Hello from TechReady 5 in Seattle. Like last year, I'm going to blog each day this week with news from TechReady, Microsoft's internal technical conference for employees. TechReady is a great event held twice a year where we get to hear from the product groups about all the upcoming releases for the year as well as training on all of the current releases.
Today kicked off with a keynote address by Kevin Turner, Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer. As they usually do, at the end of his presentation he took questions from the audience. This is one of the great things about the company, the executives will take any question from the audience and in most cases they audience doesn't pull any punches. Today, I had the opportunity to step up to the mic and ask Kevin a question. I wanted to guage the executive committment to the amount of investment and vision required for the move to software plus services, hosting, and large data centers that we keep talking about and that I am a big proponent of. These are huge business changes that in some cases are completelty different than the models that we have historically been successful with.
Being an internal conference, I don't think it's appropriate to quote his response but I came away convinced that the committment is absolutely there from the highest level. I think the top level vision is dead on in terms of offering customers the choice: services hosted by Microsoft, services hosted by our partners, or services hosted by the customer themselves. Everyone else is pitching an all or nothing approach.
Tomorrow Bill Gates will be our morning keynote so I am definately looking forward to that! Maybe I'll get a question in to him too! Check back tomorrow for a summary of his thoughts and a review of the technical sessions I'll be attending.
While preparing for an upcoming VDI project I went through my archives and inventoried some trusted blogs for architecture, scale, and implementation guidance for the Microsoft + Citrix VDI solution which consists of Hyper-V, VMM, and APP-V from Microsoft and the XenDesktop suite from Citrix. A year or so ago, I created a VDI module for Microsoft’s Server Virtualization with Advanced Management (SVAM) offering using these technologies so I wanted to see if anything had changed with the newer versions of each product. Below is a list of very good resources on this topic. Note that some of these may require registration or a My Citrix login which can be requested by signing up at citrix.com. Also note, most of these sources are non-Microsoft so you should verify supportability, functionality, and applicability to your specific environment.
XD Design Handbook
XenDesktop Modular Reference Architecture
Best Practices for Scaling Virtual Desktops (webinar)
TechTalk: Hyper-V Planning for XenDesktop (webinar)
RD Virtualization Host Capacity Planning in Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows 7 Registry Optimizations for Virtual Desktops
XenDesktop on Microsoft Website
Blog Series on VDI storage with NetApp
Advanced Memory and Storage Considerations for Provisioning Services
If you want to learn more about SQL 2008, here is a great list of resources.
Jason Matusow has a detailed post on his blog about the announcement.
Here's the announcement.
I'm still reading through the details but it definitely looks like a win/win for both companies but more importantly customers. Most of the early commentary on tech blogs interprets this as a defensive move by Microsoft or a response to the Oracle announcement despite the fact that the deal with Novell has been in discussion for months. I view it more as a shrewd move on our part. I do a lot of projects at large customers and government agencies and one of the biggest barriers in introducing Microsoft technology in the data center is the interoperability issue. With this collaboration in place and if the anticipated interoperability gains are realized, there will be almost no customer where Microsoft doesn't have a valid approach for introducing our technology. Most Unix shops are migrating to Linux. Without a Linux story we have a hard time getting in the door of the data center of the hard core Unix shops. Now those doors should open at least a little bit.
The other primary driver in my view is virtualization. The virtualization field is wide open right now. I think the market has mainly stabilized in terms of Linux vs. Microsoft. Linux has essentially no traction on the desktop but has great traction in taking share from Unix on the server. Microsoft is still slowly increasing server share so this was not a defensive move at the OS level. If you take into account virtualization however, this deal effectively hedges and major impact that could have.
Anyway, very interesting stuff! I already have several messages in my inbox from various execs outlining their point of view.