Ulteo Open Virtual Desktop 4 is available

Published on 04/08/2014

April 8th, 2014 -- Ulteo are excited to announce the RTM of version 4.0 release of Open Virtual Desktop. With the latest release of OVD our goal was to deliver a platform for both the community and enterprise that extends our support for the delivery of applications while improving management and usability. Ulteo has focused this release on the key areas of, compatibility, ease of use, performance and management. Following are a few of the highlights.

Compatibility

V4 brings support for the latest operating platforms, Windows 2012 R2 along with Linux releases, Ubuntu Precise 12.04 and Debian Wheezy. Our goal for Windows and Linux application delivery is seamless integration so V4 also introduces Microsoft Active Directory integration for Linux. This allows servers delivering Linux applications to be integrated into Active Directory ensuring a single point of control and management.

With the trend towards unmanaged devices and BYOD Ulteo has released the first version of a new client based on HTML5. With zero install requirements this is the first step towards our goal of universal client support without the need to manage the end point. There are also updates to all of our existing client platforms, support for the latest version of JRE for the Java client and extended support for Unicode keyboards and non-Latin languages enabling localization for Asian, Arabic and other such languages. V4 also sees PC/SC smartcard support for Windows.

Performance and Management

Performance and management has been improved in both the platform and our clients. V4 introduces the first release of bandwidth management and QoS for Linux Application Servers. Administrators can now set priorities on virtual channels for graphics, sound, printing and disk redirection and others to optimize session delivery and ensure the best user experience.

V4 sees a totally new implementation of our LDAP management code, testing has yielded significant increases in performance through optimization of LDAP requests resulting, in some cases, of up to 100X improvement.

On the client side we have made improvements in performance and optimization with the introduction of advanced compression and decompression algorithms and lossless audio compression. In addition the graphic sub-system in our native clients have been redesigned and optimized to deliver superior performance with testing revealing up to a 2X improvement of graphics delivery while using less memory.

User Experience

OVD 4 delivers overall a superior user experience thanks to the many performance improvements already mentioned. User experience is also enhanced with the release of session roaming, this introduces support for flexible working and mobile users by allowing them to move from one location to another or switch from one device to another with follow-me session reconnection and dynamic display resizing to suit the device being connected from.

A new feature, Dynamic Delivery Fallback, ensures that if a local application is not installed on a client, OVD can automatically fallback to server hosted application delivery without any user interaction. This enables seamless delivery and device use flexibility and is delivered through a reusable HTML framework which also allows customer to integrate legacy applications seamlessly within their own portal.

Following is a summary of the major new features of Open Virtual Desktop V4.0:

Key New Features in Open Virtual Desktop V4

HTML5 client

This new client is HTML5 compliant and provides some key benefits in supporting new devices. For unmanaged devices the client delivers zero install connectivity to an Ulteo server farm with the potential to remove the need for a Java client.

Key features

  • works on all devices including iPAD and Android
  • fully integrated into Web Portal which recognizes whether Java is supported on the client. If the client supports Java, then the session will default to running the Java client. The user may override this using the advanced settings.

Known limitations

  • IE browsers not fully supported (limited IE support of HTML5)
  • Sound not implemented
  • No client device redirection
  • Basic clipboard support

Session Recovery and Roaming

Session recovery improves usability when unreliable network connections are encountered, for example, in mobile WAN environments where reception is patchy. It ensures that if a network connection is lost the user may initiate recovery of their original active session without loss of any active applications.

Session roaming is an extension of the session recovery capability that provides recovery and dynamic resizing for seamless applications (Portal Mode). This is where a user can disconnect from an active session and then reconnect at a later time using a different device. Roaming automatically connects them to their session as they left it and if the device has a different resolution the session will automatically be resized to suit the new display.

Key features

  • Portal Mode supported
  • Session state maintained
  • Auto resize for client device roaming

Known limitations

  • Users cannot switch between Desktop and Portal Mode on recovery.

Performance (Clients, Gateway and LDAP)

Native Client

The graphic handling performance of the Native OVD Client has been significantly improved. The image management engine in the client has been redeveloped from ground up switching from Java to C when supported on the client.

LDAP (Active Directory, eDirectory) 

There have been significant improvements with LDAP integration, the entire LDAP management code has been rewritten to significantly reduce the number of LDAP requests. We are expecting a reduction in requests by a factor of 100 in some cases.

OVD 4.0 now supports recursive user groups (AD >=2008r2) so that groups may contain both users and user groups. Additionally OpenLDAP user groups are also supported.

User profile management extended support

A number of key improvements have been made in user profile management, performance and synchronization features.

Key features

  • Quota management: disk space quota by user profile / shared folder
  • Extended support to not only desktop & document folder but any folder in the user profile
  • Configuration synchronization is now handled by the Group Policy Object on Windows application server side, previously hard-coded in OVD3
  • A script can be defined to run a login to further configure the user session parameters

Smart Card: local device redirection

OVD introduces support for PC/SC compliant smart cards and devices based on the Microsoft RDP specification. Support is provided in the Windows and Linux native clients and the Java Web Client. The team are looking for validation testing of specific devices cards and applications.

Key features

  • Support for PC/SC complaint devices and cards

Limitations

  • Windows Application servers only

OVD integration

OVD 4.0 has added a number of integration and extensibility features for application integration and automation of management tasks. For web application integration there's a new JavaScript framework, for example this might be used with SharePoint as a portal serving documents. When a user requests a document, for example an MSWord file, SharePoint can be extended to have OVD launch a server hosted MSWord session in a seamless window within the browser. This removes the requirement to have every application installed on each desktop. The feature also works with tablets.

If the client connections are to use HTML5, the installation of an OVD HTML5 Proxy will be required on a server.

Key features

  • JavaScript framework for portal integration that provides additional capabilities compared to the existing REST API
  • SOAP OVD administration API - for example can be used to create a script to create a set of users.

Web Application GATEWAY

The Web Application Gateway transparently supports the integration of native web applications alongside Windows and Linux applications. It provides a single sign on (SSO) capability for web applications so that users can be automatically authenticated using the same credentials as for OVD. This could be the case when the web application and OVD are integrated with a directory.

APPLICATION SERVER SUPPORT

Support has been added for Windows Server 2012 R2 as an Application Server.

Performance (Network Traffic)

OVD 4 Community Edition supports Quality of Service characteristics for different data streams as well as advanced image compression. The virtual appliance has been configured to have the Quality of Service and advanced image compression active by default. Documentation for these settings is available in the Application Server installation guide.

Performance (RDP protocol speed optimization)

In OVD 4.0 RTM we are releasing a prototype for RDP speed optimization which will be feature of the Premium Edition in a later release. At this point the functionality delivers prototype RDP protocol improvements for Linux Application Servers only, particularly network bandwidth detection, adaptation and optimization. A progressive display technology prototype is also included.

Key features

  • Optimization of available bandwidth
  • Bandwidth detection and display adaptation

Limitations

  • The protocol optimization is only available for Linux hosted applications, Windows under consideration for future release

Platform Download and Activation

To download the RTM build for the Premium Edition please use the following link where you will find download instructions and instructions for activation:

http://www.ulteo.com/home/en/products/ovd/4.0/download

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Last edited on 04/08/2014 15:22:16
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