that Q1 of next year.

Gabe Knuth: Yeah. We'll wait to see how well that's adopted. There's
a lot of hardware required on the back-end to do that, but
that's becoming not all that unique anymore. What's that?

Brian Madden:  I was going to say, Remote Effects, yeah, the hardware,
I can't stress that enough. What we've seen so far in testing you need
like several hundred dollars worth of GPU per screen to use with Remote
Effects. Plus, of course, you need Hyper-V, and it only works on
a LAN. So Remote Effects sounds awesome, but it's actually
a very narrow use case. So we'll look to that next year to see
how that actually plays out.

Gabe Knuth: Right on. So, Client hypervisors. This is something…
How long have we been talking about these now, three years?

Brian Madden:  It's got to be.

Gabe Knuth: It's something that it's always been that next
big thing. Can't wait for these to come. Can't wait for these to happen.
They're still not really happening, you know? There's a lot of people
out there waiting for VMware and Citrix to come out with their client
hypervisors, us among them, and here we are at the end of 2010. I
think 2009 was the first time that we were hearing of Citrix and VMware
both putting out their own product. And here we are at the end of 2010,
still nothing from VMware. I think it's all but officially been kyboshed.
Nobody's come out and said that yet, but it's definitely, I mean,
nobody's talking about it all.

And then Zen Client is in version 1.0. In our notes here it
says "Very 1.0", and hopefully, if you all know what I mean
there, it might as well be kind of .9. It doesn't do everything that
we want it to do. It's basically just a hypervisor that runs on the client.
There are a few little cool integration things, but none of the synchronization
between the data center and the end point.

Now, that said, those are the two big guys. There's a bunch of
other guys out there that actually have pretty neat products.
Virtual Bridges, who we mentioned before, has a client hypervisor
called Leaf and that's based on KVM. It can run off a USB stick
or installed locally, and it synchronizes virtual machines back to
the data center, and down from the data center I should say.

Mocha 5 and Virtual Computer, same kind of thing. These
guys are actually, Mocha 5 is a type-two base. Virtual Computer
is a type-one, but both of them have pretty comprehensive solutions.
So if you do need a client hypervisor, there are options for you,
but they are not coming from VMware and Citrix.

Brian Madden:  Yeah. The reason I put Mocha 5 into our show
notes is because Mocha 5, actually Briform back in July, originally
demoed a bare metals solutions. So they're really trying to
deemphasize this whole type-one versus type-two. They're
trying to change the conversation to maybe type-two versus
bare metal. As a matter of fact, VMware's own bare metal hypervisor
wasn't technically a type-one hypervisor. It was actually a locked-down
Linux distribution that had what was much more like the Linux-based
VM player built onto it along with the Ace Management stuff.

One of the big trends we saw with client hypervisors is those
who are building true hypervisors for the clients may be more
like Zen Client or Virtual Computer. There's a lot of other
folks who are building bare metal solutions which look and
feel a lot like client hypervisors, and at the end of the day it
doesn't really matter. It's more about usability and what features
they have and hardware support and stuff like that. So we're seeing
that, as you said, Gabe, this is the year that we're starting to see a
lot of stuff kind of come out, but so far 2010 was not the year that
they caught on.

Gabe Knuth: No. A lot of people are hot on security with the type-two
hypervisors. So I like your differentiation there between bare metal
and type-two. If we classify type-two as something like VMWare
or Workstation that runs on top of Windows or Linux or whatever
or VMware Fusion. If that's a classic type-two, then you still have to
worry about securing the end point, because if there's a key-logger
loaded on the host then they can have visibility into the guest. Now,
bare metal, on the other hand, even if it is technically a type-two
running on top of some sort of small OS, if that can be more secure,
then that's the way to go. I guess we'll see how that shakes out
though next year.

Brian Madden:  Moving on, so now our seventh, item number
seven for 2010, I'm kind of calling this, 2010 was sort of the year
of I'll say the local storage revolution and I'm talking in the context
of VDI. When I say local storage, I mean storage that's local to the
VM host. So, in the years past people talked about "OK, with VDI,
you might be able to put whatever, eight VMs per core. You've got
eight cores per box, so 64 VMs per physical host and then maybe
you've got, whatever, 20 physical hosts and they're all connected to
desktop images on the SAN." That's fine, but SAN's really, really expensive,
especially to get the eye ops [SP] to support what you need for these
desktop workloads. 2010 was the year that people started to realize,
"Hey, we can actually move the storage out of the SAN and put it
locally in the VM host so each server has its own local hard drives
and run our VMs off of there to get much better distributed performance
and then not need these gigantic SANs with these massive eye ops
capabilities supporting the whole thing on the back-end".

I wrote an article in - I don't know - six months ago called "F the SAN"
and that, in my mind, really launched into that conversation about not
using SANs for VDI. Since that time, we've had people talking about
putting SSD into servers. We've had Citrix and now something
called Intelicash which is a new feature of Zen's server feature
pack one which allows you to have storage based on SMB shares
which is then cached and shared locally on the actual, physical box itself.

