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Building an EfficiEnt EntErprisEWith cliEnt and sErvEr virtualization   virtual cliEnts          fOR ThE EffIcIENT ENTERPR...
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Building an EfficiEnt EntErprisEWith cliEnt and sErvEr virtualization                                                     ...
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Virtual Clients for the Efficient Enterprise


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By shifting the focus from
physical systems to end-user digital identities, the Dell™ Flexible Computing framework helps simplify image management, hardware transitions, and security through central IT control of virtualized client devices.

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Transcript of "Virtual Clients for the Efficient Enterprise"

  1. 1. Building an EfficiEnt EntErprisEWith cliEnt and sErvEr virtualization virtual cliEnts fOR ThE EffIcIENT ENTERPRISE By Roberto Ayala and Juan Vega By shifting the focus from physical systems to end-user digital identities, the Dell™ Flexible Computing framework helps simplify image management, hardware transitions, and security through central IT control of virtualized client devices. Now, alternative desktop models enable enterprises to achieve measurable efficiency gains thanks to technology advances such as PC-over-IP technology, composite images, and client hypervisors. 8 DELL POWER SOLUTIONS | 2010 Issue 1 Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2010 Issue 1. Copyright © 2010 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Y ears of mergers, acquisitions, and ad hoc growth can saddle organizations with a hodgepodge of systems, soft- ware, and data that drain IT resources, undercut worker productivity, and compromise business agility. To succeed in today’s tricky economy, business and technology leaders are working together closely to wring out inefficiencies, reduce fixed operating expenses, and free up assets to invest in innovation. Traditional enterprise desktop environments are undergoing scrutiny because of growing costs for support and maintenance, compounded by the necessity for frequent security patches and software upgrades. At the same time, end-user desktops have become increasingly difficult to manage as the explosion of remote and mobile workers continues to transform the client computing landscape. These users require immediate access to sophisticated enterprise systems from a diverse range of client devices, while IT groups must contend with time-consuming client management tasks such as deploying and patching images, managing hardware transitions, and ensuring client security. Faced with these demands and today’s budget constraints, many organizations are exploring virtual client models. This approach helps simplify operations and get client assets under control through a fundamental change in perspective: instead of managing physical desktops and hardware devices in various locations, administrators enable access to data, settings, applica- tions, operating systems, and IT policies that are uniquely associ- ated with each user. This information, referred to as the user’s digital identity, resides in a central location on the network and allows individuals to access and work with their data from any supported device.Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2010 Issue 1. Copyright © 2010 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. DELL.cOM/PowerSolutions 9
  3. 3. Building an EfficiEnt EntErprisEWith cliEnt and sErvEr virtualization VMware® or Citrix® software, it gives users access to server-based virtualized desk- Centralized virtual desktops tops from a wide range of devices, includ- ing desktops, laptops, thin clients, and PDAs (see Figure 1). Storage and proces- sor functionality are offloaded to the Virtualization infrastructure server and virtualized, while the client device performs lightweight graphics pro- cessing and user interface functions. The Dell VRD approach utilizes an array of optimized hardware and software plat- forms designed to reduce the complexity of managing traditional physical desktops— including the Dell FX100 remote access device, Dell OptiPlex™ desktops or thin clients, Dell Latitude ™ laptops with Physical clients at multiple locations Latitude ON™ technology, Dell Precision™ workstations, 11th-generation Dell PowerEdge™ servers, and Dell EqualLogic™ PS Series Figure 1. Dell Virtual Remote Desktop model for centralized distribution of desktops to remote locations and Internet SCSI (iSCSI) storage area net- mobile users work (SAN) arrays. The 11th-generation PowerEdge server family has been opti- Unlike previous server-based comput- Designed for stationary environments mized for virtualized environments, includ- ing models, this framework takes advan- where manageability and security are critical, ing increased memory capacity, highly tage of client virtualization and desktop the Dell On-Demand Desktop Streaming™ integrated I/O, the advanced Intel® Xeon® streaming technologies to expand the (ODDS) solution optimizes the user com- processor 5500 series architecture, and scope of client functionality, flexibility, puting experience through local process- an integrated architecture. The EqualLogic and devices. Technology advances such ing. With ODDS, the user’s data resides PS Series provides a high-performance as Teradici PC-over-IP technology, com- on centralized servers that stream the iSCSI SAN built on fully redundant, hot- posite images, and client hypervisors are data to local, typically diskless comput- swappable hardware, and incorporates making virtual client computing an ers. Client storage resides on the server. automatic load balancing, snapshots, and