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Real BYOC and View Client

There's a lot of buzz and speculation these days around client hypervisors.  VMware demoed some cool stuff last year at VMworld; our own Desktop CTO Scott Davis blogged on this topic back in January, (http://blogs.vmware.com/view-point/2010/01/vmware-view-and-thick-clients.html); of course there were noteworthy announcements this past week at a certain trade show.  Now that formal product announcements are starting to appear, it's time to cut though the speculation and get down to brass tacks of the business value this year's offerings are likely bring.  

Bottom line: VMware will deliver a View based solution that directly addresses Bring Your Own Computer, and similar usage models.  This is not a hyped-up personal/corporate compromise solution, but a solution that addresses many real issues faced today.

So what usage models are we talking about?  There's a lot of acronyms thrown around: Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC), Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC), Employee Owned IT (EOIT); I even like to throw in the term Contractor Owned IT (COIT).  It all boils down to someone working on client hardware that is not physically owned and managed by corporate IT.  Usage models range from the highly strategic to common sense tactical.  

Strategic might include empowering employees to choose their hardware from the local electronics store.  I talked with one Fortune 500 customer with a BYOC initiative driven from their HR department: too many talented employees were quitting and making clear in their exit interviews that they were fed up with inadequate hardware.  Said hardware was a joke compared to the personal laptop they carried around in their messenger bags every day.  Another example is the distributed and mobile workforce.  Here, it's painful to keep users' devices in good working order: if a machine breaks, it's better for the business if the employee can go to the local big-box store and be up and running with a new machine in minutes.  The traditional alternative is a multi-week wait for a new IT owned device: get the PR processed and ordered from the OEM; ship it to corporate HQ for inventory and imaging; finally re-ship it to the employee's home office; better hope the employee isn't on the road at the time.  The push to address these sorts of scenarios with off the shelf hardware will only increase as those who have grown up with modern personal computing grow proportionally in the workforce, and the "consumerization of IT" moves forward.

On a more tactical front, you have simple dollars and cents around additional devices.  If a contractor or offshore employee comes equipped with hardware supplied by their own organization, why not leverage those physical resources to get work done?  I talk with customers today who must purchase and provision new machines for contractors simply to ensure those individuals have access to the corporate desktop environment.  That's a scenario a proper BYOC solution should address.

Right now, both VMware and our competitors have a variety of solutions for these use cases as long as said users are reliably connected to the corporate network.  We know that isn't always realistic.  Sometimes you've just gotta get work done without that robust network connection.

Enter View Client with Local Mode.

Unlike what others are pushing with much hyped "Type-1" client hypervisors, View Client with Local mode installs cleanly and non-destructively on an existing Windows Laptop or PC.  You don't need to start with brand-new hardware from an OEM.  You don't need to wipe out or destructively modify an existing OS installation and void your service/support contracts.   It's "just software" that solves real problems.

Once View Client with Local Mode is in place, you'll be able to do things like…

As an end user:

  • Checkout a desktop from the datacenter to run on the client device regardless of network connectivity.
  • Enjoy a full fidelity desktop experience with 3D DirectX9c support, Aeroglass effects on Win7, support for devices like web-cams and VOIP.
  • Immediately get access to a replica desktop if the client device (e.g. laptop) fails or is lost.
  • Get a real choice of client devices.

As an administrator:

  • Manage and monitor Local Mode desktops centrally from the same View administrative console and VM images as the rest of a VMware View deployment.
  • Maintain control over end user desktops – revoking privileges and pulling data back to the datacenter on demand.
  • Know corporate data is secure from outside attack with AES 128 or 256-bit encryption.
  • Reduce overall CAPEX costs, both on newly purchased client devices, and lower upfront datacenter investment.
  • Leverage an existing hardware fleet to deploy Local Mode desktops.
  • Cleanly separate the Windows update/refresh cycle from hardware update/refresh cycles.

