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Monthly Archives: August 2012

VMworld 2012: New PCoIP Support for Virtual Desktops with DVS Simplified DaaS

Guest post by Vikram Pillai, Distinguished Engineer, Dell Inc.

Dell Desktop Virtualization Solutions (DVS) Simplified Desktop as a Service (DaaS) delivers full-featured virtual desktops – powered by Desktone – from Dell’s state-of-the-art data centers. This cloud-based solution simplifies your desktop virtualization deployment, reduces upfront investment and offers you the option of low monthly payments, gives you the flexibility to rapidly scale from a few seats to thousands, and enables access from a range of end point devices including PCs, mobile devices and Dell Wyse thin clients and zero clients.

Starting in October, DVS Simplified DaaS will be available with PCoIP® protocol for connecting to virtual desktops from VMware View Clients to meet the demands of users with specific multimedia needs. Remote users can now have an exceptional experience with high definition (HD) multimedia including high resolution, full frame rate 3D graphics and HD audio, multiple large displays, and full USB peripheral connectivity.

With this addition, DVS Simplified DaaS now offers two protocol options – PCoIP and Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). But which protocol is right for you? The answer depends on what user scenarios you are trying to solve.

DVS Simplified DaaS supports a number of use cases including office-based task workers, power users, remote and field workers, and users accessing their desktops from wireless or cellular networks from a range of devices including smartphones and tablets. Both RDP and PCoIP support most typical task worker use cases. However, PCoIP has some performance benefits for HD multimedia and video, remote workers who are located far from the data center and are thus subject to high latency, and remote workers accessing their desktops from low bandwidth networks.

So what is PCoIP and how does it work?

PCoIP is a display compression technology, developed by Teradici®, tuned for desktop delivery over a WAN. It compresses, encrypts and encodes the entire computing experience at the data center and transmits it “pixels only” across any standard IP network. There are three essential features that contribute to its advanced performance:

Host Rendering – The display is rendered on the virtual desktop in the cloud and the captured image is transmitted as encrypted pixels to the client, thereby enabling secure, stateless, decode-only devices – such as Dell Wyse thin clients – to display the desktop.  Users no longer need to install and manage multiple components for playing media locally; PCoIP works with all browsers and applications and can support Flash, Silverlight, MPEG, and even emerging delivery formats such as HTML5.

Multi-Codec Display Processing – The display image is continuously analyzed and decomposed into simpler elements – graphics, text, icons, photographs, video, etc. – each element is compressed with the right codec. This enables it to overcome network quality issues such as  jitter and dropped packets by depending on the codecs to determine whether the lost data was “useful” – in many cases, it can recover without retransmission.

Dynamic Adaptation to Network Conditions – It leverages UDP which enables it to overcome the latency issues normally encountered in delivering desktops over long distances and to deliver the best user experience for the network bandwidth that’s available. Adaptive encoders automatically adjust image quality on congested networks within the limits you set then resume maximum image quality when more bandwidth is available – building up to a lossless, pixel-perfect image as needed.

Whether you are a small business, a large enterprise or a public sector entity, DVS Simplified DaaS gives you the flexibility to support a number of business needs. The key in enabling your end users to be more productive is to assess their needs and select the right configuration based on their different usage scenarios. The addition of PCoIP to DVS Simplified DaaS gives you an additional option to help your end users have the richest experience under all circumstances.

See a live demo at VMworld 2012 San Francisco, stop by the Dell Wyse booth #1524 and speak to one of our experts.

And visit this webpage DVS Simplified DaaS to get more details; to explore Dell’s wide array of Desktop Virtualization Solutions, visit www.dell.com/desktopvirtualization.

Related topics:

Blog: Start virtualizing desktops with DVS Simplified DaaS – a cloud-based solution for desktop virtualization

Blog: Right Here, Right Now: Dell and the Power to Do More at VMworld 2012.

 

VMworld 2012: VMware Horizon Suite – Get the Details

By Ben Goodman, Horizon Lead Evangelist, End-User Computing

It’s a very exciting time. Today, at VMWorld 2012 we began previewing the alpha version of the VMware Horizon Suite. Horizon is a platform that we believe makes it easier for both administrators to manage the challenges associated with mobility, cloud, and employee BYOD while also providing the most productive and enjoyable computing experience on the devices your internal customers choose.

