Participate in Project VRC "State of the VDI and SBC union 2015" survey

The independent R&D project ‘Virtual Reality Check’ (VRC)  was started in early 2009 by Ruben Spruijt (@rspruijt) and Jeroen van de Kamp (@thejeroen) and focuses on research in the desktop and application virtualization market. Several white papers with Login VSI test results were published about the performance and best practices of different hypervisors, Microsoft Office versions, application virtualization solutions, Windows Operating Systems in server hosted desktop solutions and the impact of antivirus.

In 2013 and early 2014, Project VRC released the annual ‘State of the VDI and SBC union’ community survey (download for free). Over 1300 people participated. The results of this independent and truly unique survey have provided many new insights into the usage of desktop virtualization around the world.

This year Project VRC would like to repeat this survey to see how our industry has changed and to take a look at the future of Virtual Desktop Infrastructures and Server Based Computing in 2015. To do this they need your help again. Everyone who is involved in building or maintaining VDI or SBC environments is invited to participate in this survey. Also if you participated in the previous two editions.

The questions of this survey are both functional and technical and range from “What are the most important design goals set for this environment”, to “Which storage is used”, to “How are the VM’s configured”. The 2015 VRC survey will only take 10 minutes of your time.

The success of the survey will be determined by the amount of the responses, but also by the quality of these responses. This led Project VRC to the conclusion that they should stay away from giving away iPads or other price draws for survey participants. Instead, they opted for the following strategy: only survey participants will receive the exclusive overview report with all results immediately after the survey closes.

The survey will be closed February 15th this year. I really hope you want to participate and enjoy the official Project VRC “State of the VDI and SBC union 2015” survey!

Visit to fill out the Project Virtual Reality Check “State of the VDI and SBC Union 2014” survey.

Revision in VDI licensing for vSphere 5

More good news from VMware. Apart from the vRAM entitlements that have been increased, VMware has ensured that existing VDI customer are not left out in the woods. I think the original model didn’t include existing VDI customers. But all that has changed.

We already know that for VDI in vSphere 5, you can either use the vSphere 5 licenses along with the vRAM limits or utilize the vSphere Desktop packages (based on powered on VMs) with unlimited vRAM. Todays announcement adds another good news which is if your vSphere 4.x license was purchased prior to September 30th 2011 for desktop virtualization purposes, you are entitled to unlimited vRAM.

customers with spare vSphere licenses from past purchases can use it to host a VDI environment. Customers who purchased licenses for vSphere 4.x (or previous versions) prior to September 30, 2011 to host desktop virtualization, and hold current SnS agreements, may upgrade to vSphere 5.0 while retaining access to unlimited vRAM entitlement.

So if you run a 3rd party VDI solution, you can upgrade without the vRAM caps as well.  And if the 3rd party VDI solution does not support vSphere 5 yet, you can always downgrade to vSphere 4 until your VDI solution is supported on vSphere 5. This is of course for folks who want to buy more licenses before the sept 30th deadline (3rd qtr sales :)). If you are new to VDI, then you would probably purchase vSphere 5 Desktop with unlimited vRAM.

However there a few a things to keep in mind:

  • vSphere 5 Desktop and upgrades for vSphere 4.x (with unlimited vRAM) can only be used for VDI environments only. You cannot run non-VDI servers on these hosts.

vSphere Desktop can be used only to host a desktop virtualization environment or desktop management and monitoring tools.  You can use vSphere Desktop for desktop management and monitoring tools in a VDI environment only.

  • Your VDI environment should be on a separate vCenter instance than the one running the server load.
 like VMware View Deployments on vSphere 4.x you will need a separate vCenter server for your VDI hosts.

I think for all those who have been upset due to licensing changes for the past few weeks, this change must be a nice gesture from a company that could have just kept quite.

Seriously this is my last post about licensing.

vSphere 5 licensing for VDI doesn't change

A bit of good news from the new licensing model with vSphere 5 is that for VDI vRAM entitlement is unlimited. This is really good as in my opinion VMware was facing good competition with Xen in this area. Not having the vRAM limits on the VDI is really a positive move and I think will be welcomed by many who have been displeased by the new vSphere 5 licensing model.

Keep in mind if you are not happy with the new licensing model, it’s an easier fix for VMware. It’s not like the hypervisor has technical flaws/lack of capabailities like it’s competitors.