One key benefits of Virtualization is the ability to offer more with less. Many of us first visualized virtualization through previously called server consolidation and now Server Virtualization, by running multiple server incidences on a single physical machine. The case studies of business values and infrastructure optimization brought by virtualization are well documented and available and not repeated here. What I personally see IT Pros must also keep in mind is in production not all resources can and will be virtualized. Even in a highly virtualized infrastructure, there are and will be still some physical machines needed to create the environment for all virtualized resources to run with. Without a physical world, virtualization has no meaning. Physical and virtual resources are to co-exist to make either distinguishable from each other. Going forward, we should expect and will have a heterogeneous infrastructure mixed with physical and virtualized computing resources. The essence of virtualization therefore is not just about those virtualized, but the ability to transparently manage resources regardless if they are virtualized or not. I encourage those who are serious in carrying out infrastructure optimization by virtualization to pay close attention to the development of System Center family of solutions, and particularly System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2008 to gain a holistic and strategic view of managing virtualization.
One key focus of an App-V solution is the ability to run multiple versions of application software within the same OS instance without the concern of conflicts among those versions. To quickly prove the concept, I prototyped a solution with 2 virtual machines based on Hyper-V. Here are the configurations:
Notice the above configurations are simply what I used for rapid prototyping to demonstrate the capabilities. They are not recommendations, nor best practices.
On the DC, I installed App-V 4.5 Management Server and imported all already sequenced applications. (See Figure 1.) Security groups for each sequenced applications were created in Active Directory Users and Computers as well. (See Figure 2.) When testing, I would add a test account into a target security group, for instance appvOffice97, followed by logging in the client machine to verify the connectivity and application streaming. The process is not complicated at all. However it is very easy to make operational mistakes and practice does very much so make perfect here.
Figure 1. App-V Management Server Console with Sequenced Applications Already Imported
Figure 2. Security Groups for Accessing Sequenced Applications
On the domain Vista SP1 desktop, I logged in as local admin to install the App-V 4.5 client and verify the connectivity. App-V 4.5 by default uses port 322 to stream and there were times I used telnet to make sure the port is open. Make sure to set up Windows Firewall accordingly. when connectivity had been verified, I then switched user and logged in using a test account. By default, App-V refreshes during use login time. This can be customize on the server under Provider Policies of the App-V Management Server console. Once logged in, all authorized App-V applications are listed in the client console. (See Figure 3.)
Figure 3. Sample List of Applications to Authorized User offered by App-V Client
How to sequence an application and import it into App-V Management Server is beyond the scope of this posting and to be demonstrated in upcoming screencasts. Here Figure 4 and Figure 5 show the user experience when multiple versions of Office suite were deployed using App-V to the desktop. Some may prefer to place the icons on the desktop or in folders with specific heading, etc. These settings are customizable in the osd file of a sequenced application.
Figure 4. Multiple Versions of Office Suite Deployed by App-V 4.5 to Vista Desktop
Figure 5. Running Access 97 and Access 2000 Deployed by App-V 4.5
This post is to provide a quick reference of the installation flow of Microsoft System Center Application Virtualization (App-V) 4.5 Management Server. The steps to configure the server, import applications, and validate the settings are not included in this post and to be discussed in a screencast currently in development and soon to be published in this blog. The presented screen flow was captured during an installation of an App-V Management Server on a Windows Server 2008 Enterprise version with a machine name, App-V, and a local instance of Microsoft SQL 2005 SP2 on a virtual machine based on Hyper-V.
For those who have previously worked on SoftGrid 4.x infrastructure, the installation of App-V Management Server appears very familiar and uneventful. The RTSPS port shown in screen 10 is by default set to 322. If you are putting in place a brand new virtualization infrastructure, do take time to review the 4.5 documentation and plan it out. Particularly the content location where the App-V packages are placed as shown in screen 13. Once the packages are put in place and working, it is error prone and can be tedious to validate the content location in all packages, should the content location be later changed.
To get the latest information of Microsoft Application Virtualization, reference the following:
Silverlight 2.0 has been just been released. Here's a teleconference playback. Silverlight 2 delivers a wide range of new features and tools that enable designers and developers to better collaborate while creating more accessible, more discoverable and more secure user experiences.
Personally I have seen so much richness brought to my Web experience by Silverlight. For content deliveries, I have been using it to publish screencasts and the sound and video just have so much better performance and quality. If you have not already experienced Silverlight, you need to check out tafiti which uses both Microsoft Silverlight and Live Search to deliver richer experiences on the Web and explore the increasing specialization of search. It is a very interesting concept and experiment.
To place a translator on your web page, add the following code
You can set it to English to Chinese, Chinese to English, or German to Chinese just for the kick and see what happens. This translator feature will be included in upcoming IE8. With this feature, you will be able to read headlines in Paris, for instance, or foreign literature work easier.
I kind of like my new Chinese name. As it is obvious there is still much heuristic to be done to improve the translation.
Yes, the official name of the next version of Windows is now “Windows 7” as announced in Mike Nash’s post on the Windows Vista Team Blog. More details are to be available at the upcoming PDC 2008 and WinHEC 2008. In both shows, a pre-beta "developer only release" is to eb shared with attendees. Going forward, information of Windows 7 once available will be posted in the Springboard Series which is also a great resource on Windows Vista and desktop management.
Hyper-V was available in late June. And today another milestone, Hyper-V Server 2008, is released.
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 provides a simplified, reliable, and optimized virtualization solution, enabling improved server utilization and reduced costs. Since Hyper-V Server is a dedicated stand-alone product, which contains only the Windows Hypervisor, Windows Server driver model and virtualization components, it provides a small footprint and minimal overhead. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 is a great choice for customers who want a basic and simplified virtualization solution for consolidating servers as well as for development and test environments. With most basic of virtualization features, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 is ideal for:
· Test and Development
· Basic Server Consolidation
· Branch Office Consolidation
· Hosted Desktop Virtualization (VDI)
Here’s where to find more information on this exciting solution:
Unlike a Windows Server, Microsoft Hyper-V Server does not provide any other roles amd services that Windows provides (AD, DNS, File/Print, IIS, etc.). Microsoft Hyper-V Server is a single purpose virtualization solution. The linked table outlines which Hyper-V–enabled product would suit different virtualization needs.