Client Virtualization: What Are My Options?


Published on

Client virtualization is a hot topic these days.
Many IT organizations are taking a look at
client virtualization and considering a proof
of concept or pilot project as an option to
move away from the typical rich client. With
that comes a lot of questions regarding
which direction to go in: Do you go with a
true thin, or do you stay with a rich client?
What options do you have with the rich
client? I am going to address some of the
options that we have today, taking you down
the path of pros and cons for both, and then
taking a look at typical usage models.

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Client Virtualization: What Are My Options?

  1. 1. An IT Briefing produced by Client Virtualization: What Are My Options? Sponsored By:
  2. 2. Client Virtualization: What Are My Options? By Richard Nockels, Intel Client Marketing Manager © 2010 Dell/Intel Richard Nockels is Intel Client Marketing Manager. In his ten years at Intel, Richard has focused primarily on marketing efforts around the BIOS business PC segment. These efforts include the creation of marketing messages for Intel’s vPro technology and streamed computing strategies, supporting end customer sales engagements, and training Intel’s field sales teams on the wide variety of Intel products supporting the business PC marketplace. This IT Briefing is based on a Dell/Intel/TechTarget Webcast, “Client Virtualization: The What Are My Options?” This TechTarget IT Briefing covers the following topics: • Spectrum of Compute Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 • What Makes Sense to Centralize? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 • Dynamic Virtual Client Advantage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 • Application Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 • OS Streaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 • Virtual Containers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 • Virtual Container Usage Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 • Common Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Copyright © 2010 Dell/VMware. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, adaptation, or translation without prior written permission is prohib- ited, except as allowed under the copyright laws. About TechTarget IT Briefings TechTarget IT Briefings provide the pertinent information that senior-level IT executives and managers need to make educated purchasing decisions. Originating from our industry-leading Vendor Connection and Expert Webcasts, TechTarget-produced IT Briefings turn Webcasts into easy-to-follow technical briefs, similar to white papers. Design Copyright © 2004–2010 TechTarget. All Rights Reserved. For inquiries and additional information, contact: Mark Lewis Director of Product Management
  3. 3. Client Virtualization: What Are My Options? Client virtualization is a hot topic these days. make sure customers that we talk to are Many IT organizations are taking a look at getting the right solution for their use case.” client virtualization and considering a proof of concept or pilot project as an option to We’ve come up with the Spectrum of move away from the typical rich client. With Compute Models, as illustrated in Figure 1. that comes a lot of questions regarding On the left of the spectrum we start with a which direction to go in: Do you go with a server compute model with typical terminal true thin, or do you stay with a rich client? servers and VDI type applications, as well as What options do you have with the rich blade PC options. These aren’t mobile client? I am going to address some of the solutions; they are very server centric as far options that we have today, taking you down as compute models go. As we move to the the path of pros and cons for both, and then right, we have client computing where there taking a look at typical usage models. is a CPU at the desktop, remote OS boot, and OS streaming, and one-to-one blade PCs. Spectrum of Compute Models Then as we move farther to the right, we see the models that work for a mobile solution: About three or four years ago a lot of our IT application streaming/virtualization, typical customers wanted input from Intel regarding rich client or fat clients, and then virtual the direction our products were going in. containers. They wanted to know if we had special thin client products and what was our IT What Makes Sense to Centralize? perspective. Initially we thought this did not match with Intel’s move, because even So when does it really make sense to though we sell a lot of server products at the centralize? We hear a lot of people say, “We backend, we are taking away from our have a lot of things going on, we have a lot of desktop clients as well, so our business people working on desktop support, when model has moved and taking away the use of does it really makes sense to centralize?” the desktop. So initially we didn’t think the What we have typically found is that when we thin client was a good thing, but as it grew, want to have the administration of critical we changed our positioning. There are a lot data, managing current data, and images, of different models; it’s not a one size fits all, that it makes sense. Does it make sense to and we took the approach of, “Hey, let’s centralize huge graphics? That’s where a lot present all the different type of models to of issues and concerns come up like the expectations of users, whether you have the 1 IT Briefing: Client Virtualization: What Are My Options? Sponsored By:
  4. 4. Spectrum of Compute Models Client Server Comp ute, Client Compute, Compute, Centralized Data Centralized or Local Centralized Storage Data Storage Data Storage Mobile Capable Virtual Di stributed, Containers Ri ch Client Off-Network Option Ap p Streaming / Virtual ization Remote OS Boot Web- Network Based y OS Connected Only Ap ps Streami ng Virtual Termi nal Desktop 1:Man y y y 1:1 Blade PC Services Blad e PC In frastructure 3 Figure 1 Smart Investment: Invest in a Flexible Computing Foundation With Built-In Security and Virtualization Intel® vPro™ Technology PCs ar e the virtualization platfor m of choice CLIENTS IT VIRTUALIZED OP ERATING MASTE R AP PLICAT IO N SY ST EM MASTE R OS AP PLICAT IO NS APP LICATION VIRTUAL WITH ALL USE R STRE AMING WIT H ALL UPDATE S UP DATE S E NVIRONME NT OR REM OTE & P ATCHES VIR TUALIZATION L R AYE & P ATCHES O PE RAT ING TRADITIONA L LOCAL OS OR OR OR SYSTE M OR M ANAGEME NT LOCAL OS BOOT VIRT IZATION L A UAL YER CONSOLE STREAM ING SE RV ER TRA DITIONA L A PPLICATION CLIENT-S IDE OS IMAGE PC S TREA MING an d VIRTUAL S TREA MING HW-level virtualizat ion support for bett er I/O and V IRTUALIZA TION CONTAINERS graphics, plus measured boot of virtual image A lternati ve cli ent compute model s Leading ISV Support: Citrix*, Microsoft *, Symantec*, VMWare* With the all new 2010 Intel® Core™ vPro™ processor family, be ready for today and prepared for tomorrow Figure 2 2 IT Briefing: Client Virtualization: What Are My Options? Sponsored By:
