David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • Windows Server 8–Remote Desktop and VDI enhancements

    VDI and RDS have been something I’ve been writing about, so I wanted to share the documents I’ve discovered from Microsoft that discuss the new features for VDI and RDS. The 3 documents are: Understand and Troubleshoot Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server "8" Beta This Understand and Troubleshoot Guide (UTG) enables you to learn technical concepts, functionality, and troubleshooting methods for Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server “8” Beta. Date Published: 2/29/2012          Download This Understand and Troubleshoot Guide (UTG) enables you to learn technical concepts, functionality, and troubleshooting methods for Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server “8” Beta. This UTG provides you with: • A technical overview and functional description of this feature. • Technical concepts to help you successfully install, configure, and manage this feature. • User Interface options and settings for configuration and management. • Relevant architecture of this feature, with dependencies, and technical implementation. • Primary troubleshooting tools and methods for this feature.   Understand and Troubleshoot Remote Desktop Services Desktop Virtualization in Windows Server "8" Beta This Understand and Troubleshoot Guide (UTG) enables you to learn technical concepts, functionality, and troubleshooting methods for Remote Desktop Services Desktop Virtualization in Windows Server “8” Beta. Date Published: 2/29/2012          Download This Understand and Troubleshoot Guide (UTG) enables you to learn technical concepts, functionality, and troubleshooting methods for Desktop Virtualization in Windows Server “8” Beta. This UTG provides you with: • A technical overview and functional description of this feature. • Technical concepts to help you successfully install, configure, and manage this feature. • User Interface options and settings for configuration and management. • Relevant architecture of this feature, with...
  • VDI and great video performance using RemoteFX (and licensing it)

    Having written a little about VDI and RHSD the other day, I see that Register has an item about RemoteFX and playing games.  This uses the technology of RDS as well as either VDI or RSHD. While you can play games, Windows 7 renders in all it’s glory too.  One word of warning from a licensing front.  If you are using RemoteFX then you will need an RDS CAL when you are buying the licenses as RemoteFX is licensed by the RDS CAL and remote admin tasks that you can do on a server without needing a RDS CAL does not include playing games (IMHO).  You also need to check that you have a client device that can handle RemoteFX.  While platforms like Citrix, Quest and VMware will enable various remote access technologies that do not use RemoteFX (Citrix and Quest will even allow the use of their own technology or RemoteFX) the device chosen still requires the capabilities to display the high quality applications and games, even if not enough to process it all in the first place! For example, for Citrix to use the GPU on the client to redirect Aero, it requires a Windows Client, even if it is not Windows 7.  Look at http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xendesktop-als/hd-aero-redirection.html for an example: Hardware Windows Aero capable DirectX 9-class GPU that supports: Pixel Shader 2.0 32 bits per pixel 128MB memory 2 GHz non-mobile central processing unit (CPU). Citrix recommends 3 GHz for optimal performance. Note: Dual monitor sessions are supported for user devices with a single GPU. A single GPU is defined as a single entry under Display adapters in Device Manager and not as the number of PCI cards plugged in the device. A single PCI card can have multiple GPUs on it. Software DirectX 9.0c runtime (Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP) What this all means is that you still need a good graphics card somewhere – the desktop or the server and some reasonable network bandwidth if you want good graphics!   ttfn David
  • Understanding more about Desktop Virtualisation–VDI and RHSD and how to license it

    [updated 12-Jan 2012 with images and notes about a hosted solution] This is part two of the discussion around VDI and RHSD and this section looks at licensing.  I am frequently asked questions about Microsoft licensing as I look after the relationship between Citrix and Microsoft in the UK. I often hear people getting confused about how to license, or even worse, assuming that licenses are somehow free when using a VDI or DV (Desktop Virtualisation) solution. Having seen the article at Computer Weekly I decided I would share some thoughts on how to get it right. I should say, while I have a lot of experience, always talk to a Microsoft Licensing Specialist . Always! The second comment is that these are my thoughts and experiences not those of Microsoft’s. Always verify your understanding of licensing with a specialist.  Get out the legal documents if required (I do link to the relevant sections) and get formal comments from a certified licensing specialist if you require it. Microsoft licensing moves forward to enable more customer scenarios all the time, so by the time I hit send, it could be out of date already.  To quote from the article above, which is very good (except for the licensing sidebar which is confusing IMHO) “But one research firm that has looked at Microsoft’s new EA, has found that Microsoft has, in fact, simplified client access licensing. “ If you are not sure what VDI, RHSD (Remote Hosted Shared Desktop – or RDS/TS/XenApp), DV (Desktop Virtualisation) etc means or when to use them, head over to this post here The Licensing piece Now onto the interesting subject of licensing. There is a great FAQ from Microsoft that can answer many questions.  It can be found here . There are some simple tenants here that if followed will avoid pain: No matter how the desktop is delivered, physical or virtual, a number of Microsoft server and CAL licenses will be required.  VDI, RHSD or physical desktops do not change these requirements.  Normal licensing questions and discussions...
  • Understanding more about Desktop Virtualisation–VDI and RHSD and how to pick between them

    I am frequently asked questions about Microsoft, what our VDI, DV or RHSD solution looks like and how to license it as I look after the relationship between Citrix and Microsoft in the UK. Having seen the article at Computer Weekly I decided I would share some thoughts on what it is and how to license it (licensing in a blog later in the week). On the licensing front, I should say, while I have a lots of experience, always talk to a Microsoft Licensing Specialist . Always! Microsoft licensing moves forward to enable more customer scenarios all the time, so by the time I hit send, it could be out of date already. Sad but true. To quote from the article above, which is very good (except for the licensing sidebar which is confusing IMHO) “But one research firm that has looked at Microsoft’s new EA, has found that Microsoft has, in fact, simplified client access licensing. “ What is DV, VDI and RHSD First off, I’m assuming everyone is clear on the difference between DV and VDI. Ok, maybe not, so my 30-second guide: DV (for me) is the use of a Windows Server to serve out desktops or applications from a single Windows Server operating system or the use of VDI or the use of a type 1 or type 2 hypervisor on the desktop to give us a 2nd operating system that we can access applications from. It is bigger than VDI and to be honest, most of the time when people talk to me about VDI, they mean RHSD. RHSD (Remote Hosted Shared Desktops or Remote Desktop Services/Terminal Services) is the use of a Windows Server to serve out desktops or applications from a single Windows Server operating system . Each user see’s the same applications and has no-admin rights VDI is the use of Windows (probably Windows 7 today) served out from a virtual machine running Windows 7 guests (obviously on Hyper-V server as the host for the best performance ) RHSD has been around for years – Terminal Services, Remote Desktop Services are the Microsoft name and Citrix has been offering a solution by many names for years...

(c)David Overton 2006-13