Re-learned a rookie lesson on the way home from VMworld 2011 Las Vegas: don’t take a nap before getting on a red-eye - you won’t sleep on the plane. But it did give me the chance to blog Unidesk’s experience and thank 10 of our customers for helping staff our booth!
This was our second year sponsoring VMworld. Last year at VMworld 2010, we had just released Unidesk 1.0, and many IT organizations were still running small VDI pilots, provisioning full clones, and managing their virtual desktops like physical PCs. The handful of larger deployments were focused on task workers, where only a few apps were needed, and any desktop customizations could be discarded. So back then, we found ourselves spending a lot of time educating attendees on why Unidesk is needed as the management platform for VMware View.
Jason Ramsay of engineering firm Winzler & Kelly is one of the Unidesk customers who donned a special red polo shirt while spending time in our VMworld booth. Here he discusses his Unidesk and VMware View deployment with several attendees who are just beginning their move to virtual desktops.
VMworld 2011 was different. Attendees had a much stronger understanding of the VDI challenges they would face, and the 4 requirements needed to expand VMware View use cases. As a result, we spent more time discussing how Unidesk layering technology:
- Offers full persistence, including User-Installed Apps
- Delivers the apps that can’t be packaged by application virtualization, and the departmental apps that IT doesn’t have the resources to virtualize
- Simplifies Patch Tuesday by enabling all desktops to be updated from a single gold image of Windows
- Accelerates ROI with tangible OpEx savings in desktop operations and support and CapEx savings in storage
(Note - we deliver this same value for Citrix XenDesktop - but this is a VMworld blog!).
Unidesk's booth was all digital, and built on our own software! 7 monitors including 3 demo stations ran Unidesk desktops hosted on VMware vSphere, brokered by VMware View, and accessed through Wyse thin clients. That's Unidesk Chief Solution Architect Ron Oglesby giving a demo in the back left. In front are Unidesk VP of Sales Brian McDonough and Account Executive Kate Galluzzo.
Still, Unidesk's unique ability to do all this with one platform requires an open mind, since the market has been conditioned for years that the complex stack of Profile Management, App Virt, Image Management, and Cloning is the “right way” to implement VDI. So we asked some of our 110 customers to spend time in our booth, and help spread the word that there's now a newer, simpler, and more comprehensive alternative. What an awesome job they did! While it was hugely valuable for attendees to hear their colleagues describe why Unidesk is a VDI game-changer, they were also able to learn about the other technologies that are part of our customers’ successful VDI deployments. Wyse and Pano Logic clients. VMware View, including the new View 5 persona feature that Unidesk extends to user-installed applications. Cisco UCS, Dell PowerEdge, and HP servers. Dell EqualLogic, Dell Compellent, EMC VNX FAST Cache, NetApp FlexPod, Whiptail, and HP storage. And too many more to mention.
So a very special thanks to the following Unidesk customers for their advocacy (especially those who went above and beyond by spending entire days in our booth!):
- Dru Lesnick, Technical Services Manager, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company, @dlesnick
- Raechelle Clemmons, CIO, Menlo College, @rclemmons
- Kipp Bertke, Deputy CIO, State of Ohio Jobs & Family Services (formerly Manager, Infrastructure and Operations, State of Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities)
- Jason Ramsay, IT Director, Winzler & Kelly
- Lyle Benally, Information Technologies, US Indian Health Service at Crownpoint Hospital, @LylecBenally
- Greg Duescher, IT Administrator, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, @iShBuu
- Terry Myers, Operations Manager, Thomco Insurance
- Jason Pamplin, IT Director, Thomco Insurance
- Michael Douthit, IT Administrator, The Solar Company
- Nelson Martinez, Jr., IT Division Director, City of Miami Beach, Florida
- Ken Watson, IT Director, Mount Graham Regional Medical Center
- Don Magee, Network Architect, Southwestern Michigan College, @DonMagee
- James Corman, LAN Technician, Gateway Technical College
- Eric Doherty, LAN Technician, Gateway Technical College
Check my next blog for some of our favorite conversations at the booth, and pictures of our first customer appreciation dinner.