Friday, February 05, 2010

VMware View 4.0 SSL web access

Vmware View 4.0 is Vmware's Flagship VDI product. I like it but i think it has a long way to go before if matches the functionalty of Citrix Xendesktop it has the feel of a collection of products thrown together quickly (im thinking Thinapp, PCoIP, Propero broker).

For example one the main drivers to adopting VDI would be the mobility and fuctionality of secure web access and impoved transport and display protocols in case of Citrix Xendesktop this would be HDX-ICA, Secure Gateway and for Vmware View, Security Server and PCoIP.

How do they differ? Well if you want to use PCoIP vai a HTTP-SSL web front over the internet with VmwareView your have a problem, it's not supported, if you wish to use HTTP-SSL you will need to use RDP.
With Xendesktop you simply create a Secure gateway and you can leverage the full features of HDX-ICA via a SSL VPN

So the only option for Vmware View 4.0 is client VPN's whereby you would have direct access....see below

It appears that the PCoIP uses UDP and is not supported via View web portal per se

Come on VMware sort it out!


Tim Simmons said...

Hi Stuart, Great post.

At Citrix (yes, my employer) we agree that secure, mobile access to virtual desktops is proving to be a big driver for this technology based on feedback from our customers.

Citrix is spending a lot of development effort on the secure access capabilities for XenDesktop and most of this effort is going into our "Access Gateway" product line. Your post mentioned "secure gateway" - an older technology that we still ship. I'd advise anyone looking at exposing XenDesktop outside of the enterprise's firewall to consider Access Gateway. It supports additional capabilities not available with secure gateway and remains the preferred solution / best practice.

Previously, Access Gateway was only available as a physical appliance. Recently, we added Access Gateway VPX - a virtual appliance that can run on any server hardware. Anyone that has used secure gateway in the past and needed a software-based gateway can now use Access Gateway VPX instead.

Best, Tim

Stuart said...

Hi Tim

Thanks for your post

I am aware of the Access gateway,I just wanted to point out that even in its a simplistic example using CSGY, Vmware View fails in this area.

With regards to the Access gateway VPX the main problem you have here is is shipped as a Xen appliance and 99.0 % of all Xendesktop enviroments I see/implement run on Vmware mainly due to lack of memory overcommit/TPS wich are missing in Xen( i plan another blog on to cover this)
Do you see this ?? thus it is unlikly you will see a free standing Xenserver running a AGVPX
I believe Mem overcommit is on the Xen roadmap which is good. i dont know whether you can shed any light on if you plan to release the VPX as a Vmware aplliance
Also according the Doc below you do not support Xendesktop and CGSY is this true?



Tim Simmons said...

Anyone needing Vmware ESX support should consider NetScaler VPX. NetScaler is a multi-function virtual appliance that includes Access Gateway/Secure Gateway functionality.

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