|By Andrew Schwabecher||
|March 19, 2013 10:15 AM EDT||
For most CIOs and IT managers, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) isn't a new concept. In fact, many of them have dismissed it more than once amid concerns such as ROI, security and user experience.
But it's time to take a fresh look at VDI because a slew of new technologies have eliminated its biggest drawbacks - real and perceived. As a result, VDI - also known as end-user computing and desktop as a service - is now capable of addressing three of enterprise IT's biggest costs and headaches:
- Management scalability: Today, as the number of desktops in an organization grows, so does the amount of staff and other resources required to manage them. VDI breaks that link and makes managing 1,000 desktops as easy as managing 10. This directly benefits the enterprise's bottom line and competitive position because, for example, IT staff is now freed to focus on revenue-generating tasks.
- Greater control over security: With VDI, data resides entirely in a secure cloud rather than on a laptop's or desktop's hard drive. That architecture eliminates problems such as a device's theft or loss creating a security breach - and the embarrassment and regulatory scrutiny that comes with it. In fact, that's why, for example, some police departments have built their own data centers to implement VDI.
A cloud-based VDI service enables organizations to achieve the same benefit but without the expense of building and operating a data center. In the process, VDI enhances an organization's ability to comply with laws such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley, as well as industry-specific best practices.
- Minimize Mobile's Complexity. Although the D in VDI stands for desktop, the architecture can be applied to tablets and smartphones too, eliminating the need for - and expense of - mobile device management (MDM) tools. These benefits extend to employee-provided smartphones and tablets, giving organizations an effective way to minimize the security risks that are a byproduct of a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy.
VDI also gives CIOs and IT managers an effective way to accommodate Google Apps (and Chromebook), Salesforce and other solutions where data resides outside of the enterprise, thus creating security concerns. For example, VMware has built-in Google Apps functionality.
VDI Has Reached the Tipping Point
If VDI has so many clear benefits, why isn't it already as common as cloud-based server services? One reason is the misconception that VDI centers around thin clients that lack the performance and functionality that today's business users require. The reality is that although VDI works very well in a thin client environment, which may be ideal for applications such as airport self-check-in kiosks, it also supports more generalized and even power user requirements using traditional PCs, Macs and tablets.
For mobile workers, smartphones and tablets offer superior performance and functionality compared to thin clients. That use case also suggests that the term VDI is too limited and that the broader "end-user computing" might be more appropriate.
In fact, VDI can provide the ideal environment for the specific task required. For example, if the task is a repetitive one, such as order entry or accounts payable, the virtual desktop can be provisioned with reduced CPU power but more storage. Meanwhile, a power user might be provisioned with more CPU and memory than a typical laptop provides. As a result, VDI has the inherent flexibility to increase employee productivity by overcoming any device limitations.
Connectivity is another reason why VDI is at a tipping point. Even remote offices and telecommuters' homes now typically have fiber, copper or microwave with the high speeds and low latency necessary to provide a business-class user experience. For mobile workers, the wide availability of HSPA+ and the growing availability of LTE make VDI practical from locations such as client sites and airports. In fact, Ericsson predicts that by 2016, 70 percent of cloud access will be over a wireless connection.
Some CIOs and IT managers might be concerned about the cost of that connectivity, especially cellular. That's a reasonable concern, but fixating on it means losing sight of the big picture. For example, consider how VDI eliminates the costs associated with:
- Managing and maintaining large quantities of desktop and laptop PCs and Macs.
- Owning and operating an MDM platform.
- Fines and criminal penalties for breaches that violate laws such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley.
- Being sued by citizens of European Union countries under the Safe Harbor directive.
- Repairing a brand after coming under regulatory scrutiny, perhaps to the point of having a law nicknamed after your company.
In a sense, VDI is like VoIP, which was technologically viable for years yet never got any marketplace traction. But as broadband IP networks started to become common, VoIP became a practical and then desirable alternative for enterprise communications. From a network, user need and marketplace perspective, VDI is now at the tipping point where VoIP was a decade ago.
What Makes the Ideal VDI Solution?
When assessing their options for implementing VDI, CIOs and IT managers should focus on services that:
- Support 100 percent self-service and rapid turn-up. For example, look for VDI solutions that have a portal where customers can create an account, configure their services and have them delivered immediately to their PCs, tablets and smartphones.
- Enable importing and cloning of existing desktop configurations. Why waste time and resources re-inventing the wheel each time?
- Give IT managers the ability to create and manage different sets of desktop pools. This should include the ability to add, delete, stop, start, reboot and reimage in real time.
- Provide redundant, highly available physical infrastructure linked with best-in-class hypervisor virtualization technologies.
These features provide an ideal solution - not just for a particular organization, but also as a catalyst for mass VDI adoption.
SoftBank and VMWare are among the companies that recognize why VDI could have levels of adoption and revenue comparable to those of cloud-based server solutions. For example, earlier this year, SoftBank licensed 8x8's Zerigo enterprise cloud software to create a VDI solution for enterprises in Japan and abroad.
SoftBank's VDI initiative is noteworthy for at least two reasons. First, the company has a history of betting big and presciently on emerging opportunities. Second, SoftBank is a major LTE operator in Japan and is in the midst of buying Sprint to expand its global LTE footprint. VDI gives SoftBank - and other mobile operators - a value-added solution to attract enterprises to their LTE service. That goes back to the point about how bandwidth has evolved from being a barrier to VDI adoption to a catalyst, and it's one more example of why VDI is coming soon to a PC or tablet near you.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context wi...
Jun. 30, 2015 04:21 PM EDT Reads: 213
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Jun. 30, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,078
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Jun. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,920
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
Jun. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,802
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare to be blown away with a glimpse of the future.
Jun. 30, 2015 10:20 AM EDT Reads: 471
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jun. 30, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 822
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
Jun. 29, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,602
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Jun. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,142
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jun. 29, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,480
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
Jun. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,188
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Jun. 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,209
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
Jun. 26, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,192
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jun. 26, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,060
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
Jun. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,997
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jun. 25, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,144
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, and the “Third Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place June 7-9, 2016, at Javits Center in New York City. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Jun. 22, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,755
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Jun. 20, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,850
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
Jun. 15, 2015 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 4,080
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Jun. 15, 2015 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,881
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Jun. 15, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 5,944