All posts by Andrew Wood

Andrew 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.

Mobile Virtual Desktops, Motorola Announce a Nirvana Phone

Early last week Darron Antill, COO at AppSense, predicted that 2011 will be a huge year for mobility, citing that by 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide. Before that week was out, Motorola announced the introduction of its hyperphone; the Motorola ATRIX 4G. As you look up from your iPads, Playbooks and Slates “oh my” you may well ask, “is this important?” Continue reading Mobile Virtual Desktops, Motorola Announce a Nirvana Phone

Presentation Virtualization, a year in review

PresentationVirtualizationWay back in January, when 2010 still had that showroom fresh smell we released Presentation Virtualization Solutions whitepaper; the year wasn’t half way through before that was updated and its being defrosted as we speak to enable updates going into 2011. Its been an eventful year for Presentation Virtualization. Continue reading Presentation Virtualization, a year in review

Desktop Virtualization: How do Wanova offer a Mirage?

It has been said before desktop virtualization can be hard. The virtual desktop may have become real, but it is not mainstream. Is this because current virtual desktop deployment models are not mature enough, or the models are flawed?

Desktop management is expensive if it is unmanaged on a LAN: it is most expensive when those unmanaged desktops are distributed (be it across regional offices, or roaming users, or both). Centralisation can reduce these costs, putting you in a position where the IT you manage enables, rather than disables, the business. However, centralisation of desktop services is costly.

Centralisation solutions either focus on solutions that require a large investment in data-centre resources (such as Desktop Virtualization or Presentation Virtualization), or require you to separate management functions and duplicate administrative effort (mix VDI with A.N Other solution).  UniDesk, for example, have looked to re-invent how centralised virtualised desktops are managed; MokaFive and VirtualComputer have enterprise ready options for managing workspace delivery to devices but there is a requirement to deploy and manage a hypervisor on the end device. If your goal is to manage what you have better to reduce your costs – do you have to have hypervisors; do you have to remote your desktop?

Wanova have developed a Distributed Desktop Virtualization (DDV) solution – Mirage – with which they look to solve issues of desktop management with distributed environments, without the need for hypervisors, without the need for expensive data-centre resources and remoting protocols. In this article we’ll take a look at the challenges of desktop delivery, how Mirage works and how can it impact your desktop management.

By definition, a Mirage is a displaced image of distant objects, rather than an hallucination. Can Wanova offer the facility to deliver virtualised desktops to disparate devices – or are they just making it up?

Continue reading Desktop Virtualization: How do Wanova offer a Mirage?

Application Virtualization or Application Deployment, which one is better? (Part V)

In Part IV we discussed the challenges of Application Delivery, and how Application Virtualization could offer alternatives.

Application Delivery can present difficulties in ensuring applications are installed in different environments, can be complex to manage and introduce compatibility issues that delay deployment and increase costs.  Application Virtualization offers a number of advantages for providing access to applications over traditional Application Deployment; but it is not without caveats. Application Virtualization process of creating a virtualized application can be complex; it can require an infrastructure to be in place and there is also an interesting consideration as to whether application can adversely impact a hosted virtual desktop implementation.

Perhaps, those weren’t the answers you were looking for. Perhaps, you considered it a boring conversation anyway.

In this conclusion of the two-part trilogy, we’ll discuss Application Virtualization solutions, and what they can offer you. We look at solutions from Citrix, Endeavours Technologies, InstallFree, Microsoft, Spoon, Symantec, UniDesk and VMWare.  We’ll also consider the question  “is it a choice between Application Delivery vs Application Virtualization?” to reduce the cost to your business of application deployment.

Continue reading Application Virtualization or Application Deployment, which one is better? (Part V)

Sorting Out “Desktop Virtualization”

DesktopVirtualizationCan you use Desktop Virtualization in your organization to improve IT delivery? Desktop Virtualization, as a concept, is straightforward – separate the desktop environment from the physical machine. This gives you benefits in terms of speed of delivery, how you can provide access to mobile and remote workers, how you can ensure security and compliance.

On the other hand – Desktop Virtualization, as a task,  is complex, it requires different technologies and practices to traditional desktop deployment. The task is further complicated because Desktop Virtualization, as a term, is applied to a variety of solutions. These include VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure), HVD (Hosted Virtual Desktops), DaaS (Desktops as a Service), the use of Type 1 or Type 2 Hypervisors to create a “corporate sandbox” on an end-user workstation, and finally some new and enhanced desktop management techniques that deliver benefits of “Desktop Virtualization”, but without the data center server resource typically associated with this type of solution.

A number of vendors offer desktop virtualization solutions – how can you compare those offerings and relate them to what you need your desktop delivery strategy to do for your business?

Continue reading Sorting Out “Desktop Virtualization”

Virtualizing Internet Explorer: Microsoft Takes The Ball and Goes Home

For all the benefits of improved security and reliability in Internet Explorer (IE) 8, many business still have a critical need to support IE6.  IE6 may well be over 10 years old, it may well be two versions behind the most current release; the fact remains many businesses still have critical applications that rely on IE6’s cumbersome standards implementation and more relaxed security requirements.

In a previous article, Running Internet Explorer Beyond Windows XP I suggested that Microsoft reconsider its policy on supporting IE as a virtualized application. And Microsoft did reconsider. Go me. But, rather than allow it, Microsoft have actively sought to prevent IE virtualization: stopping one application virtualization company from promoting their offer of delivering virtualised versions of IE from their website and restating their support options for virtualised IE.

What will the impact be to your business you if you need to continue to support IE6 on Windows Vista or Windows 7. Are Microsoft’s recommended solutions the only option now? Is it possible to have a seamless, simple, fast and importantly low cost solution to allow users gain the benefits of the latest IE release while maintaining access to legacy web applications?

Continue reading Virtualizing Internet Explorer: Microsoft Takes The Ball and Goes Home

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