Hyper-Converged Solutions

For the past few years, the big boys (HP, Cisco, Dell) have been trying to convince us that converged infrastructure is the way to go. Buy the stack of compute, storage, and network from us and off you go. One throat to choke, the best experience because all the components are engineered to work optimally together.

But is converged infrastructure already on the way out and now hyper-converged infrastructure the way to go with virtualized workloads.

My first experience with hyper-converged was with Nutanix. To be honest I didn’t get and didn’t trust it. I needed to get my hands dirty in order to understand the new approach to virtualized workloads that Nutanix offers.

It finally clicked and then eventually I find there are others out there that compete in this space (Simplivity, Scale Computing, Pivot3). Great! I am all for competition and choice.

When it comes to hyper-converged solutions in general, some of my concerns are:

  • Will the solution start cracking apart at a certain scale? The file system starts to crack at certain node count.
  • And since I am a desktop virtualization guy, does the solution support GPU’s?
  • Do you support only a single virtualization platform? Will there be additional options in the future?

From an administrator point of view, hyper-converged solutions are a great solution because of the brick by brick ability to scale out approach.

What’s been your experience with hyper-converged solutions? Are you using it for a certain use-case?

Licensing of vWorkspace 8.0 Beta

In the first post of this series, we installed vWorkspace. After successful installation, there will be two shortcuts available on server’s desktop.


Double click the vWorkspace Management Console shortcut in order to start the console.


Licenses need to be added to the environment. Click OK to acknowledge the window.image

Click the Add License… button.image

Browse to the location on the license file. Highlight it then click Open.


You should be presented with a confirmation that the license has been added. Click OK to return to the Licensing window.


The beta license includes 200 licenses of the Enterprise edition of vWorkspace. Please note the beta licenses expire April 30, 2013. Click Close to get to the Management Console.

Will Microsoft’s Loan to Dell Benefit vWorkspace?

Dell announced that it is being acquired by Michael Dell and Silver Lake for $24.4 billion. (Dell Press Release)

One of the investment vehicles being used for this transaction is a $2 billion loan from Microsoft. With many rumors floating around last week, I focused on what this means for Microsoft’s relationship with the other hardware OEM’s (HP, Lenovo, etc.)

I was reading this post by Mary Jo Foley of ZD Net. Mary Jo’s post is comparing the Dell situation with Nokia. The majority of the post compares the advantage Nokia would have in the mobile device market with Microsoft investment.

Quoting from the article, “While Microsoft still gives Nokia props and is counting on Nokia for turn-by-turn navigation and Maps technologies for all Windows Phones, Nokia isn’t the only Windows Phone game in town.”

The Nokia-Microsoft relationship has evolved from devices to a software relationship as well. Nokia will be the mapping and navigation solution for all Windows Phone.  Even Bings maps sports a Nokia copyright on it. Microsoft looks to have walked away from the mapping and navigation front and is leveraging Nokia for all their needs.

Will the Dell-Microsoft relationship follow a similar path?

Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View are the big players when it comes to virtual desktop solutions. VMware View runs exclusively on VMware vSphere, and while XenDesktop runs on Hyper-V, the vast majority of implementations run on vSphere and Citrix XenServer.

In order to promote a VDI use-case on Hyper-V, Microsoft baked these functions into the Windows Server platform. I have yet to see a production environment using the Microsoft VDI services.

So that brings us to Dell Software’s vWorkspace. The vWorkspace product page actively promotes Microsoft Hyper-V Server.

In release 7.5, vWorkspace added 3 unique Hyper-V functions:

  • Direct support for Microsoft Hyper-V which includes free Hyper-V Server (Watch video)
  • Introduced Hyper-V Catalyst Components HyperCache and HyperDeploy (Watch video)
  • Desktop Clouds built on Hyper-V (Watch video)

Even though vWorkspace can leverage VMware vSphere and Parallels Virtuozzo Containers, a Microsoft Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center is the premier virtualization platform for the product.

Would Microsoft scrap its development of a Microsoft VDI solution in favor of  vWorkspace built on Microsoft virtualization. I bet the vWorkspace team would be happy about that.

Dell to be purchased by Silver Lake in conjunction with Michael Dell

You can read the announcement over at BusinessWire. This comes as a shock to me especially after the recent acquisition of Quest Software and WYSE.

What does this mean for Dell?

Are they going to change direction?

Are they going to focus more on the enterprise?

Are they going to focus more on the home user?

What are your thoughts and ideas?