We began testing with VMware View Version 3, but upgraded to Version 4 during the testing cycle. The big difference between the two is that View 4 adds a new transport protocol – PCoIP -- that speeds communications between hosted VMs and clients.
Stories by Tom Henderson
Citrix's XenDesktop 4 was the most accommodating VDI platform tested, likely owing to its origins as a hybrid of Linux and Citrix. While it's not a lightweight platform, we found it to be the most flexible. Microsoft recommends XenDesktop for its own Microsoft Standard VDI and Premium VDI suite client-side components. XenDesktop runs on Microsoft Hyper-V, VMWare's ESX/vSphere platforms, as well as XenServer.
Microsoft does not offer a specific, purpose-built VDI tool comparable to XenDesktop or VMware View, so we did not include Microsoft in our test. In fact, based on Microsoft's longstanding relationship with Citrix, Microsoft suggests using XenDesktop for VDI — especially for Windows 7 hosting.
Setting up a VDI infrastructure obviously placed a burden on the network to provide fast response times between the server and client device.
We confined our testing to Windows XP sessions, since Vista is unpopular and Windows 7 is only now trickling into the general population. We tested using three different platforms.
We used the same host platform, an HP DL580 G5 (four-socket, 16-core Intel Xeon CPUs) server – for the qualitative portion of this test as we did in the quantitative portion of our test published earlier this month.
There are certain popular system architectures that transcend the operating system and will turn your efforts to build a green network operating system brown, figuratively speaking.
Data centers are often designed (or overdesigned) to handle the highest load that might come their way, which really doesn't jibe with the green ideal.
Web farms, whether they are powered by open source Apache or Microsoft's IIS, often require serving up Web content so quickly that the CPU/chipset conservation models we tested as part of our "green" operating system assessment would be of no use.
A quick highlight of products from CyberArk, eDMZ Security, Quest and Symark.