Archive for category General

Virtual Box in Headless Mode, RDP, Sun Rays, Mac ….

I am at SIBOS this week, on Sun’s booth, demonstrating our Open Suite for Swift Solution to customers and prospects.

The demo has been prepared by Patrice in a Virtual Box image and requires significant resources to run as it includes, Java CAPS, Directory Server, Oracle XE, Microsoft MQ, Websphere MQ etc …

Our initial plans was to install that demo on our booth’s Sun Ray server but the machine was not sized appropriately to handle a dozen Sun Ray clients running Star Office, Firefox and, at the same time, our huge Swift demo VM.

The solution was :

  • Start the VM on my own laptop, in headless mode (my laptop acting as a Virtual Server)
  • On the Sun Ray, start our RDP client to connect to running VM, over the air

The full picture is then

Sun Ray device ---> Sun Ray Server ---> RDP Client ---> Virtual Box ---> Swift Demo

This setup works great !  People are always quite impressed when I plug my Sun Badge in a Sun Ray client and instantly receive my Windows screen running in a VM on another machine.

It is important to understand that Virtual box *is* the RDP server here, independently of any OS running as guest.  This setup will also work with Linux or Solaris guest.  Read this article to find more about Virtual Box’s headless capabilities.

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Sun Ray Branding

SunRays are our ultra thin desktop clients, part of our Desktop Virtualization solution

These little business oriented devices generaly adopt a sobre grey look but do you know they can be custom branded too ?

This is what we did for ING Netherlands, currently adopting these desktop devices to reduce their maintenance costs, simplify the desktop administration and meet their CO2 objectives by significantly reducing power and cooling needs.


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Seeing you in Wonderland

We just recorded a small demo of Wonderland collaboration.

Wonderland is a 3D world allowing for team collaboration.

  • You can see and ear other people in the same room, they can see and ear you as well
  • You can see applications (Slideshow, PDF, Office, …) running on the server or on your desktop
  • Anyone can take control of an application to show something to others

As soon as the screencast we’ve recorded is ready, I will post the link.  Jason’s blog has more details, including the screencast we’ve recorded.

The best part is that Wonderland server is open-source under a GPL license, you can download it and start experimenting with it (available for Solaris, Mac, Linux and Windows).

Enjoy !

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Not entirely clear ?  Check the explanations here.

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My worst travel experience … ever !

I had to attend a meeting in our premises in Linlithgow, nearby Edinburgh in Scotland.
Going to there was …. well … my worst travel experience ever.

It all started with a one hour delay for my connecting flight in London Gatwick.  Ok, I have to admit this is not so bad … yet … delayed flights are far more frequent these days and we should rather blog about flights being on time rather than delayed flights 🙂

When I finally make it to Edinburgh, It was to realize than my luggage did not follow me when I was at London … here I am in Scotland with just my laptop and mobile phone.

After having filled-in the required forms and complaint about the missing luggage, I learned that taxis seems to avoid the airport area at night … there was a queue of 20-30 persons waiting and … no taxi at all !

After 30-35 minutes, when enough taxis arrived to serve everyone, I though my journey was almost over.  But it was without knowing that my taxi driver had no clue about where my hotel was … 20 minutes later, we were lost in the middle of nowhere and had to stop twice to ask for directions.

The fun continued at the reception desk of the hotel … no booking whatsoever … For this, I was (almost) entirely responsible.  We had to change our hotel booking quite late and, … guess what ? I went to the wrong hotel !  

40 minutes after, and having met another taxi driver, I finally arrived to the hotel where a room was indeed booked for me.

I will just pass quickly on the other little annoyances, like no wifi access in my room (most of my colleagues’ rooms were ok), the TV set not working at all, and the alarm clock from my Palm that did not function properly the next morning …. causing me to arrive a little bit late at the meeting.

All together it was quite an interesting travel experience.  Next time I will take care Mr Murphy will not travel with me.

I finally received my luggage 24 hours later and everything got back to normal…


Thunderbird plugin for Calendar Server

The mozilla team released last week release 0.3 of Lightning, the Calendar plugin for Mozilla’s Thunderbird email client.

Thanks to the help of Sun, there is also a version embedding a WCAP client. WCAP is the http-based protocol allowing to access Sun’s Calendar Server.

End-result is here : we now have a calendar fat client, fully integrated with the mail client.

Check it out !

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CEC Day #3

Today is CEC’s last day.

Tech sessions I was participating this morning were related to :

  • Best practices for grid deployment of Web Services on T1000 and T2000 machines (Niagara systems). A nice case study about German’s Fiducia deployment.
  • Open-source philosophy and strategy @ Sun, and, in particular, the future of open-source Java.

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CEC Day #2

CEC day #2 ended with a memorable attendee party, very well organized, with great buffet, bar and fun games and shows. It’s been years since I last played Galaxy on an arcade machine 🙂

Before the party, the day was full of interesting tech sessions, I mostly spent my time exchanging information about :

  • SOA Governance, and particularly, the Sun-Seebeyond SOA Governance Framework,
  • Java Enterprise System‘s future. Some great news are support for sparse zones install in the next release and the possibility to have self-contained directory deployment for future versions (after release 5)
  • Java System Portal 7 and its communities features
  • Biometric authentication and single sign-on with Java Enterprise System and Access Manager


CEC Day #1

CEC is the Sun-internal Customer Engineering Conference, a full three days of technical content, meet the experts, networking with peers and … lot of fun in San Francisco !

I spent most of my time yesterday in software related sessions : all about Composite Application Suite and Identity Management.

We had some great exchanges on

  • Web services security and how it is implemented in Netbeans 5.5 Enterprise Pack.
  • SOA Governance and how it will help organization to deploy and manage large scale, enterprise level, service oriented architectures
  • Access Manager 7.x, OpenSSO and how they relate to Liberty specification today and in the future
  • How to use SPML and Java API to remote provision user accounts with Identity Manager, ideal to include Identity-related functionalities in your portal or other in-house applications.

I am really looking forward this second day for more content !

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Changes come from the loosers ?

I am somewhat amused by the blog entry : “XML was invented by loosers“.
Thanks Benoit for sending me this link.
Sorry Tim 😉
The title is much eye-catching but the idea beneath is interesting. Combine this with the principle of Peter and we have no reasons to hope for a better future 🙂

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