Posted by Chris Young Vice President and General Manager, VMware End-User Computing
Thus far, 2011 has proven to be an exciting time for VMware’s End-User Computing business unit. Today is no exception. I am pleased to announce that Brian Gammage has joined the VMware EUC team in newly created role of Chief Market Technologist. In this role, Brian will work closely with our customers and our product teams to define the customer journey to a modern end-user computing model that leverages cloud computing to securely deliver access to applications and data from any device, where and when a user needs it.
Brian joins us from Gartner, where he served as a Vice President and Senior Fellow advising commercial and government organizations on effective client computing strategies, technologies and architectures. Since 2004, he led Gartner's research efforts looking into the impact of virtualization technology on client computing. Specifically, his work examined the business implications and transformative changes brought about by decoupling the software environment we work in from the hardware. Overall he has more than 25 years IT sector experience, having also worked at HP, Olivetti Systems and Acorn Computers.
As we head into VMworld, we will be telling you more about how VMware’s vision for End-User Computing offers people a new way to work. Knowing Brian, I am sure that he will have a thing or two to say along the way.
By Tisa Murdock, Product Line Manager, VMware View – Healthcare
Nestled in the lush San Joaquin Valley of California, Children’s Hospital Central California rises like a mirage from 50 acres of green meadow. It almost looks like a children’s castle with brightly colored buildings, statues of giraffes and cute animal shaped topiaries. I recently visited the hospital to interview the CIO and the Network Engineering team for a video in support of our VMware View Client for iPad announcement last week.
Being a Mother, I became choked up as I approached the hospital and at the same time grateful that -my son is healthy and- there are people and facilities dedicated to helping heal sick children. Children’s is the 2nd largest pediatric hospital in California, the 10th largest in the nation and has a long tradition of adopting technology to help improve patient care. This tradition continues with their two desktop modernization projects – Advanced Clinical Systems and CPOE (Computerized Physician Order Entry) both going live this summer.
The healthcare industry is going through a complete transformation with the move from pen and paper to digitized records. This transformation will change the way both hospital IT professionals and hospital caregivers look at point-of-care clinical desktops. Electronic medical records reduce medical errors, improve patient safety and produce better clinical outcomes, but if the caregiver needs to make a decision and cannot access their electronic medical record system because their clinical desktop is down – there can be serious consequences.
It has become absolutely imperative that desktops and electronic medical applications are immediately accessible and available to caregivers.
Children’s Hospital Central California is on the forefront of this industry wide transformation. They are creating clinical solutions that make the move to electronic medical records faster and less complex for their IT department. The solutions also provide caregivers with a highly available point–of-care environment that is easy to access and easy to use.
Children’s is piloting VMware View and VMware ThinApp to modernize and virtualize both their clinical desktops and medical applications. Abstracting desktop environments from PC hardware and moving them into the datacenter means that Children’s can better manage desktops and applications and deliver them as a service to their clinicians.
The virtual desktops are hosting on VMware vSphere, a key component of our VMware View solution. VMware vSphere provides unparalleled reliability with features that continually monitor, load balance and dynamically allocated resources across the virtual desktop environment. As a result, IT can now deliver a non-stop point of care desktop with all applications and data readily available to the caregiver where and when they need them.
This enables new virtual point-of-care desktops to achieve the level of availability demanded by clinicians and staff. And now Children’s can also use new devices, such as the iPad, to access their virtual point-of-care desktop.
Clinicians tell me that they love the iPad. Now with VMware View Client with iPad they can access their virtual desktop and the small form factor and long battery life makes it portable and easy to take it bedside. This means more time engaging with patients and fast order entry (via CPOE). Hospital IT professionals like it because all the data and information is being stored in the datacenter, making everything secure and compliant. In this use case the iPad acts like a thin client with no information being stored locally so there is no fear of a data breach if the device gets lost or stolen.
VMware’s mission in healthcare is to help our customers transform the cost, quality and delivery of patient care. It is great to visit customers such as Children’s Hospital Central California who are committed to not only finding the best technology to help them transform to a digital environment but are also committed to improving the day-to-day workflow of their caregivers.
Less than 12 hours after launch of the View Client for iPad we’re proud to say that we’re already number one on the App Store for Business Apps. We’d like to thank all of those who have downloaded and reviewed the app so far and look forward to hearing your feedback. We’ve also been getting some great coverage across the net on the various media outlets. Here’s a list of a few of them:
2011 is shaping up to be an exciting year for VMware View. About 2 weeks back we came out with the 4.6 release which delivered PCoIP support in our Security Server. We’re getting some great feedback from that release and we’re seeing this open the door to new use cases for remote users.