We’ve discussed the challenges associated with the rise of consumerized IT and cloud computing numerous times previously, so there’s no sense in going into that today. But I wanted to take the time to bring this to your attention because today does mark a very big step forward in our vision of how to successfully manage these challenges.

And this really is a significant step. This is because the VMware Horizon Suite brings together many of the technologies here at VMware – Project Octopus, Project AppBlast, ThinApp, VMware Horizon Application Manager and VMware Horizon Mobile, as well as the management of VMware View. This not only includes VMware technologies, but also software that runs on Windows and applications delivered via Citrix XenApp, for example. Think about this: for the first time ever end users can launch and run XenApp applications right next to their ThinApp applications.

This makes it possible for enterprises to get the consistent governance they need, while workers enjoy separate personal and business workspaces and consistent access to applications and data on any personal device.

Through a central Web management console, the VMware Horizon Suite enables IT to customize a service catalog for all company data and applications. Horizon Suite will understand a user’s attributes and environment (device, location and connectivity level) and then enforce policies across applications, data, and devices. This will make it possible for you to deliver Windows, Android, iOS, web and SaaS applications in a single workspace and give your users self-service access to applications and data from anywhere.

With Horizon Suite, end users can also securely access and share their data and files from any device.

With the IT management complexities that come with workers turning to more applications on phones, tablets, notebooks, and desktops -  admins need to be able to manage and orchestrate all of this access in a centralized way. Horizon Suite enables you to do exactly that – the delivery of IT apps and data to end users anywhere and on any device. Horizon can do this because Horizon manages from the middle, rather than the endpoint, through identity, context, and policy. And through its web console, IT can deliver a customized service catalog to users so they can select delivery of on-demand Windows, Mobile, SaaS, and Web-based applications to end-users on any device.

And that’s the power here: the security, governance, and manageability enterprises need while also providing all of the freedoms of choice and work style associated with the BYOD and consumerization of IT trends.

I invite you to learn more about Horizon Suite, and you can do that:

VMworld 2012: Solving for Real Time Collaboration with Desktop Virtualization – Avaya and VMware Team Up

Guest post by Allan C. Mendelsohn, Strategic Marketing Director, Applications & Emerging Technologies, Avaya

Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research recently published an article in TechTarget noting that over 64% of companies today have deployed some type of UC applications with another 23% evaluating or planning deployments in the coming year. In tandem, over half of these customers are implementing or evaluating VDI.

Now merging the best of both worlds to enable real time collaboration for virtual machines has always been a challenge. Especially given that with virtual desktops all application processing is typically done in the datacenter.  This also has made it incredibly difficult to support real-time unified communications at scale across distributed endpoints due to bandwidth requirements and the processing power required to package raw voice and video into IP.

Not anymore.

Avaya and VMware have teamed up to deliver a solution that will allow customers to effectively offload application processing of real time video and voice to the client device for optimized point to point media delivery. This solution pairs Avaya Aura with VMware View and ensures end-users will be able to leverage real-time voice, presence, IM and contacts, directory, conferencing and messaging in a virtual desktop session.

And because the processing is offloaded, this ensures that bandwidth consumption can be kept to a minimum and that desktop environments can scale on demand to support thousands of desktops across locations.

The next key challenge is what happens if the WAN goes down or something goes wrong in the data center.   Typically, the user would lose access to their applications, and now their communications.  In fact, the user would not be in a position to call IT for help.  Avaya has been thinking this through and has found a way to offer a survivability mode so you can still make and receive calls under such conditions. End users can also leverage low-cost Windows and Linux thin clients to access their desktop environment and IP telephony applications.

Are you considering VDI?  Have you thought about how you will run real-time UC applications in that environment?  We’d love to hear about your thoughts and plans.  Come by the Avaya booth (#1823) at VMworld this week to discover how Avaya Aura coupled with VMware View Business Process Desktop-will provide customers with a low-cost, highly scalable platform for running real time collaboration applications in their virtual desktops.   Come see this in action and find out how you can leverage this to increase customer satisfaction, grow revenues and profits, improve worker productivity and drive down costs.

