VVIRTUALIZATION ISION An interactive eZine from IDG Enterprise Virtualization 2.0: The Desktop Revolution 2 Drive Out Complexity with Desktop Virtualization 3 Desktop Virtualization: The New IT Rock Star 7 Building the Future of IT IDG Enterprise Custom Solutions Group COMPUTERWORLD
V VIRTUALIZATION ISIONDrive out complexity with desktop virtualizationBy Mark Templeton, CEO, Citrix Systems, Inc. I DG Research Services recently conducted a We’re also making it easy for companies to get study that clearly illustrates how IT professionals started with desktop virtualization. We realize there is are suffering from the complexity they are forced a wide array of exciting desktop delivery technologies to deal with day to day. Of the more than 200 IT on the market today, ranging from VDI and shared pros surveyed, nearly three-quarters said their virtual desktops that run in a data center to desktopIT environments have become so complex that it’s limit- streaming and client-side hypervisors that run at eaching their ability to achieve strategic business goals. endpoint. Some of these technologies are great for I can’t say I was terribly surprised by that finding, task workers but not for power users. Others workbecause it mirrors what we at Citrix hear every day great for office workers but not mobile users. Figuringfrom CIOs. It’s why we’ve focused our entire company out which virtualization model is right for your needson helping customers sim-plify computing by deliveringIT as an on-demand service. The Magic of XenDesktop One technology that “There is no one desktop virtualization technology that will addresscan dramatically reduce ITcomplexity is desktop virtual- all your unique users. But now, for the first time, there is one product Slide Show – New IDGization. Instead of making IT that encompasses every major desktop virtualization technology.”manage, secure, patch and Virtualization Researchupdate thousands of unique desktops individually, solu- can be confusing in its own right. How does your progress in desktoptions such as Citrix XenDesktop enable it to manage That’s why we recently introduced XenDesktop 4, an and server virtualization stack upeverything centrally. The time required to get new users entirely new version of our flagship desktop solution. against a research sample of moreup and running is reduced from days to minutes. Moves, The magic of XenDesktop 4 is our unique FlexCast™ than 200 IT managers? Click hereadds and changes are a snap. Updating and patch- technology, which gives IT the ability to deliver any and check out the results.ing are simple. And security is far tighter and easier to type of desktop virtualization technology to any user,control. on any device. There is no one desktop virtualization Desktop virtualization also simplifies network con- technology that will address all your unique users. Butnectivity for employees, making them more productive. now, for the first time, there is one product that encom-With virtual desktops, users are no longer tethered passes every major desktop virtualization technology.to a specific device. They simply grab whatever PC, As you can tell, I’m excited about XenDesktop. I be-Mac, laptop or smartphone is most convenient and lieve that it has the power to transform desktop comput-get instant, secure access to their fully personalized ing, simplifying life for thousands of overworked IT prosWindows desktop and everything on it. As long as that and saving organizations a lot of money in the process.virtual desktop is powered by our Citrix HDX technol- A groundbreaking new solution that can help youogy, they can be sure they’re getting a high-definition deliver desktops and applications as rich, personal-experience every time, even with voice, video and ized, on-demand services: That’s the power of Citrixmultimedia applications. XenDesktop. Read on to learn more. • > View slideshow < 2 > VIrTualIzaTION 2.0: ThE DESkTOp rEVOluTION
V VIRTUALIZATION ISION Fig. 1. Time consumed annually by routine PC management tasks On average, approximately how many IT person-hours per client access device are consumed annually for routineDesktop Virtualization: The New IT rock Star management and maintenance tasks such as device configuration, software installs, upgrades, patches, etc.?Simplified IT environments. lower costs. Increased agility. Better performance. (Percentage of respondents, N=480)ubiquitous access. There’s a lot to like about desktop virtualization technology.By paul DesmondT wo years ago, Scottsdale Community College It’s no wonder, then, that in a survey of more than 200 managed its 2,000 college-owned desktops IT decision-makers by IDG Research Services, about much like most corporations, with a mix of utili- three-quarters of the respondents said their IT environ- ties for pushing out patches and other updates, ments were too complex and costly (see Figure 2), limit- and a staff of four IT experts to troubleshoot ing their ability to deploy IT resources to address theirindividual problems. Those problems abounded, given organization’s strategic aims and goals. Perhaps worse,the mix of machines with different versions of applica- 63 percent said IT complexity was “hindering innovation”tions, uncertain patch status and changes individual users at their company (see Figure 3 on page 5). 