Today we keep the excitement coming with the launch of the View Client for iPad. This release is one small step for VMware and one giant leap for personal devices in the enterprise. Now all of us iPad aficionados can use our iPads to access our desktops and get an awesome user experience without giving IT a heart attack about security. It’s the best of both worlds.
Our focus with this release is really around simplicity and we set out to make sure that the user experience from the iPad is seamless. This means that access is a snap and interaction with the desktop is easy and efficient.
The iPad client is fully supported over WiFi or 3G connections and with PCoIP at the core you’ll be sure to get a great user experience. Tight integration with View 4.6 means that logging into your View desktop from the iPad is easy and reconnection to the desktop is also simple with the ability to select from a list of previously connected desktops.
iPad users will feel right at home interacting with their View desktop using the gestures we’ve implemented making it easy to do things like click, select, drag and invoke the soft keyboard. We’ve also included support for Bluetooth or dock connected keyboards for those prefer to type on a physical keyboard. In addition to keyboards we’ve also added support for the iPad VGA connector which will let you connect your View desktop to an external monitor or projector. If you wanted to, you could realistically go iPad full time!
This release is just the start of our support for the iPad and you’ll be seeing a lot more from us in the months to come as we continue to make improvements and add capabilities.
To quote our Product Manager, Tedd Fox (@teddfox), we hope you think this client is as #awesome as we do. It’s available as a free download today from the Apple App Store so download your copy and connect to your View desktop. We look forward to your thoughts and feedback in the comments below and be sure to follow @vmwareview on Twitter to keep up on all of the latest product news.
The VMware End-User Computing team is happy to announce the general availability of VMware View 4.6 and VMware ThinApp 4.6.1.
VMware View 4.6
While View 4.6 is considered a minor update, I am actually very excited about the new capabilities we have baked in to this version of our award winning desktop virtualization solution. Among the minor bug fixes and USB updates, View 4.6 delivers enhancements to View Security Server. VMware View 4,6 now provides support for external end-users connecting to their View desktop via PCoIP across the WAN. This new support provides for a simple, secure remote connection and authentication as users connect to their desktops outside of the firewall.
With this new native support, View Security Server provides an end-to-end PCoIP protocol session, and also removes the requirement for enterprise-class SSL VPNs (you can still use them with View and PCoIP if that’s what you have in your environment). For businesses this means reduced desktop virtualization infrastructure cost and configuration issues along with lower ongoing support costs. The result is a tightly-integrated and cost-effective desktop virtualization deployment that provides for easy authentication for those of us who work remotely. We think you will agree – it provides a vastly improved remote user experience.
More details about what we’re delivering with the PCoIP/Security Server integration can be found in this post from Mark Benson, View Architect from our CTO office.
Mark also pulled together this great video, which goes deeper into the technical specifics of the PCoIP/Security Server enhancements in View 4.6.
VMware ThinApp 4.6.1 improves packaging for Microsoft Office 2010. We are seeing businesses adopt ThinApp as they look to migrate to Windows 7. VMware ThinApp packages applications into single executables that run completely isolated from each other and the operating system for conflict-free execution on end-point devices. Visit the ThinApp blog to see what Jonathan Clark, Principal Engineer for ThinApp, has to say about the 4.6.1 release and download the latest bits here.
by Andy Powell – Sr. Business Strategist, End User Computing
Chapter 2: Life after the physical PC
It sits there in the classroom, lab, backpack or library. It is a portal to unlimited resources. It is seen by many well intentioned people as the key to the future, and one of the most important things that we can provide to our students and teachers. Those that brought it, fought for it through referendum, grants and bake sales. In many cases, photos and speeches heralded its coming to the lucky and progressive district. It sits there, and only there. The software to provide enlightenment and development, the applications that fulfill promise of the investment sit there too. It is like a book in a locker, but it has to be actively maintained and supported. It is like a map on a wall, but it needs electricity and a network to be engaged. It is like a pencil next to the paper, but the user has to have significant and specialized trained to make it work. It is a tool. It sits there and only there, until someone can use it.
The physical PC is expensive, even though the per unit cost has been driven down over time. It is the support/maintenance that becomes the Achilles' heel of the PC. See the CoSN-Gartner TCO Case Studies for more on this.
