I attended a panel session on Virtulisation - a panel discussion with Mike Neil (MS), Simon Husby (Citrix), Larry LeSueur (MS), BIll Corgan (MS).
Server virtulisation is something that's getting lots of attention - many good reasons for dong it. But Server virtulisation is only in it's infancy, and is only a part of the overall Virtulisation story. This includes presentation virtulisation (e.g. terminal server/citrix), and application virtulisation (eg SoftGrid). MS said that they've sold 3m seats of SoftGrid in past 2 quarters!
Simon made the point is that the virtulisation market is still fairly new. He also noted the importance of supporting Linux in terms of virtulisation - and management is important. He went on to discuss the integration of Xen and Citrix - and re-itereated Citrix's support of the Windows platform ("We have no OS agenda"). Interoperability continues to be a key aspect of their products.
Regarding desktop virtulisation - there are three aspects:
- Terminal Services's Remote App (in WS08) - useful in a variety of scenarios
- Vista centralised desktop - hosted desktop run in the data centre, remoted to a thin client
- Application virtulisation (i.e. SoftGrid).
Mike spoke about desktop (VPC) virtulisation. He said that MS sill value VPC. I raised the issue of missing feature (e.g multiple CPUs, USB support, 64-bit support). These are very important to us. Mike acknowledged the concerns but made no commitment to providing those missing features.
Mike also discussed Hyper-V vs VMware. He talked about the benefits of open APIs, a large partner ecosystem along with the management tools. With VMware, the panel suggested, you are left with VMware and little else - there is not any sort of robust eco-system. MS, on the other hand, has a richer partner model. Simon suggested that the introduction of choice (i.e. Hyper-V) will help the market mature. Larry pointed out the importance of good management tools (i.e. System Center).