Desktop virtualization the open source way: IGEL and Red Hat are blazing the trail

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1 Desktop virtualization the open source way: IGEL and Red Hat are blazing the trail Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization with the open source KVM hypervisor create the foundation for alternative, low-cost virtualization solutions. Thanks to the cooperation between IGEL and Red Hat, the Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA) can also boast a fully manageable, end-to-end desktop virtualization solution.

2 Like VMware, Citrix and Microsoft, the open source community offers desktop virtualization solutions. That s good for users, who thus have more choices and benefit from lower capital investment and operating costs. KVM: The mother of open source virtualization The most widely used open source technology for server and desktop virtualization is the KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) hypervisor, since it not only allows Linux, but also Windows images (32 and 64 bit) to be virtualized as a guest operating system on x86 hardware. The Linux kernel itself acts as a highly fl exible and scalable hypervisor and, in conjunction with the advanced features of the Intel VT-X and AMD-V virtualization technologies, delivers equal to and greater performance to that of the three most widely used hypervisors VMware ESX, Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V. Many Linux features, such as SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux), which was developed by the US National Security Agency, ensure exceptionally good security. Every virtual machine (VM) can be completely isolated from any other process. KVM is a standard component in Linux and is included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, as well as any other linux distribution that uses the Linux kernel or later. KVM and enterprise products Usage statistics show that KVM-based virtualization is 60 to 90 percent cheaper than comparable solutions, and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is no different. For instance, the Belgian IT service provider LetterGen reports cost savings of 67 percent. The technical benefi ts are impressively demonstrated by the vendor-independent benchmark SPECvirt_sc2010, according to which KVM achieves a far higher score than the hypervisor from VMware. The successor Benchmark SPECvirt_sc2013 shows similar results. Several major IT companies, foremost Red Hat, AMD, Intel and IBM, have joined forces in the Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA) to publicize the technical and commercial potential of KVM-based virtualization solutions and to develop common standards. The OVA now numbers more than 240 members committed to promoting the use and further development of such solutions. KVM s universality makes it suitable not only for virtualizing server operating systems, but also for virtualization desktop operating systems as well. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization leverages the KVM hypervisor at it s foundation, and adds an enterprise management layer to provide a complete, integrated virtual server and desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization s performance is so persuasive that, the leader in the German thin client market, promptly took up the solution and, in cooperation with Red Hat, developed the fi rst end-to-end fully open source enterprise VDI solution. Like Red Hat, IGEL is involved in open source development and has shaped the market for Linux-based thin clients from the very beginning. IGEL adapted Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization s SPICE client for its IGEL Linux fi rmware, making it available on its series of Universal Desktop thin client models. The result was the fi rst fully manageable desktop to server open source VDI solution. Low licensing costs A key feature that differentiates the combination of IGEL Universal Desktops and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization from the competition is the comparatively low licensing cost. Unlike VMware, Citrix or Microsoft, Red Hat charges on a subscription basis. The annual subscription fee depends on the desired support level. In the case of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, the fee is also based on the number of managed host sockets. The solution does not have a separate management agent that requires additional licensing. Remote management of the IGEL thin clients does not entail any separate licensing costs either, since IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS), the leading management software system within the sector, is included with the hardware. The UMS offers users full remote management of all fi rmware features, including the SPICE client and at the enterprise level too. VDI: KVM: End-to-end COMPONENTS solution AND from HOW Red Hat IT WORKS and IGEL a The Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is a Linux kernel infrastructure for server and desktop virtualization and runs on x86 hardware with the virtualization technologies of Intel (VT) and AMD (AMD-V), as well as on IBM s System z architecture. KVM is included in Linux kernel version and above. KVM itself does not carry out any emulation, but merely provides the infrastructure for it. That feat is accomplished with the simultaneous use of modified QEMU (Quick EMUlator) software, which emulates the entire hardware of a computer as a free virtual machine and translates the instructions of the guest processor dynamically into instructions for the host processor. The result is a very high speed of execution. After the QEMU module has been loaded, the Linux kernel itself works as a hypervisor for virtual machines. QEMU provides the devices required for the virtualized guest operating systems, such as hard disks and network interface, sound and graphics cards. 2/6