VMworld 2012: Introducing VMware Horizon Suite – The Integrated Platform for Workforce Mobility

By Vittorio Viarengo, Vice President, Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

As I said before, code rules!!!! Today I am super excited to introduce the alfa release of the VMware Horizon suite, the Platform for Workforce Mobility.

Last year at VMworld, we unveiled our vision for End User Computing and in May we showed progress across all axis of that vision, that is Desktop, Apps and Data, by shipping a new version of View, Horizon Application Manager and the beta release of Octopus for secure file syncing and sharing.

Since then, our engineering team has been very busy bringing these components together into a one, integrated and cohesive suite. It’s hard work, don’t try to do this at home (nor should you have to do it), but we believe it is the right thing to do in the long run.

The VMware Horizon Suite provides end user with a single place to get access to their apps, data and desktops and gives IT a single management console to manage entitlements policies and security.

Here is a rough demo I took from my laptop and iPad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqO97j3chGU

This alpha integrates both Horizon Application manager, the project formerly known as Octopus. It will also feature the HTML remoting technologies that we demoed last year as part of the AppBlast project. In this first release we will use the HTML remoting protocol to give user access to their View desktops from any browser but stay tuned for more exciting ways we are going to leverage this technology.

I am not sure if people caught this during the demo on stage, but we are also going to support the ability to entitle and access XenApp published apps using the Horizon Suite and client.

We expect the beta to be available later this year and I cannot wait to get this in the hands of our customers!

To see this and other blog posts by Vittorio Viarengo, visit Journey to The Cloud.

 

 

VMworld 2012: VMware Horizon Mobile on iOS

By Srinivas Krishnamurti, Senior Director of Mobile Solutions, End-User Computing

There is a lot of news coming from VMware this week at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, but one announcement I’m most excited to tell you about is that VMware is extending VMware Horizon Mobile to iOS.  Steve Herrod will show this technology on-stage today in his keynote at VMworld. This development builds on our Android work that many customers are currently piloting, and I’d like to explain how we got to this point.

When VMware talks to enterprises about mobility, three things typically come up in the conversations:

  1. BYOD/Usability: The release of the first iPhone in 2007 ushered in two fundamental changes that will not likely change any time soon.  The first is usability – clean beautiful small apps that do a few things really well.  The second is BYOD.  Employees were using better devices in their consumer life than at work so their preference was to use their personal devices for work as well.  As a consequence of these two changes, the days of IT telling employees what device to use and what they can and cannot do on these devices are long gone.
  2. Data Leakage: This is perhaps the biggest and primary concern for IT folks who are tasked with defining any company’s mobile strategy.  Smartphones and tablets are truly mobile and go with us to places where laptops have not gone.  Consequently, the idea that users could lose these devices along with the content on them is a major concern.  Further, as employees download and use other mostly-personal apps on these devices, there is a chance data could be leaked accidentally by uploading content to a vendor’s cloud.
  3. Apps: Most of the enterprises we talk to indicate that they will be developing more applications for mobile devices so users can be productive no matter what device being used.  We know users will be running dozens of apps in addition to email/PIM, which means that there is potentially more content on the device that needs to be provisioned but also secured and managed.  This combined with all the personal apps that also reside on the device means that every device is dual purpose – work and personal.

The first wave of vendors who offered solutions to address mobility concerns took a very RIM/Blackberry approach by securing the entire device and controlling what apps and services users can deploy on these devices.  Given the dual-purpose nature of devices now, IT administrators are finding out that trying to lock down and control the entire device is not resonating with their users – one example being the device passcode.  IT administrators want to enforce the passcode for all devices connecting to corporate assets.  This requirement seems fair and painless, but at the same time forces users to enter the passcode even if they want to use the device for personal reasons – Facebook, Angry Birds or any other non-work app that resides on the device.  In addition, IT also has the ability to wipe the entire device, so an employee’s personal pictures, videos, and other interesting content could be gone in an instant! As you can imagine, the employee response to all this is typically #UsabilityFailure!

IT administrators are now forced to reconsider how they think about security and management of mobile content.  They need to enforce security without compromising usability.  The challenge from an IT standpoint then is how to isolate personal apps and data from corporate apps and data, how to protect corporate apps and data and manage corporate apps and data on devices that have both personal and corporate content.

