Desktop management started out simple. Install a few applications and join to Active Directory. A few lines of login script and the computer was ready for use. Like anything else, desktop management has become more complex over time. Add constant updating of the operating system and applications as well as the need for an up-to-date antivirus application. Then add some corporate requirements for consistency and branding. Finally, layer in some selective deployment of applications to different business units or individual staff. The whole process gets to be a large and complex undertaking. Should we be rethinking this and going back to basics? How little desktop management can we get away with in a modern organization?
End User Computing
End User Computing (EUC) is the emperor’s new clothes. It is the new nomenclature for what used to be termed “VDI” (virtual desktop infrastructure). It is, however, much more, encompassing all aspects of desktop and endpoint management: (Read More)
- Application Virtualization: The art of abstracting the application and its presence from the desktop, making it truly mobile across locations and devices
- Personalization Virtualization: The art of abstracting the user and their presence from the desktop
- Presentation Virtualization: An application delivery method that delivers desktops or applications from a shared server
- Desktop Virtualization: The art of delivering a full desktop experience remotely
- Endpoint Management: The art of managing and securing access to data
- Application Layering: “on-demand” application delivery from a single image
End User Computing is an important overarching paradigm for companies that wish to ensure that users get a consistent experience and consistent access to information across multiple devices—for example, desktop computers, laptops, notebooks, tablets, and phones—and across disparate operating systems like Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.
Major areas of focus include barriers to adoption, progress on the part of End User Computing vendors in alleviating those barriers, and management of the transition from a static desktop to the mobile martini world of “anyplace, anytime, anywhere, on any device.”
On February 9, 2016, VMware announced a flurry of new EUC-based products to go with the already-announced AppVolumes 3.0. Note I say “announced” and not “generally available.” This annoys me. If something is announced, it should be available for download; it should not be made available at a yet-to-be-announced date several weeks down the line. But that is an aside.
The two main EUC products announced are VMware Workspace ONE and Horizon 7.0. The latter is the next generation of VMware’s venerable Virtual Desktop Infrastructure product (VDI), and the former is a new suite that comprises Horizon View, AirWatch EMM Content Locker, and Workspace.
I have long had what some regard as an odd viewpoint on monitoring performance in desktop environments—which, when viewed from a traditional perspective, could be considered the case. To me, desktop monitoring covers all areas of performance monitoring, whether of physical desktops or of virtual devices delivered by way of a remoting protocol such as RDP, ICA, or PCoIP. It should be known by now that my personal view is that the only true metric is that of user perception. However, we all know this is a very difficult metric to measure, what with EUC performance being like beauty: existing in the eye of the beholder.
Both VMware and Citrix have had major layoffs over the past week. Although the VMware layoffs affected more people and garnered more press, Citrix quietly laid off some critical innovators, such as the Sydney, Australia, engineering team, as well. Will either or both organizations suffer from technical anemia as a result of the major cuts?
After a week of rumors, VMware has finally unleashed the Reaper. Yesterday morning as of 9 am GMT, VMware has announced layoffs in multiple business units across the globe. I have heard that Burlington Canada Call Center has been closed in its entirety (98), although about 50% have been given the opportunity to work remotely. I am sure that this will not include any of the call center staff. Additional layoffs are reported to include approximately 40% of VMware Israel (80), as well as losses in vCloud Air and vCloud Gateway Services in Canada, and in EMEA (numbers unknown). The most surprising of all are the layoffs of all VMware Workstation and Fusion development staff (numbers unknown)—as that department is being outsourced to China—and the rumors of the VMware View group’s being closed down.
Many IT departments view new or recently migrated XenApp/XenDesktop implementations as complete when users start accessing the production environment successfully. However, the use of a monitoring tool is often overlooked. The Virtualization Practice has published a new checklist-style white paper entitled Monitoring for Your Citrix® Infrastructure: Considerations and Checklist to help you determine how to best address this. The document provides the reader with numerous thought-provoking questions and line-item checklists without a single mention of a third-party vendor. By considering all aspects of monitoring, you are equipped to draw the best decision for your particular environment.