increasingly attractive option. These Each diskless desktop boots from net- replication. strides enable organizations to boost pro- worked storage but retains processor By combining centralized control with ductivity and innovation by providing end and user interface functions. enhanced mobility, the Dell VRD model users with comprehensive functionality Delivering the capabilities of a high- enables organizations to simplify manage- and seamless mobile access, while simul- performance workstation in a one-to-one ment, strengthen security, and capitalize taneously helping IT groups to centralize, relationship between a local user and a on a growing number of complementary streamline, and simplify client manage- remote workstation, the Dell Dedicated supporting technologies. It can offer ment and security. Remote Workstation (DRW) solution numerous advantages for IT groups sup- allows physical workstations to be moved porting an increasingly distributed work- Evaluating dEll flExiBlE away from sensitive locations such as hos- force and looking to simplify client computing options pital operating rooms or securities trading management tasks. Storing and managing The Dell Flexible Computing framework floors. The entire physical workstation is virtualized desktops on the server helps offers a suite of products and services that located centrally, and the user accesses the avoid the need to provision and manage are designed to simplify management by display through a portal device. individual client devices. Basic manage- enabling a customized user experience Of the three, the Dell Virtual Remote ment tasks such as patches, upgrades, and with server-based control of digital identi- Desktop (VRD) solution is applicable to support can be handled quickly and effi- ties. Dell offers three service-backed client the widest range of usage scenarios—and ciently by centrally storing applications architectures that can be integrated into is particularly well suited to highly mobile and data. In addition, because virtual desk- existing infrastructure to centralize end- workers who may use a variety of devices tops are centrally located, they can be user resources. from different locations. By leveraging quickly backed up and recovered—helping 10 DELL POWER SOLUTIONS | 2010 Issue 1 Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2010 Issue 1. Copyright © 2010 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. to accelerate recovery time and enhance clients change. In a large organization with are located in the field, where mobilebusiness continuity. multiple ongoing refresh cycles, adminis- devices are more likely to be lost or stolen trators may need to constantly validate and and getting mobile users back up and run-addrEssing cliEnt revalidate images to help avoid unintended ning can be more time-consuming than formanagEmEnt challEngEs interactions or impact on applications. users closer to IT resources.The Dell VRD architecture is designed to The Dell VRD approach helps save By centralizing data on servers rathereffectively and efficiently address many of time and effort because the image does than spreading it across individual desk-the key client management challenges that not change when the underlying hardware tops, the Dell Flexible Computing frame-organizations face, including hardware changes, and the drivers for each client work helps guard against data loss fromtransition complexity, image management, are separate from the OS. Also, most unauthorized access, malicious attack,security, and regulatory compliance. applications can be virtualized, helping failed PC hard drives, negligent employee reduce dependencies on the base OS and behavior, and noncompliance with orga-Easing the impact of hardware allowing added flexibility. Using virtualiza- nizational or regulatory policies. Using arefresh cycles tion to decouple images from hardware Dell Flexible Computing Solution with vir-Client hardware changes can be difficult helps to simplify the way an organization tual desktops, IT staff can manage theon both end users and IT groups: user pro- manages images, streamline the process remote client data and context internally,ductivity typically suffers until the replace- of refreshing the computing environment, helping enhance security and ensure regu-ment system can be personalized, and and reduce the IT workload associated latory compliance. User productivity ben-help-desk support can be a drain on IT with change management. efits because when a device is lost, IT staffresources. An immediate advantage of can quickly provision replacement hard-moving to the Dell VRD approach is that helping ensure data security ware with the same information.the infrastructure can be upgraded inde- and regulatory compliancependently of the client image, helping Every device that stores information also BolstEring thE virtualminimize user disruption. Users can still carries the risk of loss, theft, and corruption dEsktop approachbenefit from hardware performance of critical data. Organizations also face Several key technology advances—includ-enhancements, but the image and familiar increasingly stringent regulatory require- ing enhanced communications protocols,computing experience remain the same. ments related to data security. These processors, and management tools—help This approach can also benefit OS requirements can be particularly difficult to reinforce the Dell VRD approach to clienttransitions, including migrations to the address when the client data and context management. For example, recentMicrosoft® Windows® 7 OS. Updates canbe applied easily in the data center, and The PC-over-IP dIfferenCeusers can be migrated without forcedchanges to their desktop hardware orinterruptions in their workflow. If a