VMware’s Approach

VMware believes that providing dual persona (work and personal) functionality is the future of mobile computing, where users and IT both get what they need, and the solution is VMware Horizon Mobile.

Our initial foray was for Android devices and you can see the latest and greatest here.

However, we are now extending the solution to iOS devices.  IT administrators will be able to create an iOS workspace, which is a collection of applications and data and services, set policies on that workspace and be able to secure and manage it.

You can watch a demo of this here. You will see how policies *only* apply when a user accesses corporate content. You will also see how we protect data.  Data is protected at rest with encryption, data is protected in transit, and data access is controlled so only work apps can access enterprise data.

We’ve shown how you can deploy other critical applications into the workspace.  Unmodified native iOS apps can be added to the workspace and they will automatically inherit the security policies defined by IT. All without compromising usability and maintaining native look and feel.

With VMware Horizon Mobile, security and usability go hand in hand – and users and IT will both win with this solution. If you’re at VMworld this week, stop by the VMware booth to see this technology in action.

VMworld 2012: Just in Time Desktops for the Branch Office

Courtney Burry, Group Product Marketing Manager, End User Computing BU

Ensuring branch office users have efficient access to the technology they need has always been a challenge. Not only is it costly to manage IT directly out of each branch office, it’s also unrealistic for many organizations with limited resources. Enter desktop virtualization, which offers IT the opportunity to centralize and streamline the desktop management overhead while securely delivering applications and data to end users in remote and branch locations across the WAN.

Traditionally, desktop virtualization has had its challenges for these remote and branch office users. Many branch offices don’t have the best connectivity and often there’s insufficient bandwidth to support multiple end users accessing their applications without performance and productivity reductions. Separating desktops in the datacenter from local print and app servers in the branch can also slow application response times. And some users within the branch are just not good candidates for VDI – perhaps, like a sales team, they need to work off line sometimes, or maybe they need to use legacy peripheral devices such as those found in many retail outlets, bank branches or even at airport check-in desks.

Suffice to say, these challenges affect many branch employees today. In fact, stats from Infonetics last year showed that there are more than 11 million branch offices distributed across the globe – this is why finding a better way to manage all these branch-office users has become so critical.

The VMware Branch Office Desktop

The VMware Branch Office Desktop will provide a comprehensive approach to addressing multiple requirements within the branch office.  With VMware Mirage™, IT organizations can centrally manage OS images for both their physical end points and their virtual desktop environments, while ensuring employees have fast, secure access to the applications and data they need to maximize productivity. With centralized images and layered single-image management, the same base image can be deployed in a server hosted virtual desktop, natively to a physical PC, or even on a client hypervisor.

Not unlike the VMware View Mobile Secure Desktop, the AlwaysOn Point of Care Desktop and the newly announced Business Process Desktop, the VMware Branch Office Desktop will equip customers with a blueprint for successfully addressing specific end user computing requirements  with a fully tested and validated design guide.

Look for a copy of the validated design and blueprint to follow VMWorld later this year. Read about some customer deployments in an ESG Whitepaper. Check out some exciting announcements around what Riverbed and VMware are working on together around enabling the Branch Office Desktop.  Also be sure to check out what VMware has in store for branch office deployments in Bill Bliss and Tommy Walker’s VMWorld session (EUC1360) on Wednesday Aug. 29th at 2:30pm.

VMworld 2012: Offshoring and Outsourcing Made Easy with VMware View™ Business Process Desktop®

By Courtney Burry, group product marketing manager for desktops, End-User Computing, VMware

Organizations of all sizes are turning to outsourcing & offshoring to drive down costs, improve employee productivity and improve SLAs. In fact, business process outsourcing as an industry grew by 15% in the past year alone (NY times survey, 2011). But keeping up with demand while keeping costs low is challenging for IT outsourcers in a physical world for a number of reasons. First, most traditional PC environments are designed to be locally managed – not only is this costly and resource intensive, it also makes the management overhead harder to ‘move’. Secondly, any data stored locally on desktops and laptops poses a security risk for which the provider is held accountable. Finally, while most outsourcers want to centralize resources to gain economies of scale, remote access across the WAN is costly and, if sized incorrectly, can impede worker productivity and compromise SLAs.

