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iForum session Desktop Virtualization – is it hype?

DSCN2976 [800x600] Delivered by Sumit Dhawan – Senior Director – Desktop Virtualization Group

Key points:

  1. Current desktop process is slow, complex, insecure and costly to maintain
  2. Task workers 30%, Office workers 55%, Mobile workers 15%
    1. Office workers seems to me to be way to broad a classification
    2. Office workers are characterised as needing a “personalized” environment
  3. Task workers
    1. Standard work environment
    2. Fast startup/low cost
    3. Data security
    4. Compliance and control
    5. XenApp is a great solution for these users
    6. Seems to me that this description above does apply to lots of office workers as well, even consumerized use cases.  In my case for example for enterprise applications – I would be happy with the above, so long as my client was a non locked down laptop
  4. Mobile workers
    1. Frequent travel and offline work
    2. Unmanaged or lightly managed laptop
    3. XenApp is a great solution for these users
  5. Office workers
    1. Mainly work in the office
    2. Inter office roaming
    3. Office day extenders
    4. Assumption that XenDesktop is the solution for these users
    5. Citrix believes XenApp is the way to deliver the apps to these users
    6. My concern over this positioning is that it also kind of assumes a person works at a desk, rather than someone else’s desk (shoulder to shoulder) or in a conference room or some other collaborative space
    7. 1st generation VDI – which maps to my maturity level 1 – has mainly been for customers who wanted to solve mainly security related issues, at least these were the projects that succeeded
    8. Lots of talk about the ability for users to personalise, for example installing Active X controls.  But no explanation as to where these personalisations get persisted if you are using provisioning server!
      1. Given this lack of a persistence solution, its unclear to me how XenDesktop differs from XenApp Presentation Virtualization
    9. Discussion of the slow degradation of windows desktops over time.  Its not clear what causes this, however does it automatically follow that the same issues won’t occur when a PC is assembled every day from components, perhaps even worse if the components are virtualized (ie multiple copies of dependant components).  However using XenApp published applications would be cleaner.
      1. However if XenApp published applications are being used how does a user add their own apps or add active x controls, or outlook add-ins etc.
    10. Repeated the benefits of using XenApp published apps, ie you can get up to twice as many XenDesktop users per server.
  6. Customer example
    1. Collier County public school
    2. 10,000 students, 1000+ staff, about 9,000 remote students
    3. Early adopter of desktop virtualization
    4. A customer that was caught in the “hype cycle”
    5. Deployed maturity level 1, didn’t get beyond the pilot
    6. Rolling out to about 50% of users
    7. Key message – use cases are key!!
  7. Costs
    1. Will this cut costs?
    2. For procurement costs Citrix believe PC is $1100 VDI is $1400, but by extending the life of the PC this cost increase will be reduced
    3. Lots of other cost discussion didn’t get covered, although they believe that TCO saving is 40%

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