prob- The Dell Flexible Computing framework supports Teradici PC-over-IP technology, which enables a high-lem does occur, IT organizations can quality virtual client experience. The PC-over-IP display protocol is designed specifically to deliver virtualpromptly reset users to their previous OS desktops efficiently over the network by optimizing high-latency and low-bandwidth connections. Keyenvironments until the problem is resolved. advantages include the following:The centralized environment allows alter-native application delivery methods to be ■■ Consistent, high-performance end-user desktop delivery over local area networks (LANs) orcreated for applications that may still wide area networks (WANs)require a legacy OS to run. ■■ Virtual printing, multimedia redirect, USB redirect, and multi-monitor configuration supportstreamlining image management ■■ Desktop access from a wide array of devices, providing increased availabilityMany IT groups struggle with image man- ■■ A single interface to connect to multiple resources for enhanced user productivityagement when traditional PCs are refreshed. ■■ VMware ThinApp application virtualization enabling agentless deployment, which allows usersAn administrator must open up the OS, to install applications on locked-down PCsinsert new drivers, close the OS, and testto make sure that the drivers have not The PC-over-IP protocol compresses, encrypts, and encodes the entire virtual desktop at the databroken an application requirement or a center and transmits it “pixels only” across a standard IP network to enabled client devices.linkage. IT staff must also manage interac-tions among applications as images andReprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2010 Issue 1. Copyright © 2010 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. DELL.cOM/PowerSolutions 11
  5. 5. Building an EfficiEnt EntErprisEWith cliEnt and sErvEr virtualization enhanced processor architectures such as experience—with responsive application Building composite images the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series in performance, smooth video, and quick for simplified management 11th-generation PowerEdge servers can downloads—is essential to the success of Virtualization software partners are enhanc- help boost user density on physical servers, a virtual desktop implementation. ing the Dell VRD approach by incorporating which can often drive down the overall A significant advance in this area is the composite image capability. To create a cost of virtualized desktops. Technologies introduction of Teradici PC-over-IP technol- composite image, Dell recommends sepa- such as the Teradici PC-over-IP protocol, ogy as a virtual remote desktop protocol rating the base OS from the applications, composite images, and client hypervisors, (see the “The PC-over-IP difference” side- user profile, and data by using application- meanwhile, can help organizations meet bar in this article). PC-over-IP technology and profile-virtualization tools such as those the challenges of delivering client desktops contributes to a successful deployment by found in VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop™ wherever and whenever users need it. offering a cost-effective, scalable approach virtualization software. Composite imag- to client computing that resembles the tra- ing dynamically builds user images from Boosting productivity ditional desktop computing model. For individually managed OS, application, user with pc-over-ip technology example, when users move a mouse or type profile, and data components, allowing IT To keep workers productive and avoid an entry into a search bar, they can see the staff to manage the components sepa- unnecessary support costs, the virtual results immediately. The protocol also sup- rately while still providing employees with desktop infrastructure should deliver a ports rich functionality like streaming video a familiar, individualized desktop environ- familiar, seamless experience that meets and high-resolution graphics and works well ment. VMware View 4 with View Composer or exceeds the performance users have over both local area networks (LANs) and enables building out the composite image come to expect from a physical PC. wide area networks (WANs), using band- by virtualizing the OS away from the applica- Regardless of usage scenario or client width similar to what is consumed across a tions and user settings; Citrix XenDesktop 4 device, delivering a high-quality user normal cable modem. desktop virtualization software with the Citrix Provisioning Server™ for Desktops stack provides composite image capabili- KICK busIness InnovaTIon ties as well. InTo hIgh gear wITh an using client hypervisors to run effICIenT enTerPrIse virtual clients unconnected Client hypervisors, announced by several Scaling back IT costs can be critical for any organization, but the real secret lies in vendors (including VMware and Citrix) and how to increase efficiency while still enabling innovation. The reality is that expected to be available in 2010, can further as much as 80 percent of IT budgets are consumed by simply maintain- enhance the use and management of virtual ing baseline services. But organizations can maximize effi- images. The client hypervisor is designed to ciency gains with a three-pronged approach that is the deploy virtual images onto physical hard- essence of the Dell Efficient Enterprise model: ware and then run the PCs disconnected standardize, simplify, and automate. from the network. To run a virtual client The first step is to standardize on today, the device must be connected to the network, and performance depends accepted industry standards, which drives largely on the strength and speed of the out the costs and inefficiency of