Enter desktop virtualization, which has helped outsourcers streamline and centralize IT management, move data from local endpoints into the datacenter and provide highly available desktop services to agents and workers in remote locations. However, when it comes to desktop virtualization-there has always been one big catch: how to get virtual desktops and unified communications to work smoothly in tandem and at scale.

This is where the new VMware View Business Process Desktop comes into play.

The VMware View Business Process Desktop 

A fully validated and tested architecture, the new VMware View Business Process Desktop provides IT organizations with an end-to-end solution that supports business process outsourcing by centralizing desktop management, enhancing data security, and maximizing employee uptime.

With VMware View, The Business Process Desktop simplifies desktops and applications by moving them to the cloud and delivers them as a standardized and managed service.

 

Radius two-factor authentication ensures secure access to end users while vShield services allow IT to set more granular, contextual policies for outsourced employees. IT can additionally streamline and automate desktop management with VMware vCenter Operations Manager.

Perhaps most importantly, the solution integrates unified communications tools from leading vendors such as Microsoft (Lync), Cisco, Mitel and Avaya. This ensures that end users and contact center agents can access their data and applications from a VoIP softphone across multiple devices and locations, improving workforce flexibility and driving higher levels of productivity.

The Business Process Desktop is one of three desktop solutions VMware has recently announced. These new solutions including: the VMware View Mobile Secure Desktop, the AlwaysOn Point of Care Desktop and the Business Process Desktop are designed to provide IT organizations with validated solutions that address specific business challenges and that more importantly provide them with a blueprint to get up and running quickly and effectively.

Find out more

Attend the upcoming VMware View Business Process Desktop Bootcamp for FREE on-demand training. These technical deep dive sessions cover everything from design considerations to leveraging unified communications and security & storage best practices.

Be sure to check out session EUC1916 at VMworld (Aug 28th 4:30pm) to find out how Toyota Financial Services is leveraging BPD in their environment today, and visit the BPD Hands On Labs on the show floor through VMworld

Learn more on the BPD webpage

VMworld 2012: Leading Tech Companies Join To Build VMware View SMB Appliances

By: Mason Uyeda, director of technical product marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

Today, VMware is expanding it’s Rapid Desktop Program for VMware View with the addition of four leading technology companies, and a key channel partner to add to its growing partner ecosystem. Dell, Cisco, HP, Intel and Presidio Networks are the newest members of our program and we’re excited that customers can now choose to purchase a VMware View appliance from them, along with other partners already in the program.

As background, VMware View has long been recognized for its ease of deployment. The time it takes to bring up desktops, the number of management consoles that need to be monitored, the number of steps in the deployment process – these are all measures of the “operational” aspect of standing up and running an efficient VDI environment. VMware View excels in these areas.

There are even external studies that mapped VMware View’s ease of use…showing that set-up took about 1/3 the steps of the nearest competitor. But really, one of the most important validations/indications of this “ease of use” has to do with what customer segments are adopting VMware View.

Segment Adoption

So, quick … if you had to vote, which segment would you say is adopting VMware View at a rapid pace … SMB or Enterprise? Well if you said “enterprise” you would be correct. And, if your answer was “SMB,” you would also be correct! How can that be? Organizations with different objectives, IT requirements, and resource?

Surprising to many that while many large-scale enterprise customers are experiencing the business value that VMware View provides, View is also providing tremendous value for SMB organizations. VMware View’s ease of deployment has helped it become the most deployed VDI technology in SMB according to this study. An excerpt follows:

Desktop virtualization vendor preference in SMB’s.

“For the second part of the study, we investigated how desktop virtualization vendors stack up in SMB IT environments today. This investigation included data about VDI agent deployments among more than 4,000 members of the Spiceworks Community as well as a survey “fielded to the same members. The results show VMware View® leading in the number of deployed desktops with over half of the virtual desktop installations, (Figure 6). Additionally, from an SMB industry perspective, “finance, education, government, healthcare and manufacturing all showed a higher propensity to install and use desktop virtualization.”

Spiceworks MarketView, Dec. 2011

Where an enterprise customer may cite consolidation, power consumption and data center space savings as key drivers, a small to medium sized customer is motivated to choose this technology for the simplification of management…where one administrator can easily manage multiple complex systems within the virtualization platform, without the need for greater expertise or manpower. New server instances can be easily deployed, backed up and retired with far greater simplicity than in a physical environment.

