Vendorwag with Ron Oglesby of Unidesk [Episode 32]



Before I introduce the vendorwag – just a quick note. For reasons beyond my control, I have a LOT more “vendorwags” than I have “chinwags”. Things are getting a bit silly because in some cases a recording is done with a vendor, and then it can take up 8 weeks before they get aired – simply because I have THAT many in the can. So for the next couple of weeks I’m going to be doing TWO vendorwags a week – and no chinwags – until I clear this backlog…



This was a funny one. When I first approached Unidesk, the lady there said to me – I know who you should speak to – let me introduce you to Ron Oglesby. Well, as you probably know Ron and me go back a bit. To the days when he, Scott Herold and Co were one of the most active folks on the VMware VMTN Forums. I partnered with Scott & Ron for the Vi3 book, and knew I could have confidence in them as a team – because they had more than delivered on the ESX 2 Advanced Technical Design Guide.


Of course time and tide wait for no man, and we have all moved about in that time – with Scott now at Quest Software, and Ron at Unidesk. As you probably have gathered I’m a somewhat of a polymath. And along side all my other interests I have a strong passion for VDI, mainly because it takes me back to a time when I was a “Citrix Guy” before I became a “VMware Guy”. You’d be surprised how many people like Ron & me there are – former Citrix folks who crossed over to virtualization around 2003/4. We know a good thing when we see it.


Of course, you should be familiar with Ronno. But if you not here’s a bit of his back story:


Ron Oglesby educates enterprise IT organizations and solution providers on how to reduce the costs of desktop management and accelerate application delivery through successful virtualization deployments. His years of desktop experience as a Citrix Technology Professional (CTP), extensive knowledge of Microsoft and VMware virtualization technologies, and strong rapport with IT professionals equip him to shape implementation strategies for Unidesk customers and the Unidesk product roadmap.


Before joining Unidesk, Ron was the Practice Executive for Virtualization Services at Dell where he developed methodologies that helped Dell’s strategic customers implement their virtualization and consolidation initiatives. Prior to Dell, Ron was the Director of x86 and Virtualization Services at GlassHouse Technologies, one of the world’s largest independent data center consulting and services companies, where he oversaw North American consulting operations and directed a large team of engineers on numerous enterprise virtualization projects. Ron joined GlassHouse through its acquisition of RapidApp, where, as CTO and Senior Architect, he managed the professional services business and developed unique intellectual property for managing virtualization implementations.


Ron’s industry credentials also include:

  • Best-selling author of advanced technical design guides for VMware Infrastructure 3, VMware ESX Server, and Terminal Services for Microsoft Windows Server 2003.
  • Frequent speaker at industry events, including BriForum, Citrix Synergy, iForum, VMworld, and VMware User Groups (VMUGs).
  • Recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award, given to inspiring individuals for representing the voice of thousands in the community through independent feedback, and for helping customers maximize the potential of their software.


Q. Briefly explain in a nutshell what is Unidesk and how it works


Q. Unidesk is able to create distinct “layers” of OS/Apps/Personalization. How are those layers actually created?


Q. How well does Unidesk scale? What’s the largest installation you have running in production currently – can you share the specs… (Opportunity to state how you scale out over scale up, How you sit in the I/O stack so will benefit from any improvements in ESX/Array such as VAAI, and to say how you want to do more scale-up testing)


Q. Given a choice between using your own “layer or container” for applications – or using ThinApp or App-V – why would recommend your own method other these application packagers – when would it better to use ThinApp or App-V…?


Q. Unidesk seems very much focused on persistent desktops both from a software and licensing perspective – where users return each day to the same desktop – where are you with non-persistent desktop which offer a more “concurrency model”?


Q. It seems you have the whole desktop stack stitched up – Windows/App/Personalization – the only thing you lack is broker. Much of the work done say by VMware Linked Clones – becomes irrelevant once I have Unidesk – so the only missing piece of the puzzle is the actually SSL connection. Do you have any plans to develop a broker of your own – say based on native RDP with enhancements for graphics along the lines of Wyse TSX and Quest EOP?


Q. How does the pricing work out comparatively between using View+View Composer Vs View+Unidesk?


Q. Where are the single-points of failure in Unidesk? Are they serious? What can I do to mitigate against them?


Q. What is the future direction of the Unidesk Product (Bridgehead servers for Branch/Remote Offices)


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