We've seen companies like Unidesk embracing local storage. We've
seen companies like virtual storage vendors like Atlantis, like Data Core,
embracing this kind of stuff, so I feel like 2010, in my mind, one of the big
trends of this year was the year that we thought "Hey, we need storage in
our data centers, but it doesn't have to live on a SAN. It can actually live
on the individual server".

Gabe Knuth: Yeah, the Intelicash stuff looks particularly interesting. I
think when you and I talked about it earlier, I think you called it the
end of provisioning server or the replacement for provisioning server.

Brian Madden:  God-willing.

Gabe Knuth: So it will be interesting to see how well that works replicating
that data back and forth from just an NAS basically instead of having a SAN.

Brian Madden:  Do you know what sucks about Intelicash though?
Intelicash is a Zen server only, right? Then we also talked Remote
Effects from Microsoft which is Hyper-V only. So now Citrix is
supporting Intelicash and Citrix is supporting…

Gabe Knuth: Remote Effects.

Brian Madden:  Remote Effects. So, like, you know what do you want?
Do you want awesome storage or do you want awesome graphics?
Ha ha, "F" you. You can't have them both.

Gabe Knuth: Well, Citrix and Microsoft are definitely united against
VMware. And they do share some intelligence back and forth with
regards to their hypervisors. Maybe, this is something that eventually
they can kind of collaborate on and get them on both platforms.

Brian Madden:  And the mean time if you want both,I guess
you go with VMware View.

Gabe Knuth: Nice. So let's see, number eight, wow. So, acquisitions.
You know, I think we went into the year thinking, "Man, this is going
to be a really crazy year. There's going to be people buying everybody
left and right" and we had three. Intel was responsible for two of them.
They bought both McAfee and Neocleus. IBM bought Big Fix. Now,
IBM buying Big Fix is, you know, it's cool. I guess it's something that
IBM is just making a commitment to management and out of band
management at that. But Intel buying McAfee. What does Intel have to
do buying an anti-virus vendor? Any idea?

Brian Madden: We wrote about this, and no one really knew. Intel's
got a lot of cash. You know, McAfee, of course, nowadays is more
than just an anti-virus vendor. They're really more sort of whole security.
As Intel, look at what they're doing, V-Pro, even with what they're doing
with Neocleus and wanting to get more intelligence about what's actually
running on the hardware. Now we're thinking in the future everything's
going to be hypervisors, even laptops, and we're going to take security
servers out of the software and put it more towards the hardware. So, I
think it's something that, Intel had a lot of money and they figured it can't
be a bad thing to get both McAfee and Neocleus.

Gabe Knuth: Neocleus is interesting there, because if you're not aware
of them, they were, I guess they could still be, a client hypervisor
manufacturer. Early this year, we were still talking to them as a
standalone client hypervisor company. They never really got any
traction there. So by the time Intel bought them, they got them for a song
but now Intel has all this IP that can allow them to maybe integrate McAfee
with a hypervisor on the client. That means out of band anti-virus and
security running outside of the operating system that the user is actually
using. That means an extra level of security for organizations all
over the place.

Brian Madden:  Intel has as many anti-trust problems as Microsoft
does, so I don't know that they're necessarily going to lock these two
things together, but I really see it as just an opportunity for them to really
understand what needs to happen from the security software side and
make sure that the hardware and the platforms they create are able to
plug into it in as tightly yet not stepping on any anti-trust issues as possible.
Ironically, the last time I talked to Neocleus on purpose, in person, was
a conversation with them and Big Fix because Big Fix earlier, before
IBM bought them, announced that they were going to use Neocleus
as client hypervisor infrastructure to deliver the Big Fix agents down to
end users but now that Neocleus belongs to Intel and Big Fix belongs to
IBM, I guess we can, it's like they've been absorbed by the borg and I
guess that's not happening. I don't know.

Gabe Knuth: Yeah, we can scratch that. They split up a really good idea.

Brian Madden:  Yeah, yeah. Say, so speaking of good ideas,
one of the other trends, number nine of 2010, was this thing called
zero clients. You know, Teradici had been talking about zero clients
for a long time, sort of like smaller than thin clients, right? It's zero.
No management. And then earlier this year, Wyse announced a zero
client architecture for Zen desktop environments called the Wyse Zenith.
Since that time HP has talked about wanting to take even less manage
off their devices. I feel like the way this all plays out in 2010 was
that it's the year that we decided that, "Oh, thin clients aren't thin
enough. We must have zero clients". Remote Effects and Microsoft,
they're talking about zero clients. So it's like all of a sudden zero is the
new thin for 2010.

Gabe Knuth: Oh yeah. If you have to deploy elaborate management
infrastructures to manage your thin clients, why the hell not just use PCs?
So, taking the management away from the thin client is a wise move, I think,
by all these manufacturers.

