Think desktop as a combination of device, OS, Apps and Profile. Users should be able to access to their desktop from anywhere. IT should include user profile, apps, desktop OS. Have one single image to manage – single image of apps & desktop, identity management, data and user experience. However, one size does not fit all.
For this first, we need to understand the user and their desired experience; not the desktop and its performance. There are different types of workers – office, guest, remote, mobile, etc.
Server-hosted desktop is some that can be considered. Its already available. The one that’s coming up is VDI (virtual desktop implementation). We can virtualize any desktop we want and make it available without purchasing any hardware. This is an opportunity to reduce management nightmare with single instance management.
The real savings with desktop virtualization, is how we manage our environment rather than on the hardware itself.
So how do we prepare for Windows 7? An opportunity to get out of PC refresh cycle. If you already have a PC, stream to it. When you think its appropriate time to move certain application to virtualized ones, then move it slowly until you could completely have a thin client at the desktop.
How about mobile workers and their need for handheld and offline access? We need to manage an environment where corporate and personal desktop co-exist. VMs helps you do that using its security controls. Everything managed from a single place which should also help accessing the environment from a non-managed PC. Hypervisor and XenClient should help in this regard.
While all these are designed, don’t forget end user experience and end-to-end delivery. User expectations are high and we need to meet them – media, collaboration, etc. Have mininmal footprint at the end user and have everything at the data center. DirectTV is a good example of that architecture.
These are some notes from a presentation by Sumit Dhawan of Citrix System.