To visualize all this, below you see a managed Windows XP desktop running Google Earth with 3D buildings enabled (using DirectX) on top of an unmanaged Windows 7 laptop:

WinXP on win7

View Client with Local Mode will flexibly deliver real value for desktop workloads across a variety of BYOC use cases including offline, EOIT and COIT.  Feel free to drop by the VMware booth at any upcoming tradeshow or visit the VMware Express Truck (http://info.vmware.com/content/VMwareExpress) to see View Client with Local Mode in action.

8 thoughts on “Real BYOC and View Client

  1. Not a beliiever

    What you have described is an improvement on VWware Workstation, but not much more. While there is good use of this product, it is by no means an enterprise solution – otherwise you would own this space… but don’t.

  2. CVP-Why

    If VMware really believes in the value of View Client with local mode, then why is VMware also planning to rollout CVP (aka Type-1 hypervisor)?
    Obviously Vmware believe there is a business value of CVP.
    See Desktop CTO Scott Davis blog as quoted in article above.

  3. Robert Baesman

    Hi CVP-Why,
    Yup, there’s business value in both models — if and only if you do each one right.
    We believe Type-2 will be the right choice for 3rd-party owned/managed devices and legacy hardware utilization for the foreseeable future. That’s what this post is all about.
    Type-1 will theoretically work “best” for IT owned/managed devices, but then you have to ask yourself, “what are you virtualizing the thing for in the first place?” In our opinion, the biggest value of laying down a Type-1 client hypervisor comes when you tie that in to enterprise class image management and a strong integration with the rest of your virtual desktop administration/infrastructure. When you get past the “gee wiz” factor of certain recently announced Type-1 offerings, one quickly realizes that these two key things are lacking. When VMware chooses to deliver something with this form factor, we’ll make sure it solves real problems and ultimately helps drive down laptop OPEX.
    So, bottom line, different hypervisor form factors = different targeted use cases. But a hypervisor on its own will never solve the big issues for an enterprise — you need the full package.

  4. Martin

    Hi Robert,
    In your comment you specify 2 key features that the other Type 1 solution will provide: The other solution can be “tied in to an enterprise class image management” and strongly integrated we the rest of the VDI administration/infrastructure”.
    You probably missed the tool that was released with the Type-1 hypervisor which is call “Synchronizer”. This piece will bring the value you identified. Have a look. This will allow a tight integration with the VDI infrastructure.

  5. Robert Baesman

    Hi Martin,
    Well aware of Synchronizer. I don’t think it does what you seem to think it does. You should try it and draw your own conclusions.

  6. Laine

    Robert, how much data will be transfered when you check out an image of for example win7?
    Will the same amount of data transfer the line when you check it back in?
    Will you figure out how to remove the demand for a centralized VDA in order to virtualize on the client-side?
    What’s your plans for smart card support? No one seems to be able to support this as we speak and this is the number 1 requirement that needs to be fixed in order for us to deliver to the health care vector.

  7. Robert Baesman

    Hi Laine,
    Apologies for the very late reply to your comment 😉 VIew 4.5 with the Local Mode functionality is now GA!
    In answer to your specific questions…
    > Robert, how much data will be transfered when you check out an image of for example win7?
    [Rob] It of course varies depending on the apps you have installed, etc. For a typical office productivity sort of Win7 desktop, it will usually range between 6 and 9GB. XP tends to be lower. There are alternate, documented means of getting this base image data to an endpoint if you’re dealing with a very slow WAN, or multiple clients at a branch office.
    > Will the same amount of data transfer the line when you check it back in?
    [Rob] No. We only send back the disk blocks that have changed since checkout.
    > Will you figure out how to remove the demand for a centralized VDA in order to virtualize on the client-side?
    [Rob] Not sure if I understand your question. Can you elaborate?
    > What’s your plans for smart card support? No one seems to be able to support this as we speak and this is the number 1 requirement that needs to be fixed in order for us to deliver to the health care vector.
    [Rob] Yes, Local Mode in View 4.5 supports Smart Card authentication, (so does PCoIP by the way).

  8. Bill

    Where is VMWare Express? The View local client? Did VMWare give up on this product? In the meantime I am using XenClient 2. SERIOUSLY Awesome technology.

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