By Shawn Bass, CTO Desktop Technologies, End-User Computing, VMware
On May 11, 2015, we unveiled Project Enzo to the world as a next generation hybrid cloud architecture for the deployment and management of virtual desktops and applications. We shared some details publicly about the design principles that went into Project Enzo. Leading into VMworld next week, I think it’s important to touch on some of those objectives and provide a heads up on the sessions that you can drop by to learn more details about Enzo. In this blog I want to touch on some of the main reasons that we decided to do something completely new in this space:
- CapEx Reduction – Acquiring the necessary hardware to build and scale a high-performance virtual desktop environment can be challenging and in many cases expensive. VMware EUC wanted to do something to simplify the complexity of this and bring down the capital outlay required to build and scale a virtual desktop infrastructure. To that end, we built an architecture for Project Enzo to sit on top of a number of different Converged and Hyper-converged infrastructure with tight integration with the infrastructure stack for easy onboarding, management and elastic expansion.
- OpEx Reduction – Having been involved in numerous virtual desktop designs in my consulting career, I never personally found the build/configuration of the VDI broker, gateway, etc. components a particularly difficult piece of the rollout of the VDI solution. In fact, aside from change control operations this was typically no more than a few hours of work. Where a majority of time was spent in VDI designs was around the following:
- Assessment of the existing desktop requirements and creating a specification for hardware that would support the scale required. Also determining what software needed to be in the virtual desktop environment can be a challenge. In both cases, our partnership with Lakeside Software for the free SysTrack Desktop Assessment can greatly simplify these laborious tasks.
- Building the appropriate number of base images required to support the number of virtual desktop users.
- Keeping the base images and additional software up to date for Windows Updates and the constant change that occurs with software upgrades for the many applications deployed in customer environments.
The Software Lifecycle management piece is the single greatest amount of time spent in a virtual desktop project and it’s a key area that we’ve spent significant time focusing our design for Project Enzo around. There area three main technologies included in Project Enzo that improve lifecycle management:
Instant Clone – Formerly known as Project Fargo or VMfork, Instant Clone allows an administrator to rapidly deploy clones of a running parent base image in their virtual desktop environment in seconds. In fact, the cloning process is 30 times faster than our existing cloning technology in Horizon. It will allow an administrator to turn over thousands of desktops in tens of minutes across multiple servers. Now why would an admin need to update thousands of images in a single night? Patch Tuesday is of course the main reason. Every month admins are faced with needing to update the OS patches on all of their endpoint devices whether physical or virtual. Instant Clone enables this to happen in minutes rather than hours, and does so without any downtime as well.
App Volumes – App Volumes is our real-time on-demand user-targeted application delivery technology that allows customers to deliver a persistent-like desktop experience with non-persistent economics. Imagine being able to deploy Microsoft Office to hundreds of virtual desktops by deploying the software a single time. Imagine the CPU and Storage I/O savings by doing that one time instead of hundreds of separate installs melting your storage disks. That’s the value that App Volumes brings to the table.
User Environment Manager (UEM) – UEM is our User Environment Management tool that provides a way for IT to deliver the personalization settings that user’s expect without needing to invest in costly infrastructure, training and complex management.
But wait…there’s more… Think about all of the above items as being key ingredients to the virtual desktop management recipe. Now imagine all of it being able to be simply managed from a single pane of glass accessible from anywhere. Now you’re getting the main idea behind Project Enzo and why it’s so revolutionary for Desktop Management. We’re solving the highest cost and most complex piece of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure…the operational management piece or what some people call the Day 2 VDI problem.
- Multi-tenancy – While we could have attempted to build a multi-tenancy orchestration layer around our existing Horizon on-premises solution, we decided there was a better way. The architecture of our VMware Horizon Air Desktop-As-A-Service (DaaS) platform already had multi-tenancy built into the product. So we used it as a base to build a multi-tenant cloud control plane that allows customers to view and manage all of their deployments from a single place. The most important takeaway for customers here is that this platform was designed for multi-tenancy from day 1. We didn’t just think about ways to take a single-tenant platform and layer a bunch of orchestration on top to try and pretend it was multi-tenant. We built it the correct way to begin with.
- Hybrid Cloud Flexibility – Being based on this multi-tenant DaaS architecture means that we have the exact same platform running in a public cloud as you can run on-premises as part of Project Enzo. If you want to run a workload on-premises today and add Cloud DaaS desktops later, no problem. Most importantly, would you like to manage both of those environments from the same console? No problem.
These are just a few of the many reasons why Project Enzo is re-inventing the way that virtual desktops are managed. We love for you to come to one of the many sessions about Project Enzo and learn more about the product. Here’s a list of sessions with Project Enzo content at VMworld 2015 in San Francisco.
For our Partners attending PEX at VMworld:
For all attendees of VMworld sessions:
EUC6807-S – The Future of End-User Computing (EUC Super Session) – Monday 12:30pm – 1:30pm
EUC6112 – Next Generation Desktop Architecture Overview – Thursday 12:00pm – 1:00 pm
EUC6447-GD – Project Enzo and Horizon Air with Ken Ringdahl (Group Discussion with the Chief Architect of Project Enzo) – Wednesday 10:00am – 11:00am
EXPERTSKR – Project Enzo and Horizon Air with Expert – Ken Ringdahl (Meet the Expert session for a small group meeting with the Chief Architect of Project Enzo) – Tuesday 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Hope to see you there!