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.

Virtual Computer recently announced the availability of their NxTop product for free for up to five users. NxTop combines centralized virtual desktop management with a “bare-metal” client-hypervisor to make managing many desktops as easy as managing one. But, you may ask, what can a client side hypervisor do for me? The answer – solutions such as Virtual Computer’s NxTop can be utilized to effectively manage your desktop environment, provided they have a functional management interface. That said, bear in mind this is a developing technology, but it is a technology that offers you the opportunity to manage your desktops with virtualization without the larger infrastructure requirements of VDI but that doesn’t mean to say it wholly replaces SBC solutions: but it is a useful option to consider.

Which is better – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or Presentation Virtualization? If you have, say, a Citrix XenApp PV solution – you may may be tempted at the reduced cost per license of VDI – XenDesktop appears to be almost half the cost per user than XenApp. Maybe you’ve a VMware vSphere back-end and the thought of having one platform to manage is appealing. Maybe you have a different solution – perhaps Quest’s vWorkspace or Ericom’s Webconnect and are wondering what all this fuss about moving between PV and VDI is all about?

Can you transform your desktop estate by migrating to VDI solution and expect that “savings will be made”? You should ask not what you can do for VDI, but what VDI can do for you. The process of transforming your desktop needs to begin with understanding what each user has in their workspace. Being able to minimize your desktop device spend should not come with increased costs due to complexity and lost productivity. Be sure you fully assess what it is that you have now before considering transforming your environment.

If your organisation has remote users – consider that the impact of centralisation on their desktop experience can be very different: and not always in a happy way. Citrix’s ICA protocol has been joined by the likes of Quest’s vWorkspace with EOP Xtream, or Ericom Blaze. There are a number of hardware solutions for WAN optimisation with the likes of Expand Networks focusing specifically on solutions to support VDI implementations. Don’t allow poor network performance and user experience to sabotage your desktop virtualization project.

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