VDI is a pretty cool for a whole host of use cases, but what we really need is a single infrastructure for virtual and physical PCs. We are nearly there:
- Citrix provisioning server can stream a base operating system to virtual and physical PCs
- Application virtualization and streaming can stream the applications into this base operating system to customize it for the user
- User environment “virtualization” can deliver the users profile and other per user or per group customizations
All of the above are key to VDI, but also not far away from being viable for physical desktops and portables. Microsoft’s acquisition of Kidaro points the way to how some of the gaps might be filled since Kidaro includes:
- Kidaro vDNA : to “save” all of the user specific data when the user logs off the VM
- Kidaro TrimTransfer : optimising the transfer of the virtual image by doing a block level compare and only sending the delta’s or the stuff that is not there yet.
For those of us like me who want to deliver their enterprise desktop experience integrated with their personal desktop and laptop experience they add:
- Kidaro ToGo : which allows you to run everything from removable media like a iPod or USB drive
- “Workspace”: that allows you to have “published” applications from a VM. This means that if you run Lotus Notes from a VM you can only show only Notes instead of the whole VM. VMware 6.5 will have this feature on Windows and VMWare and Parallels already do it on the Mac.
Finally Intel with their vPro capabilities greatly reduce the need to visit the desk for support.
Within a couple of years – once Solid State Disks are cost effective and encryption routine – we should expect to see physical desktops and laptops that have all of the desirable flexibility, management and security characteristics of VDI/Thin clients, supported by the same infrastructure.
At that point just choose the client device that suits your workstyle and get productive.