3 RED HAT ENTERPRISE VIRTUALIZATION ARCHITECTURE Source: Red Hat Security and investment protection In order to match the high-level security capability of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (SELinux, etc.), IGEL boasts the widest range of security features within the thin client industry. These include numerous standard and optional security functions such as support for external and internal (on-board) smartcard readers, protocol encryption, integrated VPN clients and USB endpoint security solutions. Remote management of the Universal Desktop thin clients is always certifi cate-based and encrypted. The thin client operating system, which IGEL developed using Ubuntu as the foundation, increases security since there is little malware for Linux systems. A further common feature of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and IGEL Universal Desktop thin clients is their great deployment fl exibility. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization can be used to virtualize various guest operating systems, while IGEL s multi-protocol approach supports a wide range of different IT infrastructures, such as IBM System i. IGEL offers a further solution for more investment protection in the migration software IGEL Universal Desktop Converter (UDC), which can be used to turn x86 PCs and selected models from other thin client manufacturers into Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization compatible IGEL Universal Desktops. User experience and multimedia performance Thanks to the SPICE display protocol that Red Hat developed, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization has a mature and powerful display protocol that is a match even for the latest versions of VMware PCoIP or Citrix ICA / HDX in terms of multimedia performance and support of peripherals. For instance, even extremely demanding workloads can be virtualized including bi-directional audio/video and with full USB support. Another performance-enhancing feature of the solution is the outsourcing of multimedia calculations to the end-user device. In conjunction with IGEL s powerful hardware, the bottom line is a greater density of VMs per host. To further improve the user experience and reduce the work involved for administrators, IGEL has also developed an Appliance Mode for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. If this option is enabled in the thin client setup, the log-on screen for the virtual machine appears just a few seconds after the client is switched on. That minimizes user interaction and speeds up the log-on process. 3/6

4 Focus on the customer: In-house developments The numerous enhancements IGEL offers to accommodate as many use scenarios as possible is another reason combining Red Hat products and IGEL Universal Desktop thin clients creates an attractive solution for endusers. For instance, the German market leader complements SPICE s multi-monitor support by offering the Universal MultiDisplay function, which enables up to eight monitors to be operated simultaneously thanks to the networking of up to four standard thin clients. Other examples are user-dependent thin client confi guration (Shared Workplace feature), functions for bandwidth-optimized and reliable fi rmware updates (buddy update and fail-safe updates) and complementary special modules for IGEL UMS. These enable, for example, a redundant and fault-tolerant management infrastructure to be established (high availability), or customer-specifi c fi rmware packages to be created and deployed (Universal Customization Builder) simply and securely by users themselves. Conclusion: Avoid lock-in Desktop virtualization is increasingly becoming an established part of enterprise IT infrastructure, particularly as vendor competition leads to lower licensing costs. Companies in the market for desktop virtualization should, however, consider Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization that enable them to avoid technological lock-in. Red Hat and IGEL are proving that KVM-based solutions can vie with those of any current market leader, and can, additionally, tap cost-cutting potential end-to-end: from server to client. RED HAT ENTERPRISE VIRTUALIZATION a Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is the first fully open source, enterprise-ready virtualization platform and unites high scalability, security and performance. The solution s components are Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager and Red Hat Enterprise Connection Broker (integrated). The hypervisor is centered on KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) virtualization technology and the Red Hat Enterprise Linux kernel. The overall solution is a low-cost, high-performance, scalable and secure VDI that enables rapid and reliable deployment of Microsoft Windows and Linux desktops. Red Hat s SPICE open source protocol, also supported by IGEL, allows the transfer of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization s high performance to the client. For multimedia content, SPICE offers high-quality rendering and an excellent user experience, because it does not require local video codecs. The protocol emulates a complete graphics card and optimally utilizes the graphics performance available on thin clients. Further key features of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization are: Search-based management: searching for and identifying virtual desktops using specific attributes Desktop pooling: grouping of desktops Linked images: memory-saving cloning of a virtual desktop from a master image Rapid provisioning: dynamic deployment of desktops Multi-monitor support Full HD resolution: 2560x1600 pixels 4/6