These advantages can be multiplied when leveraged for virtualizing end-user desktops. By standardizing and centralizing the desktop management, traditional issues associated with patches, upgrades and user support can be greatly reduced, along with providing further benefits such as secure remote access which allows end users to access their desktops from outside of the physical office location on a variety of devices like smartphones and tablets.

Scalability is also an important consideration in IT decisions in both SMB and enterprise.  If a proof of concept or pilot is conducted with a given user segment, can that initial system remain in-place as the deployment grows?  And as deployments grow, how easy is it to add users / departments of users to the environment?  Can it be as easy as “rack and stack” and connect?

With View appliances certified through the Rapid Desktop Program the answer is “yes” to all those questions.

Our Partners

The VMware Rapid Desktop Program provides the structure and framework for partners (OEM, technology, and channel) to certify physical appliances for VMware View deployments.  What is an appliance?  Essentially, these appliances are all increments of “converged infrastructure” — each appliance contains the required network, compute and storage to support the specified desktop/user profile.

These partners provide customers with easy to deploy, easy to scale and cost effective *virtual desktop appliances*.

Partners participating in the VMware Rapid Desktop Program include:

  • Dell
  • Pivot3
  • Intel
  • Cisco
  • Hewlett-Packard, with FusionIO
  • AMAX Information Technologies, with Nexenta
  • Computex, Inc., with Nimble Storage
  • Nutanix
  • Presidio, with Nimble Storage
  • StorCom
  • Pogo Linux, with Nexenta
  • V3
  • Racktop Systems, with Nexenta

It’s an Eco-System Play

You’ll notice that these partners are a combination of OEM, technology, and even channel.  That’s because the Rapid Desktop Program is open to all of these types of partners that want to build and sell an appliance.  These appliances, which host from 50 or 100, and up to 500 VMware View desktops, are available directly from our partners or through their channel partners.

To create the appliances, the partners can choose the compute and storage components they want to include, based on their customer and segment needs.  Once partners select the compute and storage components from the VMware hardware compatibility list (HCL) they execute a workload (View Planner) against that configuration and submit the results for certification.

Certification means that for the specified number of desktops, for the specified workload, a customer can have confidence that both the IT experience, and the user experience meets expectations.

Why are appliances important?

Customers can have confidence that as their VMware View deployments grow, costs can be predictable, with *linear* performance and scalability.   Linear performance and scale means that as appliances are added, metrics like CPU utilization, application launch / response times, all remain constant.  A deployment can start at 100 desktops, and scale to a thousand, or more, all on the same virtual desktop platform.  That’s unique.

All IT needs to do is add another appliance … with zero to minimal storage configuration.   And within a short period of time (Pivot3 says, “Zero to View in an hour” for say,  100 desktops.  I love it!)  Security and manageability can be achieved, along with cost, performance, and scale objectives.  IT gets predictability, but perhaps most important of all, end-users get the experience and mobility they require in the post-PC era.

For more info on the program and participants, go to:  http://www.vmware.com/solutions/desktop/rapid-desktop.html

Good stuff for the branch office, and good stuff from Riverbed

Today, VMware and Riverbed announced an exciting collaboration that will offer enhanced, VMware View-based VDI access from the branch office.

As my colleague, Courtney Burry recently blogged, VMware has a number of powerful approaches to management and delivery of a desktop experience to users in a branch office. With all the good branch-office stuff happening with View, PCoIP, and Mirage (from Wanova), it’s easy to wonder what role technologies from traditional WAN-acceleration vendors like our friends at Riverbed play. Well, it’s pretty easy: the Steelhead and Granite offerings from Riverbed will ultimately make good View and Mirage branch office deployments even better.

There are three ways we imagine such appliances being used in future.