  5. 5. right models, and whether they can handle with off-network mobile options as well. huge graphics. A lot of it comes down to Here at Intel, from our own IT perspective, graphics as well as client experience. You we are about 80-to-90 percent mobile. So want to make sure that the user doesn’t have when we were looking at these options, we a negative experience. had to choose a solution that matched our end user mobile-to-mobile model. Dynamic Virtual Client Advantage Figure 2 illustrates the different types of At Intel we came up with the term Dynamic solutions available relative to Dynamic Virtual Client to refer to all the different types Virtual Client. Working from a typical back- of solution sets that are offered in the end streaming server, we have the option to marketplace. Taking a look at the types of go to a traditional PC, which is what most solutions out there, from an IT manager’s people are operating on today, moving into perspective, they want to be able to centralize an application streaming, to client side data, manage images, low data center build virtual containers, and then the OS imaging out – they don’t want to have to add huge and streaming of the remote OS. ISV amounts of servers – and a broad support is coming from Citrix, Microsoft, applicability. From a user’s perspective, they Symantec, and VMware. All of those big still want the same application performance Figure 3 3 IT Briefing: Client Virtualization: What Are My Options? Sponsored By:
  6. 6. players have a piece of the pie, offering better application performance and a various products and industry support. reduction in application conflicts because you don’t have registry conflicts. You also Application Virtualization benefit from low data center costs and software build out. There are, however, A lot of readers are probably already using limitations. You still have client side data, application virtualization in some form where which can pose a security risk. Also, IT must software is streamed down to PCs at the still manage the local OS since it is still application virtualization layer. We do that resident on each individual client. here at Intel for certain applications that are back on the backend server. Application OS Streaming virtualization is great for application-level delivery and off-network mobility. It makes OS streaming is similar to application for a great mobile solution because the virtualization, but now the application and application is passed down and cached on OS are streaming down from your server your laptops. When the laptop connects back hardware. OS streaming is appropriate for to the server, it can check to see if it has the image-level delivery and persistent most recent version of the application and connections. This is not preferred and won’t perform an update if necessary. The necessarily work for a mobile connection, advantages of application virtualization are because the OS streams down at every Figure 4 4 IT Briefing: Client Virtualization: What Are My Options? Sponsored By:
  7. 7. Figure 5 Virtual Containers connection. It’s not actually cached on your PC. The advantages of OS streaming are Virtual containers are a big one that is going similar to those of application streaming. to be the launching in the May timeframe You get the application performance and the from Citrix called Xen Client. This is a great PC-like experience, the same experience that option for managing and securing your data you’re used to from a rich client. You have a and your OSes. There are a lot of use cases low data center build out as well. It doesn’t that you can take advantage of. It is similar require a huge infrastructure with additional to OS streaming, except for the place servers, which can lead to cooling and power differentiation. Your images, applications, delivery issues. As far as the limitations go, and OS are streamed down to the local client you still have client side data. It is not hardware, and that will reside on a client remotely stored. Also, you get network VMM or what we call a Type I Hypervisor. bursts during boot. The most needed OS You can see in Figure 5 that it runs multiple information is streamed down first, but you OSes on the same machine, operating at a will have network bursts and if you have a lot different virtual container. The advantage of workers connect simultaneously, you will and differentiation with virtual containers is see an initial network slow down. Once all that your operating system runs on a Type 1 that is streamed, everything will be fully back Hypervisor or client VMM. This enables you to normal. 5 IT Briefing: Client Virtualization: What Are My Options? Sponsored By:
  8. 8. to do off-network mobility, because you can virtual machine B might have a restricted cache the OS and the full image virtual security level so that you don’t get any container. Every time it checks back in to conflict between the two. You can see virtual make sure that the virtual container on the machine B as a streaming OS and doing the client matches what’s on the server. We don’t applications. Again vPro technologies make have to do anything. It is full off-network sure that those virtual scanners don’t conflict mobility. However, it is in the early stages of with each other, and don’t conflict the data development. Advantages of the technology clusters and the memory between them as include application performance, low data well. center build out, and multiple images per client. The limitations are the immaturity of The third use case is the consumerization of the technology and tools, and the complexity enterprise PCs, or bring your own PC to work. of the current solution. If you run a Xen Client virtualization container software package you can bring in Virtual Container Usage Examples any piece of hardware because that Type 1 Hypervisor takes care of the integration One of the neat things that virtual containers between your OS, applications, and the allow you to do is run legacy applications hardware. You