Personalization Virtualization

Personalization Virtualization covers isolating the user’s persona, settings, customizations, and data from the environment supporting the user. This is an area of increasing importance as users adopt multiple devices including potentially a desktop, a laptop, a smartphone and a table, and want some consistency in behavior across these devices. (Read More)

This will also be an important area of IT departments who wish to ensure that users get a consistent experience and consistent access to information across devices like computers, tablets and phones, and operating systems like Windows, IOS and Android.

Citrix and Quest get serious about Application Compatibility

This week we saw the announcement of two very similar acquisitions.  Quest Software announced on October 24 that they were acquiring ChangeBASE and on October 26 Citrix Systems announced they were acquiring AppDNA.  Both solutions provide application compatibility testing for the Windows platform.

Implementations of Windows 7 on both physical and virtual platforms have been hindered primarily due to concerns about or known issues of application compatibility.  For 10 years, Windows XP was the platform for thousands of applications.  Transitioning to a new platform is nothing less than herculean when the application set is nearly as old as the platform it’s running on.  Even early implementations of Windows Terminal Server (i.e., Citrix MetaFrame) had application compatibility challenges, requiring scripts to make applications behave correctly in the multi-user Windows environment. Continue reading Citrix and Quest get serious about Application Compatibility

Consumerization of IT: AppSense and Centrix Software alliance recognise its more than just “how can my CFO justify their iPad”?

You know you’re not going to have a good day when your father, rather than offering you the chance to rule the galaxy by his side, announces your demise. In 1981 Mark Dean was part of the IBM team that delivered the Personal Computer (PC): yet Mr Dean has looked at his stricken progeny, clinging afraid and alone above an abyss and said – “do you know what, I’d prefer a tablet”.

In the past 30 years the PC has been a device that has been adopted by both the consumer and corporate markets. Back in the day, applications were supplied from a centralised cloud service, billed on usage: users accessed that service via a thin client. “Personalisation”, indeed “getting processing time” was complex. A young upstart company called Apple introduced the Apple II. It may have started as a consumer device, but the PC was rapidly adopted as a corporate IT tool to drive agility and productivity. In this galaxy, not so long ago, IT literate users railed against expensive and rigid mainframes and demanded… a PC. They got it. Arguably, corporate IT departments have spent thirty years trying to rest back some semblance of control and help the businesses accommodate the high costs of unmanaged and chaotic environments.

AppSense, a leading provider of user virtualization technology, and Centrix Software, provider of unified end-user computing solutions, have announced a strategic partnership to provide organizations with a comprehensive, user-centric transformation program. Do you need a user-centric transformation program? How could this alliance help your business manage IT beyond the ‘single-PC-for-every-user’ era? If they can help you, are they your only hope? Will it justify your CFO’s iPad?

Continue reading Consumerization of IT: AppSense and Centrix Software alliance recognise its more than just “how can my CFO justify their iPad”?

A Look At The Horizon

One of the cool things about attending VMworld every year is seeing what is new on the horizon and this year, ironically, there is something called Project Horizon and the first milestone of that project called VMware Horizon Application Manager.  Horizon is a hosted or in-house service that will centrally manage the provisioning, access and usage of software-as-a-server (SaaS) applications while at the same time applying the companies standardized security and access controls. This will give the end users of the application the ability to use the applications via VMware ThinApp or View products to stream the application across multiple devices all with a single login. The end users will also have self-service access to a corporate store for their SaaS and Web-based applications. Managing these applications will be completely user based with no need to worry about the underlying device the software or application is running on. Continue reading A Look At The Horizon

News: Citrix acquires RingCube to enhance Virtual Desktop offerings

Citrix recently announced the acquisition of RingCube, adding the vDesk solution to their virtual desktop delivery tool kit. This is a solution I have followed for some time now, and I am looking forward to seeing how Citrix integrates vDesk into the XenDesktop stack.

RingCube vDesk delivers a complete desktop environment without having to virtualize the underlying operating system. It does this by leveraging the host’s operating system files, and layering on a policy-based workspace environment that can have different applications, domain affiliation, and security and network settings than those of the host machine. When looking at how vDesk might be used, I quickly have two thoughts. Continue reading News: Citrix acquires RingCube to enhance Virtual Desktop offerings

Does VDI need User Virtualization, or does User Virtualization need VDI?

VMware’s next version of View will, should, possibly, hopefully include the Windows profile optimisation solution that VMware bought from RTO Software. The intention was to ensure VMware would, at last, have an in-house solution to make accessing non-persistent desktops less cumbersome, getting View on par with other VDI vendors who have offered some form of integrated profile management solution for some time. But since VMware’s purchase – Citrix has acquired RingCube.

Delivering a virtual desktop OS to users is a mere bagatelle. Providing a locked-down, standardized workspace to task-based users can be straight forward, but not every company just has users focused on a single set of tasks. If a desktop virtualisation project is to be successful, delivering services to autonomous users is key: those users are more likely to be the organisation’s greater revenue generators, they are more likely to be more demanding in terms of resources, they are more likely to want to access their applications and data from a range devices. They are also more likely to kick up a fuss when a solution doesn’t work. That said, regardless of the type of user it is more likely they don’t care what OS is, rather can they use the applications they need and can they get access to their data.

As we’ve mentioned before if Presentation Virtualization/Terminal services are excluded, VDI hailed as the next generation of desktop solutions from the likes of Citrix, Quest and VMware, still hold less then 3% of the desktop market. Many CIOs have been holding back from taking the plunge from moving to a virtualised desktop model. A profile management service in View would have brought parity with other VDI solutions – but would it bring a spring in sales? Will VMware’s investment in RTO justify the money, or does the solution that they have now deliver too little, too late? Is a profile optimisation solution alone good enough?

This also leads to the question – does VDI need User Virtualization, or does User Virtualization need VDI?

Continue reading Does VDI need User Virtualization, or does User Virtualization need VDI?

Performance Management for Desktop Virtualization (VDI) and Presentation Virtualization (SBC)

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.

Continue reading Performance Management for Desktop Virtualization (VDI) and Presentation Virtualization (SBC)