Monday, 12 December 2011

Quest Software: 2012 Predictions in Desktop Virtualization

Last year Jon Rolls, Vice President of Product Management for User Workspace Management, let us know his thoughts on what 2011 would bring to the Desktop Virtualization space. Now that 2012 is nearly upon us, it's time to look back on the predictions that were made, and to consider what the future holds from a Quest Software perspective.

To see how Jon's predictions on cost savings, Terminal Server/Remote Desktop sessions resurgence, Hyper-V expanding market share in desktop virtualization, growing diversity and ubiquity in access devices and the Cloud have panned out, you can find the full article at 

What are Jon's predictions for 2012?

1)     Enterprise Windows 7 adoption - The clock is running and large organizations can't afford to wait for Windows 8. Support for Windows XP ends in 2014, but, many organizations are faced with huge and unknown application compatibility challenges. They must determine which of their applications are really used, which ones will work on Windows 7, and how bad the apps are that won't. Giving IT a handle on the answers to these questions is the first step, and that's why Quest recently acquired ChangeBASE, which automates analysis and remediation.

Another massive issue is Web apps that only work with Internet Explorer 6, which is not legally available on Windows 7 unless you use Terminal Server or MED-V based solutions, which both have costs and drawbacks. Expect to see more solutions to this problem in 2012. 

2)     Windows 8 buzz! Again, no great shocks in this prediction, but Windows 8 will become an increasing factor in planning and decision-making in 2012. It has many features that aid adoption of desktop virtualization, as well as many that encourage its direct use on physical desktops and tablets. Windows 8 might even be released at end of 2012, but it's too early for anyone to know. In addition, the ‘touch factor' of Windows 8 will create all kinds of completely new and  interesting opportunities and challenges for IT departments, as users expect to interact with devices and  applications in new ways.

3)     Appliance-like approach to VDI - Also known as "VDI in a box" or "Desktop Cloud" this approach uses a collection of standalone virtual desktop hosts with local (direct attached) storage, so scalability is as simple as adding another host to the farm. All desktops are "pooled," which means they are essentially disposable and cloned from a master template, as needed. To provide a truly personalized experience, this approach requires a combination of user virtualization (separation of the user's preferences and profile from the desktop) and layering of applications that are not in the base image. Note that both of these require shared storage, not to the same extent as a persistent desktop, but you can't get away from a SAN and deliver a high quality personalized experience. VDI as an appliance is a great solution when you don't have a need for users to install their own applications, or you can stream them on-demand using app virtualization. It's also much more cost-effective than the usual approach for server virtualization, in which all disk images go on high performance shared storage. 

4)     Desktops as a Service - OK, I need one wildly speculative prediction in here, so why not ... Perhaps 2012 will see a change in Windows licensing, coincident with Windows 8 (?) that finally enables true DaaS. Perhaps Microsoft will do it on Azure? Perhaps they will work with the large telcos to build massive VDI farms that enable on-demand delivery of the Windows 8 experience to any device on a rental basis? It would be a huge change to their traditional revenue model, where the bulk of Windows licensing comes from hardware OEMs, and I'm sure the finance people at  Microsoft are grinding their teeth at the very suggestion, but who knows? The world is going to the cloud, and maybe Windows should too? 

Whatever 2012 may bring, you can bet that it's going to be an exciting time in the Desktop Virtualization space. If your organisation wants to keep up with the pace of change, the automated application compatibility analysis, remediation and conversion provided by Quest's ChangeBASE solution set makes getting your applications working on the latest platforms simple, fast and cost-efficient.

Thanks for reading!

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