Is VMWare View really easier? 5

Sorry Brian and Gabe but I must disagree about this. In the past two weeks we have been working on getting our demo environment up and running (so you can all see what exactly packet loss does with VDI/SBC) and we will be showing it live at Synergy to interested parties, in our suite at the Marriot.

As I still think overcommitment when properly used is a powerful feature to have and the fact that XenServer 5.6 is in beta, we setup our virtualization backend with VMWare ESXi and I still must say I really like it. I did not have much exposure to XenServer and Hyper-V so I cannot comment how they compare to ESXi but again, for what we need ESXi does the job beautifully and it is indeed pretty straight forward to get going.

So back to the VDI part, we asked one of our technical guys to setup XenDesktop and VMWare View, based on the ‘instructions’ I gave him (basically download the ISOs and follow the guides) and off he went.

As I do have my own XenDesktop environment at home (on ESXi as you remember from the saga I reported here) I was very familiar with it and do remember having no issues installing it and more than that, being extremely easy and simple to do. Keep in mind this is the free 10-user version so there is no Provisioning Server, etc.

Today I sat down with Matt (our techie) to go through the environment and to wrap it up by setting up a 2008 R2 RDS SH with XenApp 6. As we have been exchanging emails to get VMWare View going, I knew it was not being that breeze Gabe/Brian mentioned. So after checking what we had to go through, I have no idea why they mentioned VMWare View being ‘easier’ to setup. IMHO (and in Matt’s opinion as well) XenDesktop 4 is much, we mean, MUCH easier to setup. VMWare View is confusing to say the least, even for someone very used to a single ESXi server environment.

How are they affected by packet loss? Well that is what I am working on right now. The same way Ruben wrote the ‘VDI Storage Deep Impact’  I am working on getting the real facts on how latency/loss affect ICA, RDP and PCoIP. No marketing BS, just straight facts. As soon as the whitepaper is ready it will be posted here for sure.

Resuming this post: we found XenDesktop 4 much easier to setup for SMALL ENVIRONMENTS (what means Provisioning Services/View Composer are NOT in use, that you do not have a VMWare Guru/Employee sitting on your side, etc). Does it mean Brian/Gabe are wrong and we are right? No. It means you should take any comments, from anyone, Brian and myself included, with a grain of salt. Do not trust us gentlemen. 🙂 Go try them for yourself and let us know what you think.

As you can see I do like VMWare and do think they have a great virtualization platform (main reason to have ESX/ESXi all over the companies I manage/own/work for) but View is far from being a breeze to setup.


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5 thoughts on “Is VMWare View really easier?

  • Gabrie

    The title drew me to this post, but unfortunately it is has no info whatsoever if you don’t mention why XenDesktop was so easy and what difficulties you encountered installing View. Please let us know, because i think a lot of people would like to know,


    • crod

      I see! My apologies! The main reason to us has to do with our particular needs. As I mentioned we were setting up the most basic edition available for both products, with no need at all for linked clones (so no PVS/Composer). In that case for XenDesktop, all you really need is one VM to be your DDC/WI/Licensing. Simple as that. Nothing else to setup. Of course you need your VMs (with XP/Win7 in our case) with the XD Agent running on them. With VMWare View there were several requirements/components, for sure way more complex than the very simple 10-user free XenDesktop solution. No kidding, the first time I setup XenDesktop 4 (again, the free one) it took me probably 10-15 minutes. Not longer than that. Definitely not the case at all with VMWare View.

  • randyjcress

    Both were easy to install for a PoC lab if you just click next, next, next. I agree with Gabe’s comment, you really should clarify with screenshots which areas are confusing and which concepts are difficult to grasp for a new entrant into the world of VDI.

  • Mike

    Very disappointing article – it has a great headline – but absolutely no depth – nothing appears to be quantified that would defend the conclusion. I have setup View multiple times and I don’t understand what is complex about it – you need a View Server VM, the one installation routine installs all software required including the associated ADAM Database.

    It would be great to see some further quantifiable analysis – without it – it almost sounds like a comment driven by a simple bias.

    • crod

      My fault then Mike. I will for sure post another article showing what we have seen and comparing both side-by-side in terms of getting things up and running, again, for the most simple/free versions available. Keep tuned.