Dell vWorkspace 8.6. IT best kept secret yes or no ??

By 14 september 2015 No Comments

Last week I was invited to Dell in Amsterdam to be introduced to Dell vWorkspace 8.6

I had heard about Quest vWorkSpace in the past. And came across this product a couple of times.

Quest acquired this technology in the past from “Provision Networks” and somewhere in 2012 it was sold to Dell.

Dell vWorkspace delivers virtual applications and desktops from multiple hypervisors, Remote Desktop Services. This is all done by a single management console.

As an architect/consultant, my job is to compare products out there in the market, and advise customers which product or solution is the best suitable in their environment. Off course after doing a thorough requirement analysis.

First impression of the product stack within Dell vWorkspace is pretty amazing. And I think also the acquisition of Wyse technology with Desktop Provisioning WSM (Which was licensed from Ardence) and Device Management is pretty neat. They are integrating formerly Foglight for monitoring. And off course User Workspace Management (Quest)

A key component of the vWorkspace offering is Quest EOP (Experience Optimized Protocol), a set of technologies that embrace and extend the Microsoft RDP/RemoteFX protocol to provide a near local user experience over both LAN and WAN.

I ask myself the question, can this compare with Citrix and Vmware. And since Jun 26th Dell is also offering so called “Dell Appliance for Wyse –vWorkspace” and this is smart seeing Citrix is dropping the bal with “VDI in a Box”

Dell is also partnering up with Nutanix and is offering a Dell XC Web-Scale Converged Appliance for vWorkspace.


So lets look at some interesting add on features in comparison to Microsoft RDS

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 RDS

Dell Wyse vWorkspace 8.6

   Departmental scalable mgmt.    Enterprise / Multi-tenant management
   Simple deployments, a few user types    Complex deployments, many user types
   Manual deployment    Dell Factory pre-installed with automation     Quickstart configuration
   Cloud-hosted desktop virtualization (VDI &RDSH)   Cloud and Client-hosted desktop virtualization (VDI + RDSH + OS Streaming)
Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for application virtualization

Built-in layering for simple application deployment and patching

Simple access control model(Allow | Deny) – based on Identity

Flexible access control model

(Allow | Restrict | Deny) – Based on Identity + Device + Location + Connection Type


Applications and desktops running on current Windows versions

Applications and desktops running on current and legacy Windows version

System Center Operations Manager for monitoring

Built-in monitoring and reporting

Manual RD Session Host Provisioning (in ~ 1 hour)

Automated RD Session Host Provisioning (in ~ 1 minute)

Windows desktop virtualization

Windows and Linux desktop virtualization

RD Gateway scalable to 3,450 sessions per VM

Secure Access scalable to 10,000 sessions per VM

RD Broker scalable to 20 concurrent VM clone operations

vWorkspace broker scalable to 2,000 concurrent VM clone operations
OS endpoint: Windows, iOS, MacOS, Android
OS endpoint: adds Google Chrome, HTML5 & Linux




Licensing the product.

There are 3 options available;


  • Per Concurrent user

This is typical for RD Session Host (RDSH) usage when customers are delivering line-of-business applications that are typically not used by all employees at the same time.


  • Per named user


This is typical for desktop replacement with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) or RDSH where there is only one shift of users, and the users may access vWorkspace from many endpoint devices


  • Per access device


This is typical for desktop replacement with VDI or RDSH where there is more than one shift of users and the users access vWorkspace from a fixed set of endpoint devices

Because it is my first look at Dell vWorkspace 8.6 i would like to install the suite in my home-lab and take you through the steps in this blog.


Installing vWorkspace

Before starting with the installation there are some prerequisites


  • Windows RD Session Host role
  • .NET Framework 3.5  (This is because I would like to install the SQExpress db locally)
  • .NET Framework 4.0


At first the software can be downloaded from the following location;










Accept the License Agreement option and click on Next to continue




For the test in my home-lab I choose the Simple option.



The following components are installed. Into a single VM.



  • Connection Broker


The vWorkspace Connection Broker helps users connect to their virtual desktops, applications, and other hosted resource sessions. The user’s [endpoint?] sends a request to the connection broker to access their virtual environment. The connection broker processes the request by searching for available desktops, and then redirects the user to the available managed desktop or application.