Brian Madden:  You know, back in something like 2004, I wrote an article
that said, "If you spend more than $15 on a thin client, then you are a
fool" and that was kind of the zero client thing. I was like, man, forget
managing these things. Like, forget buying management infrastructures
at all. Just put the most bare minimum you can on there, configure it to
do a DCAP boot, hit an ICS session and you're done. Obviously, that's
not necessarily, I don't think you should really do that anymore by just
going to eBay and buying these for $15, but the point of not trying to let
your thin clients blow up too huge, I think is the point that these zero clients
are really bringing to light.

Gabe Knuth: Yeah, absolutely. Well, number ten. This is the one
that you and I probably talk weekly about this, and argue weekly
about this. What are these Cloud applications doing or where is the
Cloud with regards to all of our business lives?

Brian Madden:  I'm sorry, did you just mention Cloud? Did we
make it through this whole show without talking about Cloud and
now you bring Cloud into this?

Gabe Knuth: No. Remember we had that whole
Centric Open Cloud Access.

Brian Madden:  Oh, OK.

Gabe Knuth: So I definitely said Cloud, at least,
once before.

Brian Madden:  All right, all right. Fair enough. Yeah, I mean,
for me it's not even… Cloud, not Cloud whatever. Like, for me,
2010, the big thing we're taking away from it is that people are
recognizing that business applications are not just Windows-based.
And I know everyone uses Sales Force, as an example. Like all of
a sudden there's 500 million Sales Force business users in the world,
but we're seeing iPad, we're seeing Chrome, we're seeing HTML5.
We're seeing sort of "real" applications going into that. Gabe,
you and I, we're using Dropbox. We're using Dropbox all the time.
We're using Google Docs now so we can both edit things at the same
time. You know, moving presentations into Presium, and there's
a lot of these Cloud applications that used be kind of Mickey Mouse
teenager toy apps, and now we're seeing actual real business apps
are starting to move, not just Cloud based but these rich internet
HTML5 or even like IOS Android, Blackberry type platforms. So it's the
year, in my mind, of the breaking of the dominance of Windows
applications in the enterprise.

Gabe Knuth: See, now I don't know if I agree necessarily with
breaking of the Windows apps. I think that this year people are
becoming more aware that these Cloud apps exist and they're real,
they're not just lightweight versions that might do the same thing
for less money inside the browser. I think next year and maybe in the
next couple of years people will start to see these kinds of applications
and these kinds of solutions encroach a little bit on regular old Windows
apps. But then, we have things like Chrome OS and that that's going to
come out next year and the iPad and these things. I just don't see
them taking Windows out of the enterprise yet. Like I said, I think
people are more aware of it, but I don't think that 2010 was like the year that
Chrome triumphed over Windows.

Brian Madden:  I agree. I mean, I'm thinking, I agree. I agree totally.
This is the year that people saw "Aha. There will be a future without
Windows". I was at a presentation this year, I don't remember who
gave it, so I apologize for not giving this person credit, but the person said,
it might have been Herra Labana actually, said, "Raise your
hands now, audience, raise your hands. How many of you are using
fewer applications today than you did five years ago?" and, of
course, no one raised their hand, but his point was that as more
and more Cloud applications, HTML5, whatever, become available,
yeah, we'll start using those more and more, but you're right, Gabe,
the Windows applications are not going away. And really at the end of
the day, I think this means that things like Terminal Server and VDI might
become even more prevalent in the future as our actual devices aren't running
Windows locally. Maybe, we're using Netbooks with Chrome OS or Macs or whatever.

But you're right, corporations will still have Windows apps, and
I think for the remaining Windows apps we have here and there
throw them on Terminal Server, pop them down via Seamless
Window and be done with it.

Gabe Knuth: Right on. All right, well, I think that's it for our wrap-up
of 2010. What do you think is going to happen next year?

Brian Madden:  Oh, man. Let's talk predictions. Actually, though,
if we do talk about predictions, we'll talk even more than we did now.

Gabe Knuth: Yeah. And this went long, too.

Brian Madden:  Yeah, so. Oh, big surprise. So, Gabe, you and I
are going to be together in Boston for our company's annual meeting
which is just, you know, Boston in January, we love it. We'll be there
together. They've got a studio there, so Gabe, next show we do, or next
video we do for Search Virtual Desktop, you and I will be sitting down
together in Boston in January. Let's do a predictions show for where we
think the desktop virtualization industry will end up at the end of 2011.

Gabe Knuth: Yeah, you bet. Make sure you get some popcorn. You know,
put it in the microwave down the aisle and sit back because that's going
to be a long show.

Brian Brian Madden:  Well, hey, so I definitely appreciate all of
you taking the time to watch this today. Gabe, as always, thank
you so much, and, I guess, if you have any thoughts about anything
we might have missed, feel free to let us know. You know how to find
us on Twitter and LinkedIn and we've got a Facebook page for now. So on that note, congratulations everyone
for surviving 2010, and let's have a good year next year.

Gabe Knuth: Thanks again for watching.

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