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, (Read More)(Read Less)
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.
Businesses today waltz with the end of the PC. AppSense’s Jon Rolls wrote an interesting blog post on how the Windows desktop has not ceased to be in the post-PC era. For many businesses the corporate PC and the corporate laptop are increasingly supplemented by a personal tablet, personal laptop, personal smartphone. Perhaps if corporate IT moved faster (or depending on your viewpoint, businesses were willing to invest more in IT), then the rising reality of users believing they must bring in personal devices to be productive would halt, possibly even recede.
Yet, even if the organisation can wrest control back from tablet-wielding users by providing appropriate devices, given consumer device trends today those devices will very likely be touch capable, and this trend will increase. I attended an Intel event recently where the speaker reported that at a recent innovation environment held at a school, 99% of the submissions from the innovative teenagers expected any IT interaction to be touch/gesture control rather than a keyboard; not voice either—you can tell Star Trek hasn’t been on TV for a while. Kids today, eh?
Virtualised desktops have one fundamental advantage over physical desktops: they can be transferred between devices. Every other value point for VDI (availability, manageability, security) has a counter point with a physical desktop. For many, transference is a significant productivity benefit, especially if that transference is to a personal device.
If the interaction interface changes so dramatically, if your tablet virtual desktop experience is poor because that interface isn’t designed or can’t accommodate touch, will that hamper VDI dominance?
In a transition from physical PCs to virtual work spaces you can move 50,1000,20,000 people from an environment where everyone has their own hard drive in their own device, to a shared environment where there are (hopefully) no longer 50,1000,20,000 hard-drives. You do this to achieve cost savings. Still, in the majority of instances, the desktop file system and the apps that run on it weren’t designed to understand such consolidation. Many a desktop project fails because the storage infrastructure wasn’t architected with these mismatches in mind.
Yet, desktop virtualization solutions have have matured to accommodate such issues. A range of increasingly impressive VDI appliances: dedicated drive arrays. Way back in 2010 we were reporting that Atlantis Computing were looking to Transform Desktop Computing with their In Line Image and Optimization (ILIO) product. Atlantis Computing’s core ILIO product sought to address optimizing non-persistent VDI instances, then offered a RAM based solution with their ILIO DiskLess VDI, then presented a way to optimize Citrix XenApp instances. Atlantis’ offerings look to dramatically reduce the physical hardware required to support virtualized desktop infrastructures.
And now to their portfolio, Atlantis Computing add ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0. Some early stability issues aside, Atlantis have developed a strong and supportive market and expanded on it. What is in this release? If 2013 is to be the year of VDI – how does ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0 help? Importantly, will Atlantis Computing’s ILIO Persistent VDI change the game?
In many a desktop virtualization project, there will be a discussion around the type of desktop virtualisation to use. Before you even get to the entertaining “Citrix vs VMware vs Other” quasi-religious debate, there will be a VDI vs RDSH altercation. It can altercate for days. Ultimately, no business question gets asked, nor decision made, as technical stags lock antlers. It is not unusual for this debacle to be silenced by someone simply getting tired of the PoC posturing and rolling out pallet loads of new PCs.
If any year is to be the year of virtual desktops, then it is not just simply a question of having nifty appliances, but also of having a better understanding of desktop virtualization solutions. A recent article from the BBC website on common language gave the ultimate benefit of a common understanding as “world peace”. If a better understanding between people can bring the laudable hope of goodwill unto man, then surely an easier corporate upgrade and better application access will be a mere bagatelle?
The options for purchase for VDI or RDSH, VDI or Terminal Services, for hosted desktops or session desktops are all the same conversation. RDSH is indeed on the back foot through regular re-marketing of terms. Presentation Virtualization Terminal Services and RDSH are the same thing: a multi-user server OS capable of hosting applications and desktops to remote users.
Increasingly, desktop virtualization vendors are ensuring they sit between both VDI and RDSH camps. Citrix obviously – XenApp and XenDesktop. In our Presentation Virtualization whitepaper, every RDSH vendor has a VDI option. But also, “traditional” VDI vendors are being more savvy. Desktone offers a RDSH option. Teradici has delivered on their promise and recently announced Teradici Arch, a software solution for RDSH.
What are the similarities and differences between VDI and RDSH? What can calm everything down and make the combatants think about what it is that they have done?
Now, this isn’t a question of how many times can I get now in the title in some sort of unusual Now Bingo game. In January, AppSense, quietly went about re-branding its Management Suite (consisting of Management Center, Application Manager, Environment Manager and Performance Manager) as AppSense DesktopNow although it’s all official now.
Now, the reasoning was straightforward: while AppSense has a history in helping organisations manage the user workspace, they’ve also been working hard to broaden horizons. AppSense now has two other significant offerings, DataNow and MobileNow.
Now, eschewing suggestions from Interflora, rather than say it with flowers AppSense celebrated Valentines Day by announcing a number of enhancements to DesktopNow, including new enterprise features and capabilities. What are these? Are they more than just some in-play re-branding and how important are these changes in a world that, some say, no longer needs the PC?
Norskale has released v2 of VUEM, their enterprise grade User Environment Management (UEM) product.
User Environment Management is a key capability in delivering a modern flexible, reliable, and secure application delivery environment. While UEM can provide consistency across different platforms (be they desktops, laptops, or a hosted or shared virtual desktop environment), UEM is not just a technology to enable desktop virtualization. UEM can be used to accelerate logon times (improving device roaming capabilities); make migration from old to new operating systems and applications less complicated (enabling more rapid change); and can control, facilitate, and enforce user access to applications and data resources, assisting in securing environments when they are accessed outside of the maze.
Norskale believes that performance, simplicity of use, and a low cost of ownership are key factors when choosing a workspace management product. While Norskale is a new venture, the VEUM product has been available since 2011 and does have a range of case studies and testimonies. Norksale’s goal for VUEM is to deliver a product that allows organisations to maintain user satisfaction: give extremely fast login times and a reliable and consistent environment that is easy to use. Yet, Norskale must compete against far more than Shadow, Speedy, Bashful, and Pokey. UEM is focused on managing a Microsoft Windows desktop workspace. While Microsoft has improved their tool selection, third party vendors such as AppSense, Liquidware Labs, RES Software, et.al, have an established place.