The Oracle Desktop Virtualization team just released the latest versions of VDI and Sun Ray (Oracle blog: What’s New). This is following a rough schedule of (major) upgrades about twice per year and while a lot of the changes are maintenance and bug fixes there are some cool new features aswell. So let’s get started with the list of new things that I find interesting and/or useful and will definitely play with (and blog about) in the future:
- Support for Solaris 11 and Linux 6.3: People have been waiting for this for quite some time. This is useful for folks running native sessions because this introduces desktop enhancements and bug fixes. The Support for Solaris 11 is also fantastic because the network virtualization in this new OS has the potential to solve many issues.
- Enterprise Manager 12c integration: I still have to actually try this out but I think this is a feature to fall in love with. Both GUIs of VDI and Sun Ray are a bit outdated, not integrated together and do not really provide monitoring functionality. So until now we had to use two GUIs, still do some stuff on the command line because there was no button in the GUI for it and build our own monitoring scripts.
- With personal hard drives you can re-clone a VirtualBox machine but leave user data on another virtual disk.
- fun: dynamic session resizing and screen rotation will automatically resize and optimize your desktop when you rotate your iPad or Android tablet client. Maybe not the most important new feature but it just looks cool.
- IPsec support for Sun Rays. Good news if you are not using cisco devices which have been supported for quite a while
- Support for Microsoft App-V. I don’t know anything about that MS product but it seems to deal with the problem of how to roll out applications to virtual clients and sounds interesting.
- Support for Android in OVDC 1.2
- New supported guests for VirtualBox hypervisor: Windows 8, OEL 6.3, Solaris 11.1
- The new getting started guide looks like a great entry point if you have never worked with Oracle VDI before. I think this was badly needed after the old sun wiki was shut down.
And then there is a long list of bugfixes and minor improvements which a lot of look very familiar because they have been submitted by us. I especially like the fact that SRS auto-failover is now disabled by default. I had talked about this in my presentation at DOAG last November. The old default behavior was to fail-over the Sun Ray primary when the master crashed or was rebooted. This sounds like a good intention but in Sun Ray all secondary servers have to restart on such a change and this usually introduced more problems than it solved.
Another improvement is a new parameter (client.select.always) to control the display of available desktops even if all your desktops could be launched on all your monitors: In VDI 3.4 if you had two desktops assigned and a DTU with two monitors, VDI would automatically start both desktops and put them on your screens. This can be very useful for using two different operating systems with just one keyboard and mouse. But sometimes you only want to bring up a single desktop and use both monitors with it. The workaround was to create a third “dummy” desktop so that the number of screens and desktops did not match anymore to bring up the selection screen.
Next up: Secure Global Desktop (SGD) Version 5, please.