Can 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?
Our analysts leave VMworld 2010 having had great fun, having met some most excellent people and having been impressed with interesting vendors. Yet one thing puzzles after attending and discussing what we’ve experienced.
What is the focus of VMware’s Desktop Strategy?
Is VMware really committed the Desktop Virtualization Market?
What is VMware’s strategy going forward?
How will VMware Differentiate from the Competition?
How will VMware compete with the new vendors looking to disrupt and reinvent the desktop space?
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?
It’s likely you’re one of the 46,000 who have, apparently, downloaded Citrix’s XenClient. Maybe you took one look at the depressingly short hardware compatibility list and thought “it’s not going to work for us”: or maybe, like me, you ignored pretty much all the documentation when you downloaded it and only referenced that list when the XenClient failed to install on the third device. In which case its likely you’re asking ‘it sounds an interesting concept, but I don’t have the hardware to support it’. Maybe you’re one of the many who were expecting VMWare to release something.. sometime… maybe.
We’ve taken a look under the hood of a simple NxTop installation and put together a white-paper, A Look Under the Hood of Virtual Computer’s NxTop, to help you understand the installation requirements and the process of setting up clients and servers. In it we’ve considered the benefits, and issues, of a client-side hypervisor solution and how you can use such a service to manage your environment. How do you license such a service and indeed, how does a client-side hypervisor solution compare to VDI?
A barrier to introducing VDI is often the complexity and high initial costs such a solution can involve. Can you use a bare metal client-side hypervisor to manage your desktops? Should you?
The cost savings for desktop virtualization have been widely shouted for some time. Often from desktop virtualization vendors. Effectively, these savings come through reducing the desktop management costs but fundamentally by improving your organisations ability to deliver the user’s workspace quickly and effectively – enhancing those management savings with increased productivity. Yet, the majority of current solutions focus on delivering workspaces to devices that are on the network – be they LAN based or WAN based the device needs to be attached to the network to be able to function. Can you deliver your services to laptop users who need to operate off-line?
On his twitter account Harry Labana (@harrylabana), Citrix’s VP and CTO Desktop and Application Virtualization, posed the question “Are User Installed Applications A Compliance Nightmare Waiting To Happen“. User Installed Applications do indeed empower the user – but is there truly a business gain to allowing users greater freedom to control their workspace.
Virtualised desktops give organisations greater flexibility and agility in delivering a user workspace to users. Workspaces don’t need to be delivered on a company supplied device, user’s own laptops or even publicly available devices can be used. Citrix’s CEO Mark Templeton believes this greater agility will lead to IT being consumerised – users not only working where they want to work, but choosing and managing the tools that help them work effectively. Continue reading User Installed Applications – Dream or Nightmare?→
Enterprises and mid-sized businesses (SME’s) face two significant challenges and opportunities with respect to the end user desktops in the next two years. The first opportunity and challenge is how to replace the ageing Windows XP installed base with the recently released Windows 7 platform. The second is how to end up with a desktop environment that is inherently more flexible and manageable than what is in place today. Continue reading Desired End State for the Next Generation Desktop→