5 VDI SOLUTIONS A COMPARISON: Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.2 VMware View 5.1 Enterprise bundle Citrix XenDesktop 5.6 VDI Edition (with Xen Server 6) DESKTOP GUEST OPERATING SYSTEM SUPPORT Microsoft Windows desktops Linux Windows XP (32 bit); Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit) Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Desktops 5, RHEL for Desktops 6; 32 and 64 bit in each case Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7; 32 and 64 bit in each case No Windows XP, Windows Vista (without Aero) and Windows 7 (without Aero); 32 and 64 bit in each case No PRODUCT LICENSING (selection) Per server socket pair Yes No No Per concurrent user connection No Yes Yes Per device No No Yes Per named user No No Yes USER EXPERIENCE (selection) VM lifecycle management Statically / dynamically assigned desktops Yes / yes Yes / yes Yes / yes Automatic / manual desktop creation Yes / yes Yes / yes Yes / yes Separate/offl ine desktops No Yes Yes Video support Video playback (at native frame rate) Yes Yes Yes Unlimited audio/video formats or codec Yes No No Multimedia redirection: Need for local installation of codecs and overlay functions for defi ned graphics hardware on the client? Display/monitor (selection) No Yes (only Windows XP / XPe / Vista) 16/24/32 bit color / up to 4 monitors Yes / yes Yes / yes Yes / yes Resolution up to 2,560 x Yes Yes Yes 3D OpenGL support No Only OpenGL 2.1 Yes 3D DirectX support No Only DirectX 9 Yes Support of peripherals (selection) Unlimited USB device support Yes No Yes USB 1.0 and 2.0 support Yes Yes Yes USB camera (isochronous) Yes No Yes USB microphone Yes Limited Yes User-defi ned USB keyboards Yes No Yes Yes Source: Red Hat, April /6

6 GERMANY (HQ) HONG KONG THE NETHERLANDS DE GmbH Hanna-Kunath-Str. 31 D Bremen Germany Phone +49 (0) AUSTRALIA Care of: Melchers (H.K.) Ltd Shun Tak Centre West Tower Connaught Road C. Hong Kong China Phone /cn NL Orteliuslaan BB Utrecht Phone +31 (0) SWEDEN AU AT BE CH Australia Level Miller Street North Sydney, NSW, 2060 Australia Phone AUSTRIA Wienerbergstraße 11/A12 Vienna Twin Towers 1100 Wien Austria Phone +43 (0) BELGIUM BVBA Researchpark Haasrode 1820 Interleuvenlaan Leuven (Heverlee) Phone +32 (0) SWITZERLAND GmbH Zweigniederlassung Schweiz World Trade Center Leutschenbachstraße Zürich Phone +41 (44) CN FR BEIJING Care of: Melchers Beijing Ltd. Beijing Tower Room Changan Ave. (East) Peking China Phone /cn SHANGHAI Care of: Melchers (Shanghai) Ltd. 13 Floor East Ocean Centre 588 Yanan Road (East) Shanghai China Phone /cn GUANGZHOU Care of: Melchers Guangzhou Ltd. Room 1108 T.P. Plaza 9/109 Liu Hua Road Guangzhou China Phone /cn FRANCE 57, Esplanade du Général de Gaulle PARIS LA DEFENSE CEDEX SE SG UK US Fridhemsgatan 94D Sundsvall Phone +46 (0) SINGAPORE Care of: C. Melchers GmbH & Co. Singapore Branch 101 Thomson Road # 24-01/05 United Square Singapore Phone UNITED KINGDOM Ltd Merlin House Brunel Road Theale Reading Berkshire RG7 4AB United Kingdom Phone +44 (0) UNITED STATES America, LLC 2106 Florence Avenue Cincinnati OH USA Phone Toll free (US only): GET IGEL Phone +33 (0) IGEL is a registered trademark of GmbH. All hardware and software names are registered trademarks of the respective manufacturers. Errors and omissions excepted. Subject to change without notice. I 12/ EN-48-1

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