VDI Windows on iPad

Yesterday, I took Oracle’s OVDC for iPad for a test drive. As expected, the installation was free an just as easy as with any other app. The setup offered a choice between automatic discovery and manual setup. I chose to enter the server IP manually since our wireless is on a different (but routed) network. There was another option for VPN but I did not take a closer look at that. I am wondering though if the client has it’s own VPN client or uses the iPad’s system-wide VPN.

Things were great from there. The app connected to my server and presented a sharp and crips image, things went smooth. A few things were a little annoying: I was not able to do a double-click. I can only assume that double-tapping too fast does not work and tapping too slow will let windows think that you want to rename the file or shortcut or whatever.
Also, the keyboard driver did not work as expected. When using special characters, things were weird with a US keyboard layout on the iPad but the keys were actually interpreted like on a german keyboard. Or the other way around.
Playing flash videos did not really go very well, the playback was pretty slow so I wouldn’t want to watch a full movie on it. I also tried the stream of a webcam at the office and this worked really well.

As a first impression i would say that the OVDC app is great for showing off your VDI setup and also for the occasional emergency task when you really need to have access to an excel file on the road. But it will propably not revolutionize the way you perform everyday desktop work. I also wonder if this will spark a new eco-system where Oracle partners rent virtual machines to regular people.
If I find the time, we will set up a demo system at the data center to see how this works over the internet and give test accounts to friends and family to see if this is something that is actually useful or just something that is only appreciated by true geeks.

3 thoughts on “VDI Windows on iPad

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