  • Management Console Role


The vWorkspace Management Console is an integrated graphical interface that helps you perform various management and administrative functions and can be installed on any workstation or server.


  • Web Access Role


vWorkspace Web Access is a web application that acts as a web-based portal to a vWorkspace farm. It helps users to retrieve the list of available applications and desktops by using their web browser. After successful authentication, their published desktops and applications are displayed in the web browser.


  • Terminal Server / RD Session Host Role


The vWorkspace Terminal Server role installs on top of the native Windows Terminal Server / RD Session Host role and adds the many vWorkspace enhancements to turn it into a enterprise platform.


  • User Profile Management Storage Role


vWorkspace User Profile Management uses virtual user profiles as an alternative to roaming profiles in a Microsoft Windows environment including virtual desktops and RD Session Hosts. The virtual user profiles eliminate potential profile corruption and accelerate logon and logoff times by combining the use of a mandatory profile with a custom persistence layer designed to preserve user profile settings between sessions.



  • Secure Access Role


vWorkspace Secure Gateway is an SSL gateway that simplifies the deployment of applications over the Internet and can provide proxy connections to vWorkspace components such as RDP sessions, the Web Access client, and connection brokers.



  • Universal Print Server Role

Enables driver-free, optimized and managed universal printing for network printers. The Management Console role is installed with this role.


  • Remote Site Relay Role


vWorkspace EOP Print is a single-driver printing solution that satisfies both client-side and network printing needs in a vWorkspace environment by providing bandwidth usage control, intelligent font embedding, native printer feature support and clientless support for LAN connected print servers and remote site print servers.


  • Password Reset Role


Securely allows users to remotely change or reset expired passwords using a vWorkspace Connector or vWorkspace Web Access.



  • Monitoring and Diagnostic Role


Built on Dell Software’s Foglight platform, vWorkspace Diagnostics and Monitoring provides real-time and historical data for user experience, hypervisor performance, RDSH servers/applications, virtual desktops, Connection Broker servers, Web Access servers, Secure Gateway servers, profile servers, EOP Print servers, and farm databases.



  • WSM Role


Delivers and manages desktops and applications from a central location.


Also the local SQLExpress is being installed. This could take a while so please be patient.



After approx. 15 minutes the install is finished.


After a reboot.


First I would like to look at what services are installed.



To bad they didn’t rename these services into Dell vWorkspace.






After install there is also 2 shortcuts available



At this point I would like to take a look at the Console.

After starting the console for the first time, after initialize. A “Quick Start Wizard” is displayed.



The Quick Start Wizard allows you to set up a vWorkspace environment through a guided process. The wizard navigates you through the process of creating a functional vWorkspace environment. You can choose from the following types of environments:


  • Setting up a desktop cloud environment

Computer Groups created through the Desktop Cloud Quick Start Wizard are automatically configured with provision-time and connection-time load balancing. Auto-size and virtual desktops are deleted at logoff. Along with HyperCache, HyperDeploy, and Instant Provisioning, these Hyper-V computer groups provide a platform where desktops can be moved in and out of the cloud.



  • Setting up a virtual desktop environment

Computer Groups created through the Desktop Cloud Quick Start Wizard are automatically configured with provision-time and connection-time load balancing. Auto-size and virtual desktops are deleted at logoff. Along with HyperCache, HyperDeploy, and Instant Provisioning, these Hyper-V computer groups provide a platform where desktops can be moved in and out of the cloud.


  • Setting up a remote desktop session host environment

The Remote Desktop Session Host Quick Start Wizard allows you to configure a session host environment. You can publish applications and desktops, configure access control, experience optimization, and manage user profiles.


  • Setting up a Blade PC environment

You can use the Blade PCs Quick Start Wizard to build an environment for managing session hosts on blade PCs or other physical computers.


At this point I select Close. We can always select the “Quick Start Wizard” in a later stadium.



As you can see all of the features within vWorkspace are in one console.


In next blogs I am going to go further in setting up my Lab Environment.


To Be continued…………