With OnDemand, users access VM sessions via Web page authentication. Session links from client to VM are accomplished via Java (JRE 1.6). The host session can be Windows XP, Vista or Windows 2003 Server.

Sychron's OnDemand software runs VDI sessions on either Microsoft's Hyper-V (tested) or VMware ESX 3.5. OnDemand software components for Hyper-V use Microsoft's Internet Information Services (IIS) as a portal to link clients in VMs running atop Hyper-V.

Initial configuration took a while, because the PDF documentation was incomplete, including one section with a 'TBA' which we guess to mean 'to be added'.

Four packages were added to Hyper-V/Windows 2008R2 server. We then set about creating the 'substrate' policy, IIS and Hyper-V settings. After a bit of work, we were able to create Habitats, which serve as VM access aggregations that the OnDemand Portal software uses to assign users to machines via Sychron Policy Agents. The Portal also load balances user VM requests across multiple Sychron OnDemand Controllers.

The OnDemand Enterprise Manager is the management application, and we found that creating 'gold' images was similar to the parent/child relationships in VMware View and XenDesktop.

OnDemand client access was fast to authenticate and logon from a browser, whose credentials follow the configuration set via Policy Agent and Active Directory settings. The YouTube test we used to track multimedia didn't work as well as we'd have liked, and when Sychron supplies updates to become compatible with VMware View 4/vSphere, we believe it may speed up multimedia client response vastly.


Overall, Sychron OnDemand is a more difficult installation, and gave us the feel of a work in progress, but one with promise. Clients will enjoy its simplicity of access, and between clever load balancing and astute Active Directory controls (on the Hyper-V side we tested), it should be soon ready to recommend.