9 Desktop & App Virtualization Predictions for 2017


As we head into 2017, it’s always fun to pull out a crystal ball and predict what the future will bring. This year, we want to look at what the industry can expect from desktop and application virtualization. So without further ado, here are our top virtualization predictions for the world of desktops and apps.

9 Predictions for Desktop & App Virtualization in 2017

1. Stateless Desktops & Apps Go Mainstream

idc-marketscape-vmware-horizon-ctaUp until this point, many organizations struggled to support stateless desktops for knowledge workers and power users. This technology was mostly relegated to task workers. In 2017, we expect this all to change as stateless desktops become the de facto deployment model.

With technologies like VMware App Volumes for just-in-time application delivery, VMware Instant Clones to allow IT to image desktops in seconds and VMware User Environment Management for contextual policy, you now have the ability to get to a truly stateless desktop that is cost effective, secure and completely personalized.

2. Cloud-Hosted Desktops Move to Center Stage

8148_VM_EUC_BREAKOUT_Blog_InText_600pxWhile many organizations dabbled with cloud-hosted desktops and apps over the last few years, 2017 will mark a real shift in adoption. This will largely be due to the introduction of new and exciting technologies that allow customers to truly enjoy a hybrid-cloud offering. These cloud services will be highly automated with improved SLAs and more self-service features built in.

Cloud economics will also radically shift to make cloud desktops and apps more attractive than ever before, and the cost per desktop will move well below $30 per user per month.

[Related: The $28/Month Desktop Is Real—Going Virtual with Horizon on VxRail]

3. Management Dished Up as a Service

Management-as-a-Service will become the new norm. This will encompass multiple categories, including planning/assessment, building/provisioning, running/lifecycle management and Security-as-a-Service.

4. Machine Learning Will Speed Troubleshooting

Machine learning software will be increasingly leveraged in desktop and application deployments to speed troubleshooting and remediation. Learnings will also help organizations optimize how they set up, update and expand their environments.

5. Identity

When it comes to identity we have a number of predictions. First, passwords will be dead—well, almost dead. Here, many more companies will start offering password-less authentication by adopting FIDO UAF standard following the footsteps of Microsoft with its Microsoft Hello and eBay open sourcing a reference implementation.

Also, new Identity solutions to solve IoT use cases will emerge. Companies will allocate budgets to support these initiatives.

Finally, identity analytics will become mainstream. While 2015-16 were the years of Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) with some vendors getting acquired, 2017 will be the year for User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) vendors, such as Exabeam, Gurucul, BayDynamics and others. As identity theft attacks become more sophisticated, companies will use analytics to detect abnormal behavior and act quickly.

[Related: VMware Adds Leading Cloud Access Security Broker Partners to VMware Mobile Security Alliance]

6. User Experience Will Be Accelerated

The demand for hardware graphics-backed desktops and applications will go mainstream. With enterprises embracing the Windows 10 operating system (OS), knowledge workers will greatly benefit from hardware graphics acceleration delivered remotely. User experience in LAN and WAN environments, with improved tolerance for latency and packet loss, will be the main focus for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments.

7. Storage Continues to Converge

Desktop and application deployments will become easier and more cost effective, thanks to hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) appliances with virtual SAN. These technologies will become more widely available in the market. When it comes to traditional storage for VDI, all-flash arrays will become the norm, driving lower cost per input-output operations per second (IOPS).

8. Desktop Meets Mobile

In the past, access to a virtual desktop was nothing more than a username and password. A binary decision then allowed or disallowed access. In 2017, the convergence of desktop and Windows 10 Management Whitepaper from VMwaremobile will enable both conditional and adaptive access through policy and governance. For example, an admin can create conditional access policies that might deny access in all but the following scenarios:

  • Single-factor authentication for a company-owned device on a corporate network.
  • Dual-factor authentication on a company-managed device not on the corporate network.
  • Dual-factor authentication on an unmanaged, non-jailbroken device between 8 and 10 p.m. within the U.S.

With these scenarios, adaptive access might come into play by disabling USB redirection and clipboard copy/paste in the third scenario.

Policy and governance will be enabled by combining the user profile with the endpoint context.

[Related: Introducing VMware Verify Two-Factor Authentication]

9. Security

When it comes to security, there will be an increase in threats to organizations of all sizes. Passwords and the people who create/use them will continue to be the weakest link. 2017 will bring an increase of endpoints connected to the network and growing costs associated with resolving security breaches. Instead of big showy attacks, the use of subtle/quieter attacks will prevail. Ransomware will become more prevalent, and browsers will likely remain the preferred route for attacks. Tackling these security threats and breaches will require organizations to take a much more holistic approach to security management spanning endpoint protection, endpoint detection and response, machine learning, identity, containerization, access controls and isolation.

These are our predictions for 2017. We look forward to seeing a lot of innovation being driven into the market around desktop and application virtualization as we head into the coming year. Have some predictions of your own? We would love to hear them.

Happy holidays from all of us in VMware End-User Computing!

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