As part of the first certification class offered by Citrix, ConnectingBlox has been involved in virtualization technologies before anyone else knew what it was. Things have changed a lot since those first products, but the concept is the same: Virtualization saves money by allowing more applications and users to share resources thus reducing the overall investment in computer hardware. As an IT vendor we recognize the technological value of virtualization, and as a partner to our customers we recognize the business value.
Virtualization of server resources can produce big savings. Through virtualization multiple servers can be consolidated onto the same hardware platform. The improved use of resources results in lower hardware spend, while simplified management reduces overhead. Add an iSCSI SAN for shared storage and you can now build a high-availability cluster for your applications at very low costs. If you've still got a rack or room full of servers give ConnectingBlox a call at 248-331-9520 to learn how we can help design and implement a virtual server environment for you.
Virtual Desktops Infrastructure (VDI)
VDI isn't really a new concept - truth be told it isn't really much different than connecting terminals to mainframes in the 1970s. All the processing is done at the server and and the local "desktop" is really just a display. Even in the Windows world, VDI has been around for over 20 years - Citrix WinView (1994) provided virtual Windows 3.11 desktops to multiple users from a single OS/2 server. ConnectingBlox has experience with VDI even predating WinView (X-Windows on Unix systems). In a VDI environment, desktops are always served from a server, either located at your location or hosted in the cloud (usually a private cloud), but the end-user devices can vary:
- Thin Clients
- Thin clients are the most common VDI endpoint. A thin client does have an operating system, but it is typically a very simplified OS with very limited user functionality. Beyond thin client devices, installing VDI client software onto a standard PC is also considered a thin client environment. In a thin client system while the applications execute on the server and use server resources, sound, graphics and management of input devices is performed by the thin client device (or PC if it is a software client). Mobile devices are also considered thin clients.
- Zero Clients
- Zero clients are also referred to as PCoIP (PC over IP). They have no local storage and thus, no operating system. Every aspect of a zero client is controlled at the server - even high resolution graphics and video. Because of the higher processing required, zero clients frequently use remote accelerator cards installed in the server as their processors.
- Remote Graphics Workstations
- Remote graphics workstations are essentially zero clients that make use of a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) installed in the server. This allows for the deployment of VDI into CAD, graphic design, animation and even 3D modelling departments.
With all the experience behind us, ConnectingBlox is an ideal partner to help guide you through VDI planning and implementation and provide ongoing support to your VDI environment.
Our Preferred Solutions
As the industry leader in server virtualization, VMWare's products are best-of-breed and ConnectingBlox utilizes vSphere for our own networks and recommends VMWare to over 80% of our clients.
ConnectingBlox prefers 10Zig Technologies for our thin and zero client devices. 10Zig is a market leader in quality and innovative products for the VDI marketplace. 10Zig's NoTouch Desktop product even offers the opportunity to repurpose old desktop PCs as thin clients.