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.

HP100x30

HP announced the newest addition to the top of their thin client device line. The t820 series focuses on delivering the highest level of performing thin clients, targeting users that historically have not been able to use thin clients in the past. In a press release on August 19th, “There is new and growing demand in today’s market for quad-core processing and multimedia graphics on thin clients,” said Jeff Groudan, marketing director, Thin Clients, HP. “With the HP t820, we’ve delivered a more advanced thin client solution to give companies the speed and performance required for their most demanding applications.”

DesktopVirtualization

As you can probably tell from the title, Citrix is leveraging their biggest advantages in the mobility/BYOD race: their understanding of ALL client operating systems, multimedia in both SBC and VDI environments, and their established partnerships with hardware and OS vendors. In a conversation (you can listen to it yourself by clicking the audio file above) I had with Chris Fleck, VP Mobility & Alliances at Citrix (@chrisfleck), we spent an hour talking about the various methods Citrix has decided to use to manage mobile devices in both multi-user and multi-OS virtual environments, while extending their function from consumption to productivity. Oh, yeah, they have also changed their product and technology names to reflect their commitment to mobility; shocking I know.

DesktopVirtualization

The recent events surrounding the treacherous activities of Edward Snowden should make most of us think long and hard about the measures we are taking to secure our corporate data. Are we giving our administrators too much access? Do we fail to audit and report on how the data is being accessed and used? Is our data just too mobile? Unfortunately the answer to all three of these is yes.

When we look at the secure hybrid cloud, the entry point to the hybrid cloud is the end user computing device, whether that device is a tablet, smart phone, desktop, laptop, google glass, watch, etc. We enter our hybrid cloud from this device. From there we spread out to other clouds within our control, clouds outside our control, or to data centers. How these devices authenticate and access the data within these various places within the hybrid cloud becomes a matter of great importance and has been a concentration for many companies. How we protect the data that ends up on the end user computing device is also of great importance.

DesktopVirtualization

The recent rumors of Microsoft working on a hosted virtual desktop (DaaS) solution to add to their cloud services offering may actually end up being one of the most viable options for organizations who already rely heavily on Microsoft infrastructure to run their business. Having all of your core services being delivered from a single location and provider could ease the operational concerns of some who find running a hybrid of on-premise and hosted solutions still requiring the same amount of operational support.

DesktopVirtualization

There was recently a rather heated twitter discussion between @Guisebule, @VirtualTal, and @Texiwill (myself) about using virtual desktops as a part of cyber defense. While this could be true, there is a need to ensure you know where your virtual desktop(s) start and end, not only within the network, but your applications in use. In addition, it is very important to fully understand the scope of a virtual desktop architecture as well as use.

DesktopVirtualization

Data Protection and patch management of virtual desktops, while not a sexy topic, is one that should happen on a regular basis within any organization implementing or working to implement virtual desktops. Recently, we have been testing virtual desktop software and there is a huge difference between patching and protecting data in a small number of instances and 1000s of instances. There are scale considerations as well as ease of use for file level and system recovery as well as issues with patching virtual desktops (not to mention other security issues).