Virtualization Pro

Jan 9 2009   7:20PM GMT

Considering Sun Ray server software for VMware VDI platforms?

Rick Vanover Rick Vanover Profile: Rick Vanover

Planning a virtual desktop infrastructure implementation is an incredible task on many accounts. Many administrators that are familiar with server-based virtualization are sharpening their skillsets in regards to planning a VDI implementation.

A virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution is a collection of three main components: the user device, the broker software, and the back-end hypervisor. The Sun Ray series of devices are among the more refined products in the space, check out this SearchServerVirtualization tip for more on their features, pricing, and capabilities. For administrators who prefer to use an ESX hypervisor for their VDI, the Sun Ray server software can fill this void. Sun Ray server software runs on Sun Solaris and connects the devices to a VMware View broker. While this configuration does add another component compared to a native VMware View solution, there are benefits to using the Sun Ray devices. Sun Ray devices are a mature product line that allows any Sun Ray to connect to Sun Ray server software to be provided a connection. This helps with utilizing existing resources as well as interoperating with mixed versions of their current equipment, which includes three separate models. The architecture using Sun Ray connectors to VMware is shown in the figure below:

Architecture

Test drive Sun Ray devices and software

Setting up a Sun Ray server software installation is not overwhelming. In fact, Sun makes it quite easy by working to simplify the process and break down the steps for administrators considering Sun Ray software. In this Sun blog post, it is broken down to a few steps that any virtualization administrator can tackle.

Each component requires thorough planning

Like many administrators, I prefer to seek a VDI solution that has ESX for the hypervisor. This is simply due to the memory overcommit technology and the new linked clone technology of VMware View. These two pieces make the hypervisor selection quite easy in my opinion. Selecting the device, and any broker accompaniments are important to delivering a robust VDI installation.

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