The Virtualization Practice

Author Archive for Andrew Wood

Andrew Wood
Andrew WoodAndrew is a Director of Gilwood CS Ltd, based in the North East of England, which specialises in delivering and optimising server and application virtualisation solutions. With 12 years of experience in developing architectures that deliver server based computing implementations from small-medium size business to global enterprise solutions, his role involves examining emerging technology trends, vendor strategies, development and integration issues, and management best practices.

Podio Released. Does the social work platform herald the beginning-of-the-end of desktops?

Podio offers a service that can be readily set-up, customised and deployed: with little IT knowledge – or IT service interaction. You create a workspace, you add applications to that workspace, you invite members of your team (regardless of the fact that your team may extend beyond your organisation) and you start working. if there were more Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings such as Podio available, would they negate the need for Desktop as a Service (DaaS)? Podio is likely a game changing environment for collaboration environments, but the rise of such services is likely to have a far wider impact in providing desktop services.

VMware View users along with Citirix XenDesktop and Quest vWorkspace have an iPad client for their respective solutions. Personal device use may seem appealing in reducing the demands on IT support – but to fully comply with the license agreements can incur additional license charges, and those charges are difficult to manage. Despite the advertising blurb attached to the free clients, the headaches for finance and IT are not over yet.

Virtual Computer are to optimize their NxTop client virtualization and management solution to operate with select models of Lenovo laptops and desktops PC platforms. For their part, Lenovo will allow customers to have Virtual Computer’s NxTop client loaded onto their custom images, direct from the factory. There are a number of client hypervisor solutions that can be used by enterprises today. The focus for these have been on security. At moment, the only vendor offering an enterprise ready PC management solution based on client hypervisor is Virtual Computer. The partnership withLenovo is likely first in line of tie-ups. Nxtop is Enterprise ready, with such deals Enterprises will be better ready for NxTop.

User Virtualization makes your user’s information manageable and portable. With User Virtualization the components of a desktop relating to the user are decoupled from the operating system and applications. Goldman Sachs investment is not to gain market share per se, but to allow AppSense to rapidly expand to meet the demand that their product has generated and helps drive a rapidly expanding desktop virtualization and management market.

Licensing VDI for Microsoft Desktops – is it rocket science?

Given all the past ingenuity and accomplishment why is it, in 2011, the mere task of assigning valid licenses to desktop virtualisation should appear an arcane process?

How do different virtualization models impact how you license your desktop services? What are the current licensing models and do they apply in all instances of desktop virtualisation? Do the models impact on provisioning of services be they laptops, thin clients, Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC), or mobile devices?

Is desktop virtualization licensing an intentionally complex process and what other options could there be?

RES Virtual Desktop Extender (VDX) is now available as a standalone offering. Priced at $15 / seat RES VDX is an incredibly useful enabler for virtualised desktops. It delivers on improving the user experience and better matching the needs of the user by allowing access to applications they need to use in their workspace.

With Microsoft reporting that Windows 7 VDI environments can be up to 11% more expensive than Windows 7 with traditional desktops when will desktop virtualisation give you a return on investment? Will performance taxes, license taxes and complexity taxes mean that desktop virtualisation will never be more than a niche service regardless of the clamour from VDI vendors hailing 2011 as the year for VDI as they did in 2010?

Or, is it that the taxation can be accommodated, all be it without short term gains because your business will benefit from the representation of a user’s application set not simply from their cubicle’s monitor?

Application Virtualization allows users to use potentially conflicting software in the same workspace. Towards the end of 2010 there was a great deal of discussion about the complexity of using application virtualization to finally let corporations end their dealings with the recalcitrant Internet Explorer 6.

In Virtualizing Internet Explorer: Microsoft takes the ball home and goes home we discussed why solving IE6 issues with Application Virtualization is difficult. Then, in December we reported that Browisum had crafted a lifeline and suggested a release date around the end of 2010.

To quote Robert Burns “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley”. Still, Browsium have announced the release candidate to their beta testers. With its release is it time to put IE8 compatibility issues to bed?

When considering a Virtual Desktop Design a good architect needs to ask “what is the best solution for this environment?” For many, once you’ve considered the needs of your users, it is a combination of desktop delivery models – some virtual, some physical. Ideally the user is unaware of which model is being delivered to them, they consume that service on an appropriate device, at an appropriate time. Ringcube perhaps first to market for this type of solution with their Workspace Virtualization Engine.

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