  1. With VMware Mirage Managed Desktops: Since Mirage provides central image management, DR/Repair and migration services to physical clients in the branch, WAN-optimizers can play their classic role in optimized delivery of services like email, web and client/server application connectivity. If users in your branch would have benefited in the past a WAN-optimizer, they’d still benefit from it when you bring those environments under management with Mirage. Win!
  2. With VMware View Desktops Running Centrally: This is a classic VDI use cases where desktop workloads are moved out of the branch and accessed remotely via a remote protocol like PCoIP. Here the desktop itself is in the datacenter, so services like email, web, and client/server apps are already blazing fast. However, WAN-optimizers can play a role here by ensuring appropriate QoS with workloads that run in parallel to PCoIP: printing, USB connectivity, voice & video conferencing, etc. An appropriately built WAN optimizer can tap into the protocol and ensure people’s interactive mouse responsiveness doesn’t degrade when someone down the hall starts a big print-job. Yup, that’s handy.
  3. (tech-preview) With VMware View Desktops Distributed to the Branch: There are times when you might want the low OPEX associated with use of Thin/Zero-clients, or even mobile devices like tablets to access a virtual desktop, but due to network conditions, can’t reliably depend on a remote connection to the datacenter. For such situations, many folks have asked about the ability to manage desktops centrally, but distribute the runtime of the desktop VMs to an ESXi host or two running in the branch. While that’s not a supported View architecture today, it’s theoretically possible, and technologies from the folks at Riverbed show how you could effectively pull it off: by optimizing the movement of virtual disk information from the datacenter to branch, View desktops and their virtual images could be configured and provisioned from the datacenter, but be efficiently moved out to the edge for runtime execution. Plus, since the desktops are back running in the branch again, they benefit from the classic WAN-optimization benefits to email, web and other client/server apps.

So in a nutshell, we’re pretty excited to see all the great innovation in our partner ecosystem to make VMware-managed desktop deployments in the branch to work even better. Hats off to Riverbed for the technologies demonstrated at VMworld 2012 — you can expect to see even more good stuff of this sort in the future!

Robert Baesman, Director of Product Management – End User Computing

VMworld 2012: The Challenge in Transforming End-User Computing

By Brian Gammage, Chief Market Technologist, End User Computing

It seems that everywhere I go these days, I find companies and organizations trying to define their future plans for end-user computing. Whether they refer to the initiative as a ‘future workplace strategy’, or simply a ‘desktop roadmap’, there are individuals and groups being tasked with deciding users will work through technology in the short, medium and longer term.

The unfortunate truth is, it’s difficult making these plans – after years of simply renewing and upgrading existing end-user technology, IT organizations now face a bewildering range of options and lack transparent mechanisms for choosing between them. Which user still needs a desktop? Who should get a virtual desktop? What about tablets, or BYOD projects? Everyone has a different opinion and expresses their explanation in different ways.

A Shift In The Focus

At VMware, we often see the flip-side of these issues: our customers know they want to take advantage of desktop virtualization, they just don’t quite know how, when and for whom. It seems they know VMware View is an answer to some of their questions, they just don’t know which ones.

This is why we’ve shifted our efforts over the last couple of years from creating blunt end-user capabilities to delivering pre-validated solutions that focus on real-world business requirements. The Mobile Secure Desktop, the Always on Point Of Care Desktop, the Business Process Desktop and (coming soon) the Branch-Office Desktop – each target different and clearly defined deployment scenarios, described in terms of what the solution does and not the technology it’s built from.

These solutions are already helping many of our customers as they wrestle with the challenge of right-sizing technology to their evolving end-user requirements.  However, it’s not enough – not every user’s working requirements will be met by a solution built on desktop virtualization. Some will continue to need a PC running a full local operating system (OS), others may be able to abandon the desktop OS altogether and shift focus entirely to their applications.

Enter End-User Advisory Services

With this in mind, we began working on a mechanism to support more generic strategic planning for end-user computing late in 2011. We quickly realized that two of the biggest challenges in moving to the post PC-era were the inadequacy of our current means of description (most EUC language is still PC based – for example ‘desktop’) and the absence of ‘time’ in most planning processes: our operational best practices, procurement approaches and outsourcing contracts necessarily try to take a ‘fixed snapshot’ of the end user domain.

The approach we’ve come up with is based on a new way of modelling and describing the end-user domain and, perhaps most surprisingly, not tied to VMware technology. We’ve been quietly testing this new service platform with some of our customers since early this year and will be publically unveiling it for the first time at VMworld this week.

If you want to learn more and see this new approach in action, please join us at VMworld solution ITT1499 on Tuesday August 28th at 3:30 PM.  Hopefully, we’ll see some of you there.