If your Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) provider is only focused on hosting virtual desktop, they are failing you. If you only provide a desktop environment to your customers – you will annoy them. If a desktop-as-a-service price only includes the cost of standing up a virtual OS instance that offering should be ignored.
To many, DaaS means outsourcing a service to make use of a virtual desktop infrastructure. Yet increasingly, internal IT departments are being encouraged, directly or indirectly, to consider their core desktop provision as a service: not simply “something that just gets done”, like toner cartridge replacement, or fixing the CEO’s son’s friend’s daughter’s laptop; on a Friday; just as you’re going home.
A “desktop service” incorporates many things. The delivery of an operating system environment: but there’s more. The provision of applications. Access to data. Creation of user accounts; the granting of access rights. Access to services such as email, file storage. Understanding what applications are used and when. The ability to print. A desktop service has a range of components that are key to delivering an environment that is reliable and cost effective.
RES Software have recently released a number of updates, new releases and patents that help put the Service into desktop-as-a-service. When considering your own enterprise desktop environment, or enhancing your DaaS offering – what tools are you using to automate delivery? Does the updated RES portfolio assist?
Atlantis rightly herald ILIO for XenApp, the first solution designed specifically to accelerate provisioning, boot time and application response time for virtualized Citrix XenApp deployments into a market that some would say is quite specific.
Atlantis have evidenced reducing provisioning time, improving the user experience and reducing the amount of storage required by up to 90% for Terminal Services/Microsoft RDS workloads.
Way back in the day the Atlantis ILIO offering had some difficulties, but recent releases for both ESX and Hyper-V have seen ILIO become a common component in VDI delivery. Yet, a Presentation Virtualisation (PV) solution like Citrix XenApp is a different environment, often managed and licensed in a different way: and there is ever the question – should you virtualize XenApp? The claims on performance and density when Atlantis ILIO for XenApp is used are compelling, so will this release give a fresh impetus to virtualising RDS workloads and help with the migration to Citrix XenApp 6.5?
So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Perhaps you sit, coffee in hand with a vague recollection of telling your boss just exactly how you thought all of this year’s decisions could have been done much, much, much better. Perhaps you told your team they were awesome, I mean like truly, truly awesome: that you loved them, that you loved them so, so much. Perhaps you’re looking for solace after a quick check of Facebook has shown exactly how you got the bruises down your right-hand side and gives insight into where your left shoe went. Perhaps you’re finally getting a chance to finally watch all those on-line presentations you put off until it was quiet.
Another year over.
It has been a while since we last updated our Presentation Virtualization Solutions whitepaper. Has nothing happened in the market in 2011? On the contrary, there was a good deal going on for Presentation Virtualization in a year that saw a new benchmark setting XenApp release from Citrix, Apple remove terminal services functionality, RES Software launch their reverse seamless technology and Ericom their HTML5 client.
If we consider what we saw in 2011, what can we expect in 2012?
CIOs see selecting the right technology provider for their desktop virtualization strategy as a “significant risk”, according to research firm Ovum. Ovum found that simplifying the management of desktops to reduce costs and increasing business agility were the top two reasons for implementing desktop virtualization, however, an often overlooked aspect is the need to shift thinking from a device-centric perspective to a user-centric one.
Apple have released their latest OS version. There are over 200 new features including autosaves, versioning, multi-touch gestures, access to the Mac App Store and, multi-user screen sharing. But Apple have not only changed the look and feel of the new, and significantly cheaper OS, they have changed their license terms as well.
One is the inclusion of clause to allow you to run multiple instances of the OS on your own device. A similar clause to one in Microsoft’s Windows 7 and a license feature that would sit well with a client-side hypervisor solution – giving administrators centralised control and management of end-devices. In the Panther and Leopard releases, Apple added features to allow fast user switching and screen sharing: possible precursors to a native Terminal Services function. For some enterprises, a virtual Mac OS X environment would be a desktop Nirvana: giving access to Mac-only applications on-demand without having to supply Mac hardware on a one-to-one basis.
Does the multi-user screen sharing function provide a native Mac Terminal Services solution? Will Lion allow you to virtualize the Mac OS to take pride of place in your desktop delivery strategy and finally maul Microsoft’s Windows dominance?
What is the point in virtualizing your Citrix XenApp Server? Consider that the goal of server virtualization is two fold – to make best use of idle computing resource; and to provide standardization and automation so to reduce the time to build and deliver new servers, or recover and restore broken ones. Is that a desirable and achievable goal for a Presentation Virtualization (PV) server such as Citrix XenApp? Of course: but its likely done already. Why add another expensive layer of software?
PV’s benefit is its capacity for high user density, and ease of management. With a PV server, users share the operating system environment, but each have their own independent session. A PV server could support 50%-100% more sessions that a hosted desktop solution, can that be improved an underlying virtualization layer?
PV servers, such as Citrix XenApp, are often cited as being ‘unvirtualizable’. They typically run with high utilization (sometimes too high) of CPU and memory resources, possibly even disk. As PV farms often need to support a high number of users, core server builds tend to be standardized, and application deployment to those servers automated. If you’ve already a standardized and automated environment, if you’ve already high hardware utilization – why go to the bother and cost of adding in a service that essentially does the same thing?