The result of much of our investment in technology has been focused on what we can see. That is why it sits there. We can point to it and say "See what we provided you!!!!" However, like the locker bound book, the map on the wall, and the pencil on the paper, the PC is of no use if someone is not in front of it. Considering that schools are only open for a very limited amount of time (If you consider a 24X365/year model), the investment is even more inefficient. And, don't forget about the other parts: We have significant investment in applications, curriculum and training. We have significant investments in school network access through E-Rate. We have an ever increasing number of access devices that are being used. So, what do we do with it? Transform it from physical to virtual. Make it not a "it is there" limitation, but a "it is where you are" revelation.
by Andy Powell – Sr. Business Strategist, End User Computing
Chapter 1 – Lessons, thoughts and Ideas for the virtualization of End User Computing for Education
What we want… Do we really know?
The calls are often made by educators, parents, politicians and students: We need to integrate more technology into our cirriculum delivery. We need to use technology to enhance the the education experience. We need to infuse technology into our classrooms to ensure we have students ready for 21st century job. We need PCs in every classrooms and notebooks in every backpack!
But what are we really doing when we force technology into a situation just to be using technology?
Are we making ourself feel good because we are doing "something", without really looking at how technology can and should be utilized?
Are we really providing our educators with an "better mouse trap" or just a different mouse? Are our students getting a "better interface" to education and learning or just another gui?
Does the magic PC box provide us what we really need?
One can see that many school districts and universities list a ratio of students per computers as being a sign that they are progressive. But what relevance does the number of computers per student really mean? If those machines are 4 years old (or older!), have limited software, and continually breakdown what value to they really have to the student. A major advantage of a book, is that the knowledge is mobile, and the cost for that mobility is included in the purchase price. Can you say the same for applications that are loaded on a physical desktop in a class room? Sure, the information on the printed page can be come out of date, but doesn't the same apply to a computer based curriculum as well? And, if a book becomes damaged, how many hours of a technician's time does it take to fix the book? Does a book become infected with damaging virus that can release sensitive information to the world and affect the other books in the district? Clearly, it is not a completely clean comparison, but the case can be made that a pc desktop is not an effective tool for education. Where is the freedom? Where is the mobility? Is this what we wanted?
We have been trapped by the success of a technology. Client / Server application deployment and it's most popular extension, PC desktop applications, replaced the mainframe/timeshare model of the 60s and 70s. We liked the pc because it gave us freedom from the structured control, poor interfaces, limited applications and slow pace of the mainframe model. The PC gave developers the platform, marketspace and incentive to release the creative wave to make the applications that drove technology into the classrooms in the 80s and 90s. Those devices and their applications crept into the classroom as new curriculum were developed to take advantage of interactive graphics and sound. We became a captive of ReaderRabbit and CAD applications. Now the Web appeared, and all was going to be easy and free. The promise of the browser, and collaborative communities around the world seemed to be full answer. But, the browser ran on a pc. The web applications needed plug ins. The pcs needed virus/malware protection because they were connected to external networks. But the PC was cheap to buy, until you realized (and many still have not considered this) the costs associated to support the OS updates, application updates, security updates, printer drivers, device drivers. And, you were still stuck with only being able to do this from the device that is on your desk or lab. Where was the freedom? Is this what we wanted?
In reality, the old desktop model is actually taking away time, effort and money from school districts rather than adding significant value. The old desktop model requires continued attention, updating and support for a device that can only be used 7 hours a day… at best. This is like being only able to see the video content that have at your desk. And you have to maintain the video tape player, because the district did not have the funding to buy you/your classroom a DVD player. So much for the new content that is being delivered in a few format… Is this what we wanted? An interesting view from Todd Oppenheimer.
It would appear that what we want is freedom, flexibility and accessibility with security and control. And of course, we would like it with a low cost of acquisition and a low and predictable cost of support. The PC desktop model gives us some, but not enough. The desktop limits our access and choices. It controls our budgets and time by the immense effort that it takes to maintain and support. It is a dead end… just like the video tape player, analog telephone and broadcast television. To be exact, it is access and mobility, not the device that is important. A student survey of technology is listed here.
I am hoping that this blog can act as a meeting of the minds for the discussion of technology in education. Now granted, I would like to tighten the focus of conversation to the concept of how a "end-user computing" model can benefit schools better than the traditional "pc centric" model, but would be happy to expand the conversation in later chapters. Let me knwo what you'd like to hear about in the comments below.
If you didn’t see the announcement earlier this week our friends at Cisco put out a press release announcing the Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) and we here on the View team couldn’t be more excited. With this infrastructure Cisco is setting out to simplify desktop virtualization and improve virtual collaboration solutions both of which I think are critical to helping customers with the adoption of desktop virtualization solutions like View.
