Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Derek Weeks, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Destiny Bertucci, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

Doing VDI, Only Better

There are three core vendors and protocols supporting VDI today

There are three core vendors and protocols supporting VDI today. Microsoft with RDP, Citrix with ICA, and VMware with PCoIP. For most organizations a single vendor approach has been necessary, primarily because the costs associated with the supporting network and application delivery network infrastructure required to deliver VDI with the appropriate levels of security while meeting performance expectations of users and the need to maintain high availability.

It’s a tall order that’s getting taller with every mobile client introduced, especially when you toss in a liberal dose of enforcing policies regarding access to virtual desktops.

Most folks are well aware of F5’s long history of deep integration with its partners Microsoft and VMware. Whether it’s integrating with management systems or designing, testing, and documenting the often times complex joint architectures required to deliver enterprise-class applications like SharePoint and Exchange or building out a dynamic data center model to support cloud computing , F5 works in tandem with its partners to ensure the best experience possible not only for the ultimate consumers but for the IT operations folks who must deploy the solutions.

But what most folks aren’t likely as aware of is F5’s commitment and expertise to delivering Citrix VDI as well. That’s natural. After all, Citrix competes with F5 at the application delivery tier and it might seem natural to assume that Citrix could deliver its own technology better than any competitor.

But that assumption ignores that F5’s core focus has been and continues to be unified application delivery rather than applications – like VDI - themselves. That unified is in bold because it’s a key factor in why F5 is able to deliver all VDI solutions better, faster, and more efficiently than any other solution today.

See, F5’s approach since introducing v9 and its platform has been about the integration of application delivery services. Whether those services reside on the same physical (or virtual) platform is not as important as the integration and collaboration between those services that is made possible by being designed, developed, and ultimately deployed on a common, high-speed, high-security application delivery platform.

Consider, for example, the case of a comprehensive Citrix VDI delivery solution:

citrix vdi solution

That’s a lot of components, each of which adversely impacts performance and increases operational risk by adding additional complexity and components to the architecture. That’s ignoring the cost, as well, added by not only the need to deploy these solutions but to power them, manage them, and maintain them over time. It’s costly, it’s complex, and it’s ultimately not very extensible.

Authentication, for example, must be managed in multiple locations, which increases the risk of misconfiguration or human error, and makes it more likely that orphaned identities will be left behind, always a concern as it creates an opportunity for a breach. This solution also requires manual scripting to integrate the disparate authentication sources, yet another tedious, manual and error-prone process.

Now consider the same solution, but leveraging F5 and its platform with BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager and BIG-IP Access Policy Manager deployed:

f5 vdi solution

 

Consolidated (and integrated) authentication. Highly extensible policy management and enforcement, and we’ve eliminated the Web Interface Servers (and NetScalers, but as we’ve replaced them with BIG-IP that’s more of a wash than a win).

But it’s not just about reducing the complexity (and ultimately the cost) of such a deployment. BIG-IP LTM and APM can simultaneously support Microsoft and VMware VDI while delivering Citrix VDI – as well as a host of other applications. F5’s solution isn’t a VDI delivery solution, it’s an application delivery solution with support for all VDI implementations and protocols. That includes Citrix Session Reliability to session roaming and reconnection as well as SmartAccess filters. F5 BIG-IP APM can populate SmartAccess filter values based upon any information discovered using VPE(source IP address, AV presence, client certificate presence, etc.) and pass them to the XML broker for evaluation.

And let’s not forget about Citrix Multi-Streaming, which to give Citrix credit where due is an innovative solution to the problem of traffic prioritization in VDI delivery. If you aren’t familiar with Multi-streaming, it was introduced in XenDesktop 5.5 & XenApp 6.5 and uses multiple TCP connections (aka Multi-Stream ICA) to carry the ICA traffic between the client and the server. Each of the connections is associated with a different class of service, which allows the network administrator to prioritize each class of service, independently from each other, based on the TCP port number used for the connection. F5 supports Multi-Streaming and has for some time now. No worries.

Then there’s VMware PCoIP – which can be challenging, especially when paired with DTLS for security. F5 has that covered, too, as well as its long-term support for optimal delivery of Microsoft-based solutions including its broad set of VDI solutions pdf-icon.

I know, you’ve heard configuring F5 BIG-IP is hard and cumbersome. Well, in the past that may have been true but the introduction of iApp with BIG-IP v11 has changed that tune from a dirge to a delightful melody. iApp deployment templates and accompanying deployment guides for XenApp and XenDesktop make deploying BIG-IP painless and far less error-prone than manual processes.

One of the drawbacks of VDI architectural complexity is it often presents itself as a single-vendor solution – and a reason for a single vendor virtualization strategy. If your application delivery and access management solution is capable of unifying access while delivering secure, highly performing, very available <virtual, physical> <desktops, applications, solutions> of any flavor, you’d have more of a choice in what your overall architecture would look like. That kind of choice is enabled through flexibility of the underlying application delivery network infrastructure, which is exactly the role F5 plays in your data center.

If your application delivery solution is a flexible platform and not a product, then your network becomes an enabler of architecture and choice rather than being the limiting factor.

VDI Resources:

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
bmullan 02/26/12 09:06:00 AM EST

Why not also look at other technologies also...?
Spice
x2go
NoMachine's NX
LTSP

@ThingsExpo Stories
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit https://www.cedexis.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vivint to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. As a leading smart home technology provider, Vivint offers home security, energy management, home automation, local cloud storage, and high-speed Internet solutions to more than one million customers throughout the United States and Canada. The end result is a smart home solution that sav...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Opsani is the leading provider of deployment automation systems for running and scaling traditional enterprise applications on container infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nirmata will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nirmata provides a comprehensive platform, for deploying, operating, and optimizing containerized applications across clouds, powered by Kubernetes. Nirmata empowers enterprise DevOps teams by fully automating the complex operations and management of application containers and its underlying ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. Opsani is creating the next generation of automated continuous deployment tools designed specifically for containers. How is continuous deployment different from continuous integration and continuous delivery? CI/CD tools provide build and test. Continuous Deployment is the means by which...