maintaining network connection. With a client hyper- legacy proprietary architectures. The next step visor, users can check out a virtual image is to simplify the environment—solutions like onto a laptop, then disconnect and use the client and server virtualization enable organizations to hardware and image in the field even reduce complexity. Finally, organizations must automate common where no connectivity is available. tasks. Using tools to reduce manual interaction with the IT infrastructure In this way, client hypervisors can help boosts productivity and frees up valuable resources for innovation. organizations to maintain user productivity Standardizing IT infrastructures, simplifying technology and processes, and significantly increase IT efficiency. The and automating services allow IT leaders to put their organizations on the path image remains present in the data center, is managed as a single composite image, to efficiency and drive innovation. For more information, visit DELL.COM/Efficiency. and is built dynamically for individual users during checkout. The build process applies 12 DELL POWER SOLUTIONS | 2010 Issue 1 Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2010 Issue 1. Copyright © 2010 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. crEating a flExiBlE Cluster 1 Cluster 2 framEWork for EfficiEnt Dell EqualLogic cliEnt computing PS Series iSCSI SAN In many ways, the ultimate benchmark for technology leaders is how cost-effectively the IT infrastructure advances core busi- ness and organizational objectives. The Dell Flexible Computing framework enhances enterprise efficiency by helping organizations to standardize, simplify, and automate the management of virtual cli- ents (see the “Kick business innovation into Dell PowerEdge servers Dell PowerEdge servers high gear with an Efficient Enterprise” side- bar in this article). By shifting the focus from physical systems to centralized ITFigure 2. Example architecture for a virtual desktop environment based on the Dell Flexible Computing framework control of end-user digital identities, orga- nizations can simplify hardware transitions,the appropriate drivers and user settings organizational objectives, and then image management, data security, andfor each virtual client, but those settings develop a virtual client deployment regulatory compliance, while extendingare unmanaged blocks that do not require strategy that is flexible enough to adapt product life cycles and significantly enhanc-administrator time and effort. IT staff can to current environments and structured ing workforce productivity.manage and run the same image on a to scale to future requirements.server, desktop, or laptop regardless of Dell Flexible Computing services match Roberto Ayala is a solutions marketinghardware differences. individualized profiles to Dell hardware manager for the Dell Business Client Group, Client hypervisor technology also configurations, helping organizations meet where he develops Flexible Computing out-enables remote users to access local stor- diverse end-user computing requirements. bound messaging.age as they would with a traditional PC, and The Dell End User Profiling Assessmentto roam freely even as they enjoy familiar service helps define user groups and work- Juan Vega is a product strategist for thedesktop operating systems and environ- loads before implementing a virtual desk- Dell Software and Solutions Group, wherements. When users reconnect to the net- top infrastructure. The profiling utilizes he is a leader in developing client virtualiza-work, their changes are copied to the server, online surveys and remote auditing of end- tion strategies.and the integrity of the data is preserved. user devices to gather data. Dell consul- tants can then adapt reference architecturesEasing thE transition to the specific environment and assist into virtual dEsktops sizing the solution based on desktop con-Many organizations are taking advan- figurations and user workload profiles.tage of Dell implementation services and Understanding how different applica-standards-based reference architectures tions affect physical processor, memory,(see Figure 2) to facilitate their transition network, and storage resources is key to Quick linksto virtual client desktops and begin gain- sizing the virtual desktop servers and stor-ing the myriad benefits they can provide.1 age. Other factors to consider includeDell Infrastructure Consulting Services storage and network virtualization over- Dell Efficient Enterprise: DELL.COM/Efficiencyoffers end-to-end Dell Flexible Computing head, remote connection overhead, andinfrastructure with a single point of con- sufficient headroom allowance to account Dell virtual clients: DELL.COM/VirtualClientstact for hardware, software, services, and for usage spikes at busy times of theongoing support. Dell consultants can workday. As a final step, Dell consultants Dell virtualization solutions: DELL.COM/Virtualizationwork with an organization to gain an can deploy the configuration in a testunderstanding of specific business and environment to validate performance. Dell Infrastructure consulting Services:1 To read about how Montgomery Independent School District and the Dutch province of South Holland have benefited from Dell Flexible Computing DELL.COM/ICS Solutions and Dell consulting expertise, see “Streaming Education,” in Dell Power Solutions, 2010 Issue 1, DELL.COM/Downloads/Global/Power/ ps1q10-20100384-MISD.pdf; and “A Thinner, Greener Solution,” in Dell Power Solutions, 2010 Issue 1, DELL.COM/Downloads/Global/Power/ps1q10- 20100385-Holland.pdf.Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2010 Issue 1. Copyright © 2010 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. DELL.cOM/PowerSolutions 13