View is an important part for the VXI story and the reference architecture that is built around it which pulls together a multi vendor solution across a slew of partners. Technologies in the RA include View, network infrastructure, server, storage, end points and applications to deliver rich media and collaboration capabilities. With this blueprint, Cisco, VMware and the others are working to break down the components so customers can get down to the real value and benefit from of these solutions.
A few new end point devices are also included in the announcement. The first is the Cius enterprise tablet (an Android device) which you may have seen announced earlier in the year at CiscoLive. In addition Cisco is bringing 2 new zero clients to market. The first, VXC 1110, is really pushing the footprint reduction envelope by delivering a thin client integrated with a Cisco IP phone. The VXC 1120 is not quite as cool but still offers zero client capabilities in a small form factor. VMware has plans to support all three devices with View next year when they start shipping.
You’ll be hearing more from us on the joint solutions with Cisco over the coming months and, as you may have noticed, we’re also planning on supporting their Cius Android based device. Expect to hear more on that and our plans for the iPad here too. In the meantime leave a comment letting us know what you think about the VXI solution.
As was noted in a recent blog about the federal market, every VMware View deployment starts with the use case. The first thing I usually ask is “What am I trying to fix?” Once I know what I am trying to fix I can then work towards delivering the right solution for the customer.
With that said, as I talked to Federal customers, I was seeing few important features come up that were needed in order to address the use cases common across this space. VMware recently announced the GA release of View 4.5 which, in particular, was of great importance to the Federal customer base as it introduced features that directly addressed use cases within the Federal Government and specifically for DOD environments. These features include:
SmartCard support (better known as CAC and PIV) for the PCoIP display protocol - With the introduction of SmartCard integration with the PCoIP display protocol Federal IT teams will be able to leverage the VMware View infrastructure to address use cases such as Teleworking, Multi Security Environments, Kiosk deployments and most importantly the implementation of Zero Clients.
FIPS 140-2 Certification of the PCoIP protocol – With the View 4.5 release VMware made a commitment to certify the protocol with FIPS validated crypto modules. VMware has submitted our package to be certified which goes a long way to show the dedication of VMware and the View solution in the Federal market.
View Client with Local Mode & CAC support – This allows agencies to use View managed desktops in a distributed environment, leveraging local compute resources while giving users the ability to access their desktop even without a network connection. Local Mode gives users the ability to move their virtual machine from the data center to the local endpoint device so that they can work even while offline (like when they're traveling or on an airplane). the desktop image is completely encrypted and secure and IT can extend policy to the desktop even while offline. This provides security assurance for IT while enabling flexibility to end-users.
With these enhancements in the View 4.5 release you can see that VMware is dedicated to delivering capabilities and solutions targeted at Federal use cases (among others). I think the real proof is in the customer interest that we're seeing now that View 4.5 is out and available. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the features mentioned above, the others in View 4.5 and how they're helping you to address use cases in your organization.
We focus a lot of our product marketing efforts around understanding the key use cases and business requirements of the VMware View target markets.
Take for example, the U.S. federal government sector; a highly dynamic and complex IT environment driven by rigorous security and compliance standards and a vast but decentralized workforce. When you consider the diverse desktop requirements of the modern federal workforce including teleworkers, disaster recovery teams and forward deployed military personnel, it becomes clear a highly dynamic IT approach is needed.
There are a few key events like last winter’s shutdown of Washington D.C. due to storms, the global H1N1 virus scare and federal IT modernization mandates which are driving IT to shift their thinking from a “device centric” world towards one focused more on “end-users”. In a device centric environment users are tied to one device and find it difficult to access their desktop from other devices and locations such as from a home machine. With the limitations of the traditional "device centric" model end-users are not empowered.
A user centric world enable greater efficiencies, empowerment and increased productivity; exactly what future public servants expect to be enabled in their jobs. Think snowstorm. And think about providing agency workers real-time, secure access to familiar agency-standard resources via a VMware View desktop they can access from home, a remote office or even aboard ships or portable office pods!
It is very exciting to see federal IT—typically late adopters —take such a pro-active interest in VMware View over the past couple of years. The buzz was loud and clear at the recent San Francisco VMworld event! The end-user computing journey is just that…a journey. And desktop virtualization is the first big step federal IT is taking towards modernizing and better enabling their diverse workforce which ultimately improves service levels to citizens. We are committed to that journey and to an ongoing collaborative effort between our product team and the federal end-user community.