By Tisa Murdock, Director of Industry Solutions, VMware and Farid Agahi, Business Strategist Industry Solutions, VMware
The term ‘mission critical’ in IT has been synonymous with major business applications that perform core functions within an enterprise. However, we are starting to see that term also being applied to the underlying end-user computing platform – in the context of an always available service. The idea being that a mission-critical application requires an equally mission-critical platform capable of delivering that application to its end-users 7x24x365 – wherever they are.
This has been very evident over the past several years in the healthcare sector where the global movement toward a paperless electronic medical records (EMR) environment has hugely impacted the availability SLA’s for desktop services. It’s easy to make the connection between desktop availability and patient care delivery through the EMR application’s availability.
Similar reliance on desktop services is also being identified in other sectors such as financial services, manufacturing, retail and others. This is driven by the fact that cost of downtime is getting progressively higher due to loss in business productivity, customer impact, missed business service levels, impact on deadline commitments etc.
In fact, many organizations are going away from allowing for routine planned downtimes in their desktop SLA frameworks. This clearly challenges status-quo in areas such as patch management and application updates/upgrade where each update cycle is likely to require at least one reboot which constitutes a planned downtime event. Multiplied by number of end-points and duration of each reboot, the total planned outage puts a large dent in the total availability SLA – situation gets worse if we add unplanned outages to the equation. These factors are ushering in the beginning of the always-on desktop service model.
So, how do you get to an always-on service within a distributed physical desktop environment? Answer is you can’t! The architecture supporting the desktop service has to be fundamentally different. And that’s where VMware’s AlwaysOn Desktop offering provides this much-needed solution.