Multiple Flavors of Windows to Drive Desktop VirtualizationBy Michael Vizard | Print
The challenge is finding a way to get end users to buy in to desktop virtualization
Most companies at this point find themselves managing a mix of Windows systems given the fact that the migration to Windows 7 from Windows XP is taking place gradually. Many of those same companies are now also evaluating the forthcoming release of Windows 8, which means at some point in the next year or so they might wind up having to support three flavors of Windows.
That prospect will give many of people responsible for managing those environments cause for pause, which is a good thing for the channel because it means they’ll be looking for a better way to manage their desktop environment. In most cases that will mean adopting some form of desktop virtualization, the most popular of which is virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).
IT people tend to like VDI because even those it generally requires a forklift upgrade to the data center environment, it centralizes the management of the desktop computing environment by running all instances of Windows on a server.
Users, however, tend to regard VDI with suspicion because unless the IT organization finds a way for them to personalize those desktop images, the use of VDI comes at too great a personal sacrifice. As a rule, most IT organizations don’t like to rile the natives, so in the absence of VDI they tend to just muddle on.
But solution providers can deploy VDI with as much granular support for personalization as possible using the AppSense User Virtualization Platform from AppSense. The company this week upgraded that platform for managing virtual desktops by extending the scalability of the platform while also making it simpler to deploy and manage.
According to Pete Rawlinson, chief marketing officer for AppSense, the new release allows IT organization to deploy VDI at scale across multiple flavors of Windows.
In addition, Rawlinson notes that in combination with other AppSense products allow end users to access data on servers using their mobile computing devices. Rawlinson says that’s a key capability because without it users will start using any number of cloud services to share and retrieve files in ways that are not particular secure or in keeping with any number of regulations.
The latest release also includes rollback capability that allows end users on their own to roll their environment back to its last working state without any direct intervention required from the IT department. That self service capability is an attractive feature, says Rawlinson, because it allows the IT organization to concentrate on tasks that have more value to the business, as opposed to resolving mundane desktop management issues.
But perhaps the best part of this new release from a solution provider’s perspective, says Rawlinson, is that it’s much easier to install. That eliminates any lingering concerns that customers might have had about introducing additional complexity into their VDI environments, while at the same time making the AppSense User Virtualization Platform more accessible to a broader range of companies that might not have the resources on hand to take on a complicated project.
It almost seems inevitable at this point that some form of virtualization is coming to the desktop. The challenge facing solution provider is finding the easiest way to make that actually occur.