The Virtualization Practice

Desktop Virtualization

Desktop Virtualization covers VDI (centrally hosted desktops), Desktops as a Service (DaaS), desktop virtualization via client side hypervisors, and shared server technologies. Major areas of focus include when and where centralized desktop offerings are appropriate and not appropriate, ...
how management of remote desktops combined with management of mobile devices leads to a better managed and more productive end user computing environment, how to deliver the performance that end users require, and the impacts of using remote desktop technologies upon organizational security. Covered products and vendors include the VMware Horizon Suite, Horizon View, Horizon Mirage, VMware ThinApp, Citrix XenServer, Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenClient, and Microsoft Remote Data Services.

There has been quite a bit of hype on whether virtual desktops provide more security than traditional desktops. All the marketing literature I have read says that it does improve overall security, but I believe this marketing literature makes several assumptions that are just not true in most organizations, and really do not account for the myriad ways data can be accessed, by limiting our scope to just virtual desktops instead of the full desktop experience we are thereby limiting our thoughts on security. Are virtual desktops more secure?

With a little over 28 months left until Microsoft ends all support for Windows XP and with Internet Explorer 6, the time to consider their replacements is long overdue. While Microsoft and others have acted to deliver tools to assist with Windows 7 migration activities little effort has been made to address the challenge of IE 6. One of the others Quest has released an IE 6 rescue package. However, if anything, Microsoft’s only visible response has been to act stymie the actions of those withing to offer a solution.

What this also means is that for software companies focused on delivering applications and data to users, their solutions cannot be solely focused on virtualisation and the cloud: cannot be focused purely on thin and mobile. At the same time, IT departments need to be more business aware, because the business is increasingly IT aware. At the Synergy Barcelona 2011 event last week Citrix positioned themselves to deliver on just that.

Last week AppSense CTO Harry Labana introduced AppSense Strata a free utility to give users the freedom to install their own applications in a secure sandbox without requiring admin rights. When a user attempts to install an application, Strata can intercept the installation process capturing all changes performed during the application installation and writing them into a separate application configuration database.

In an effort to relieve the discomfort for customers and partners VMware have introduced a Rapid Desktop Program. This program looks to validate View Proof of Concept appliances to ensure that they meet criteria for performance and reliability. By removing the complexity of the “I”, an organisation can focus better on the assessment of virtual desktops and in turn deliver faster .