don’t have to create separate after migrating to a new OS. For example, images for these pieces of hardware. For you may be migrating to Windows 7 but still instance, if I bring in a Dell, HP, Lenova, or have applications that run on Windows Vista Apple, I can stream down to that container or XP. With virtual containers, you can have with the OS and the application, and it will each OS in an individual virtual container and run on the hardware without having to use a run their respective applications. The Intel branded image. The vPro technologies technology behind the scenes is making underneath is what makes it possible to bring these super containers virtual and don’t your own PC to work without running into a speak with each other. Those two bunch of issues. technologies are VPX and VPB technologies, which are part of the Intel vPro platform. So When we were first investigating this if you have vPro, then you have that Intel technology at Intel, we had to limit the technology that makes this virtual container number of hardware configurations that we work. could allow for our employees. This prevented us from taking advantage of the Another use case popular in the financial, flexibility of bringing in your own PC to work. government, educational, and medical Now with the virtual container from Xen professions or sectors, is the ability to run Client based on our vPro technology, it is different levels of standards based on independent. We can provide employees security levels. For example, virtual machine with an allowance with which to buy their A might have a standard security level and 6 IT Briefing: Client Virtualization: What Are My Options? Sponsored By:
  9. 9. own laptops, and we are able to run them what is business-related and should be without any conflicts. backed up, and what is not. So we back up all of our data, and it is time consuming. At Intel we give full administrative rights to However, with a virtual container model, all our employees. We are able to download backups can be limited to data associated any software we want. The problem with that with the business. is that sometimes we run into conflicts with the kind of software that people download The last use case I would like to bring up is with their business applications. With this the option to create one side of that partition, model we can give each employee a business one side of your PC, as a virtual appliance virtual container and a personal virtual that can operate as a firewall, VPN, or host container, so the two don’t conflict. If I have intrusion prevention system. You can have an software applications on my personal side application built into one of the partitions. that are causing issues with my PC, I am still The flexibility allows you to set it up based on able to perform my business functionality on the Xen Client that you are working on. the business side. There is a huge advantage in allowing users, who are used to running all In conclusion, I’d like to reiterate that there these types of applications at home and want are several ways you can approach to still do that at work, to do so without virtualization, depending on your needs. I running into a conflict. encourage you to take a look at our Spectrum of Compute Models to identify the solution One of the other advantages of this model that best suits your business needs. has to do with backups. At Intel we back up all of our data on a regular basis via the network. The problem is, IT cannot differentiate between file types to determine 7 IT Briefing: Client Virtualization: What Are My Options? Sponsored By:
  10. 10. Common Questions Question: For OS streaming, how do we Question: How does vPro tie into this solu- manage the high network costs of streaming tion? in multi GB OS for the client’s device? Answer: The Intel virtualization technology is Answer: A lot of that depends on the type of VTX and VTT. VTX maintains however many OS streaming solution you use and the type virtual containers you have and ensures they of network setup that you have. My recom- don’t speak to each other. It is that virtual- mendation is to take a look at a proof of con- ization technology that keeps the privacy on. cept with a good chunk of users. Initially VTT allows the user to have the same graphic pilot with 100 users, then maybe migrate up performance that they would have as if it was to 1,000 to see how you will manage that. running natively. Without that VTT technol- Also work closely with the software vendor, ogy, your graphics would not be near where because each solution has its own backbone they should be. And then we should also talk and structure, and software code. We have about the vPro Trusted Execution Technology done it by going to the proof of concept, (TXT), which ensures that every time each piloting it, and working closely with the soft- one of those containers boots up that there is ware vendor. Our viewpoint at Intel is we not some rootkit or other malware happening have certain groups that do application underneath. TXT makes sure you have a streaming, OS streaming, such as the train- trusted platform every time you log in. ing room, and there are normal users who are typical virtual clients. About TechTarget We deliver the information IT pros need to be successful. TechTarget publishes targeted media that address your need for information and resources. Our network of technology-specific Web sites gives enterprise IT professionals access to experts and peers, original content, and links to relevant information from across the Internet. Our events give you access to vendor-neutral, expert commentary and advice on the issues and challenges you face daily. Our magazines give you in-depth analysis and guidance on the critical IT decisions you face. Practical technical advice and expert insights are distributed via specialized e-Newsletters, video TechTalks, podcasts, blogs, and wikis. Our Webcasts allow IT pros to ask questions of technical experts. What makes TechTarget unique? TechTarget is squarely focused on the enterprise IT space. Our team of editors and network of industry experts provide the richest, most relevant content to IT professionals. We leverage the immediacy of the Web, the networking and face-to-face opportunities of events, the expert interaction of Webcasts, the laser-targeting of e-Newsletters, and the richness and depth of our print media to cre- ate compelling and actionable information for enterprise IT professionals. 8 IT Briefing: Client Virtualization: What Are My Options? Sponsored By: