Sun’s VDI in discussion

By , November 12, 2009 19:33

Brian Madden and Claudio Rodrigues and others do discuss about Sun’s VDI.

I left the following comment on CR’s blog, as I am unable to get a login at, the email with the initial PW does simply not reach me…

Taking the overall loss of Sun as an indicator for the fittedness of a specific product for a given problem, is simple bullshit… ;-) And is only trying to discredit something for something else… What’s it, you are jealous of in Sun’s VDI solution?

OK, with that of my mind ( ;-) ), let’s state:

Sadly, Sun’s annual report does not specify numbers neither for VDI nor Desktops nor Sun Rays.

But, now, back to the question at hand:

There’s more to be checked, if comparing VDI solutions, then only the underlying OS for a small, although important part of the overall solution/offering.

Some of these additional topics include:

1.) Costs of acquisition (what does ist cost to build an environment, HW and SW and installtime)
2.) Operating expenses (and yes, there you have costs for admins, if you need a “new” OS platform)
3.) Security (overall, starting from separation of users to separation of processes to security against intruders on the overall chain of devices and software stacks)
4.) Efficiency (where do I get most power for the buck)
5.) Access point in case of problem (one point shopping, one point service?)

I’m sure you read about: Sadly, that did not include Sun’s VDI. Still, there is something to learn here. The differences between the different solutions (TS, or Xen, or, …) are not the decision making points, as the differences are not as big. A main finding there is, that memory per server is a limiting factor. That’s why for example, in former times, the Sun X4600 M2 was a very attractive system for large VDI environments. And, as further answer to 4.) above, Sun’s VDI allows you to run either VBox or VMware as a basis for user sessions, which also influences points 1.) and 2.)

For point 5.) only MS and Sun can offer a “two stop shopping” VDI solution, MS by adding a single HW supplier, and Sun by adding MS licenses. All other VDI vendors need a three stop offer, as VMware does not own MS licenses nor Hardware, and as Citrix also does not own HW nor MS licenses. That is a point, that’s not to be underestimated! And here Sun’s the only one who can offer two stop shopping for HETEROGENEOUS environments.

Now, let’s look at point 3.), security.

We all know, that Solaris is the most advanced and efficient (scaling nearly linearly with addition of CPUs way beyond 100 CPUs) OS on the planet. This helps immensely, when defining large scale environments, because consolidating onto large systems gets possible, because the OS is not simply managing itself and the underlying resources, but leaves many resources available for the apps. With putting for example every single VBox instance into a separate Solaris 10 Zone/Container, you additionally get the benefit of fine grained resource control AND security, as that environment simply is not able to break into a different Zone/Container. And Zones/Container are EAL4+ certified… ;-) (afaik).

And, an additional topic for 4.) is putting the VDI images onto ZFS. Cloning gets easy and quick… But that’s another topic…

So, I would love to see projectvrc results for Sun’s VDI… And a more vivid discussion about the pros and cons of VDI solutions in total…


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