Much like our industry’s tech evolution toward the digital workspace, the world is on a journey to digital radio. In 2017, Norway will become the first country to begin the journey of turning off FM radio and going completely digital. There are many questions and concerns, but the destination is inevitable as many countries are soon to follow. Why are countries making this move? Because, according to Reuters, the current system is costly and inefficient:
“For the same cost, digital radio in Norway allows eight times more radio stations than FM. The current system of parallel FM and digital networks, each of which cost about 250 million crowns (£23 million), saps investments in programs.”
What Is the Problem with Traditional Workspace Management?
Just as digital radio pioneers questioned the limits of what was possible with FM radio, we at VMware question the limits of what is possible with today’s workspace management solutions.
In today’s enterprise, IT groups typically spend an enormous amount of time trying to manage state of their systems and users. IT spends an onerous amount of time:
- Figuring out how to patch endpoints;
- Staying up to date with operating system (OS) releases;
- Avoiding image proliferation;
- Debugging performance problems; and even
- Synchronizing data across redundant management systems.
These tasks severely hamper responsiveness to business user needs. All this leads to poor user experience, high operating costs and slow pace of innovation.
Is There Business Value Continuing with the Status Quo?
If you want a flexible enterprise that responds to change easily, can you continue to operate in traditional ways?
As you move toward Windows 10 with your virtual desktop infrastructure and applications, whether on-premises or in the cloud, will you take yesterday’s management inefficiencies forward?
Windows is not going away in the enterprise for a long time, so the strategic question to consider is:
“How will you chart a path forward to enable you to manage in a more agile way to drive greater efficiency?”
Charting a Better Way Forward with JMP Desired Outcomes
The path forward needs to be a better experience that drives greater productivity. Just as with digital radio, modern best-of-breed components drive this transformation. Using these best of breed of components as raw ingredients to build a core platform, many creative capabilities—like new creating new content on a new platform—will become possible.
We must reimagine the management paradigm to create this type of experience. IT organizations should be empowered to spend more time understanding business user needs and managing their environment. IT must define desired outcomes by selecting what, who, when and where to deploy services.
VMware’s Just-in-Time Management Platform (JMP)—what we call “Jump”—orchestrates the building of necessary systems in real time to achieve the stated outcomes. This helps IT organizations achieve greater agility, reduced costs, faster time to market and greater ability to delight their end users.
JMP enables these desired outcomes using best of breed components. Use each element independently for deployment flexibility within existing infrastructures.
VMware Instant Clones: Leverages the hypervisor and your existing VMware virtualization infrastructure to give you the fastest, most modern way to provision virtual machines (VM) by rapidly cloning a running VM instance in seconds! This is in stark contrast to legacy image management technology that requires infrastructure overhead to operate. Learn more in this technical whitepaper.
VMware App Volumes: The leading solution to enable you to simplify Windows lifecycle management with real-time application delivery. Eliminate the pain in application packaging and reduce the number of images you manage by up to 70%. Learn more here.
VMware User Environment Management: The most powerful and easiest to use solution on the market. User Environment Manager helps you personalize user and application settings and configure user environments dynamically based on policy, helping deliver superior user experiences. Learn more here.
JMP uses these technologies to untangle the OS, applications and user personalization. In doing so, all the component pieces together reconstitute on demand to deliver Just-in-Time desktops and apps across all infrastructure topologies. When these best-of-breed components combine, examples best illustrate its power.
In the video below, we easily define and provision a JMP workspace. We show app delivery to this new workspace in real time, as well as user-specific personalization. The user at runtime then configures additional personalization before moving to a different department with a different set of application needs. Finally, we perform a major update to Windows, keeping the environment compliant and on the current business branch. I am sure once you watch this short video, you will see how much simpler JMP makes things versus the complexity of many of today’s environments:
Static Layers Technologies Do Not Solve the Problem for Dynamic Use Cases
We built toward this vision for several years now and learned many lessons along the way. One of the key lessons is no single technology silver bullet addresses the breadth of use cases for dynamic enterprise customers. It is like saying a digital radio is composed of a single new component.
When you use a rigid, singular technology approach, we must make tradeoffs, such as scale, performance and flexibility, alongside existing sunk-cost technology and process investments. This can make the journey to the digital workspace very difficult. JMP helps you adopt different components on your terms, opposed to the all-or-nothing approach of singular, rigid technology stacks.
A good example of a single-component approach is the legacy layers technology conversation in our industry.
Firstly, there is not a singular agreed-upon definition of what layers technology is (perhaps a future post). In general, we define layers as a solution in which you must control the base OS image first. You then “layer” in other OS components. This is what I call the static model of management, because you need to control and/or provision the full stack with a single technology. In other words, it is legacy image management. This is in stark contrast to modern application, container-style technologies, like App Volumes.
App Volumes, for example, does not require base image control and allows real-time delivery of apps. Although proven at scale in the enterprise, many still wrongly compare this approach to full-stack static layers solutions. Beware, and understand how the technologies actually work before believing the latest “expert” opinion.
The limits of taking a singular static approach versus best-of-breed components can be profound when it comes to implementation in practice. VMware’s rich history and deep DNA in enterprise infrastructure management gives us a unique understanding of what it takes in reality. VMware was the first to bring to market a static layers solution with VMware Mirage.
Our customers use Mirage for physical Windows management, especially across distributed environments. Layers are a great solution for some static use cases, like retail point-of-service (POS) terminals and ATMs where a fully managed image makes sense. Many lobbied in the past for VMware to move this technology to the data center. We did not, because static layers inherently have limitations at scale in the data center and cloud.
Combining and recombining VMs in a dynamic virtual environment adds overhead. Complexity also increases for static management in the data center or cloud, because you must stay in a full image management-only model. This approach limits flexibility to work with existing infrastructure. It is a one-trick-pony solution that tries to create a uni-pony by merging images and then deploying. Image management is a static management construct that the JMP dynamic model tackles in a more elegant and efficient way.
This Is the Beginning
I know firsthand what it took our engineering teams to pull this all together. It is thankless work at times, and I would be remiss not to acknowledge my gratitude to them.
If you are evaluating or already began your cloud-computing journey, we have you covered. JMP capabilities are available today on-premises and in the cloud. Customers already leverage JMP capabilities in Horizon Cloud for the simplicity and speed of cloud-hosted desktops and apps without managing their own infrastructure. Regardless if your desktop and app strategy leans toward on-premises, cloud or a hybrid model, we continue to innovate upon this foundational platform to enable our customers on their journey to modern workspace management.
Now, cue your favorite “JUMP” song!