Q: How does Glassware 2.0 provide efficiency gains against current hypervisor technology?
A: Current hypervisor technology, also known as a virtual machine manager, delivers to the user both the Desktop AND the app. In order for it to work, each user must have what is called a “guest OS (Operating System).” This is equivalent to a full Windows Desktop OS. Alternatively, a Glassware 2.0 application only uses the OS kernel and it does not run any of the background processes of a desktop OS. This reduces the requirement for processing power and RAM while significantly increasing the user density per virtual or physical machine when compared to current hypervisor technology.
For example, 100 users running Microsoft Office 2010 would require 256 MB of RAM each for a total of 25.6GB of RAM. A hypervisor in this scenario would require an additional 200+ GB of RAM to run the 100 Windows Desktop OS’s that support the applications on those devices for a total of over 225GB. By contrast, the complete overhead per use for Glassware 2.0 is only 18MB. 100 users of the same applications on Glassware 2.0 would only require a total of 25.6 GB to fulfill the needs of each application. In this example, Glassware 2.0 uses 85% less RAM than hypervisor technology to support the same application migration!
Q: How do I know if an app will work on Glassware 2.0?
A: All you need to do is run the installer “.exe” native to your software. If it installs, it will work. In comparison, hypervisor-based technology often will not run apps that live in a shared memory space or that make direct calls on hardware. Glassware 2.0 does not have a problem with those issues.
Q: Do you support Microsoft Active Directory?
A: Administrators can pull both “user” and “group” accounts from their existing Active Directory (AD) domains.
Q: Where can I store data when using Glassware 2.0 apps?
A: It is easy to store data with Glassware 2.0 as you can use network drives, or our own SnapCLOUD™virtual enterprise network attached storage (“NAS”) solution which is also available on Azure. In addition, we support several cloud storage vendors’ offerings like OneDrive.
Q: How do I scale Glassware 2.0 to multiple machines?
A: To scale in Azure you just add more virtual machines. If you want to scale into the 10,000s then it will be more efficient to use our Exosphere™ offering which was designed with Glassware 2.0 but for larger deployments. If you have a physical deployment, simply add more physical appliances. Or you can always use a hybrid cloud approach (with some physical appliances and some virtual appliance in Azure).
Q: How secure is Glassware 2.0?
A: Since Glassware 2.0 uses a small OS kernel, it has an extremely small footprint making it difficult for a virus or hackers to attack. In fact, Microsoft security patches for their operating systems do not affect our OS kernel at all since they are not designed for the kernel. Users do not need to worry about patches such as those for the desktop OS. In other words, we are more secure than almost any physical desktop.
Q: Do you support apps that require a Graphical Processing Unit (GPU)?
A: Our physical appliances support various GPUs including those made by NVidia, AMD and Intel. However, because Azure itself does not yet support GPUs (Microsoft has stated it is slated for availability in 2016), we do not yet support GPUs when Glassware is an Azure-only deployment. When Azure supports GPUs, Glassware 2.0 will also support Azure GPUs.
Q: Can I provide SLA assurance to my clients or my company?
A: Yes, you can architect your Service Level Agreement (SLA) to provide the number of 9s required i.e.,99.999999999%. Glassware 2.0’s lower Total Cost of Ownership and ease of use makes additional 9s not just feasible but economical by allowing you to shift financial resources gained from reduced licensing costs to improved availability.
Q: How can I deliver apps on Glassware 2.0?
A: Depending upon the number of users, we recommend the following scenarios:
For 100s to 10,000+ cloud users, we recommend Exosphere™ on Azure.
For smaller cloud or on premises installs (i.e., under 100 users) we are designing a virtual appliance that can be easily provisioned from Azure Marketplace (slated for availability this month). For users that like hardware, we have the G-Series GW2000 appliance that is available today.
Q: How can I purchase Glassware 2.0?
A: For larger, greater than 1000 users as a cloud installation or for physical boxes to be installed on premises or at your corporate data center, please contact a Sphere3D sales rep or one of our partners at http://sphere3d.com/contact-us/. For smaller numbers of users (less than 100), starting this month, you will be able to self-provision in the Azure Marketplace.
Q: How is your recently announced Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance membership different from the previous collaborations you have announced?
A: According to Microsoft, to date, there are only 200 Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) worldwide in this invitation only cloud alliance. This alliance is also different in that it is at no cost to the alliance members i.e., no “pay to play.” We are excited to move to this next level of partnership with Microsoft’s Cloud business as the alliance focuses on partnering with vendors like Sphere 3D to deliver the best set of on-premise, hosted and public cloud solutions.