10% Don’t knowmade, from downloading utilities to tweaking settings. “We have 561 machines, and we’re supposed to be 8% More than 24 hours per device “Desktop management was time-consuming and not 100 100 percent patched,” reported an IT manager at an 6% 19–25 hours per device 18% 13–18 hours per devicepercent accurate in terms of delivering patches and updates,” automobile assembly plant in Chicago, who asked not to 35% 6–12 hours per devicesays Dustin Fennell, CIO for the Scottsdale, Ariz., college. be named. “But patching is a nightmare. It’s extremely 24% Less than 6 hours per device Today, the college is handling more applications with difficult to even locate some of these machines. Peoplefewer resources. It has reallocated budget for one desk- move around, and we lose track of their location.” SOURCE: Enterprise Strategy Group 2008top administrator to a more strategic IT position, and Simultaneously, end users continually report desktopwhen another soon transfers to a different department, problems, the result of myriad issues, including viruseshe won’t be replaced. The difference? Desktop virtual- and corrupted operating systems, he says. “We have all Fig. 2. Has IT infrastructure grownization technology has significantly eased the IT support these IT people running around addressing individuals’ too complex and costly?burden while improving application access and perfor- desktops—it’s a huge part of the support load,” the ITmance for students, faculty and staff. manager says. “I don’t understand why we’re not pursu- Please rate your agreement with the state- ing desktop virtualization.” ment: “IT infrastructure has grown tooA Familiar Story complex and costly.” (214 respondents)Far too many IT shops know the kind of complexity A Different DesktopFennell describes, much of it due to the sheer number of According to users and analysts, desktop virtualization Top 2 boxes = 77%applications they must support. In a survey of 480 North can indeed help reduce IT complexity and deliver vari-American and Western European IT decision-makers ous benefits along the way, including simplified manage-by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), almost half of the ment; ubiquitous application access; and a more respon- 19% 58% 15% 6% 2%respondents supported 20 to 100 applications, with sive, agile IT group.another 24 percent supporting more than 100 applica- For starters, by hosting desktop images and appli- Strongly agreetions. Therefore, nearly one-third of the respondents said cations on centralized servers, desktop virtualization Somewhat agreethey spent more than 12 hours of IT staff time per client dramatically reduces the number of operating system, Neither agree nor disagreedevice annually on routine maintenance chores, with application and desktop images IT has to manage. Somewhat disagreesome devoting double that time (see Figure 1). Scottsdale Community College now centrally hosts Strongly disagree < 3 > SOURCE: IDG Research VIrTualIzaTION 2.0: ThE DESkTOp rEVOluTION
V VIRTUALIZATION ISIONsome 100 applications, using Citrix virtualization inherent business continuity and disaster recov- important, given the changing nature of the work-technology, and consequently no longer has to ery plan, because it enables users to access their force, with younger workers who expect to be ableworry about issues that used to routinely plague applications and desktops from anywhere. “Users to use the device of their choosing, Lambert says.end users. “Maybe an update failed or somebody can work from home if they can’t get to the “Because it helps enable the concept of bring-didn’t get a download, so people have different office,” says Natalie Lambert, principal analyst ing your own PC, desktop virtualization is goingversions of applications and different patch levels,” with Forrester Research, Inc. “If a user spills coffee to be a huge help for retention,” she says. As anFennell says. “Then you add the applications and on a device, nothing is lost, because there’s no attendee at a recent event mentioned to her, “Ifnefarious content employees may download—little data on client devices—it’s all in the data center.” this is a competitive advantage today, it becomesutilities that conflict with other apps, patches we Hosting all data centrally also improves security, a requirement tomorrow.”haven’t tested, changes they make in Control because loss or theft of a laptop won’t compromise Giving end users more computing devicePanel. Rather than managing one instance of an corporate data, if a proper authentication mecha- choice meshes with another benefit of desktopapplication, as in the Citrix environment, we may nism exists. And once IT is alerted to the loss, it virtualization: improved productivity. When usersbe managing it 2,000 times.” can simply shut down access from that laptop. are more comfortable with their client device, The school can also deliver new applications “Improving security is what helps companies they get more done. What’s more, end usersfar more quickly by hosting them on a virtual make the business case for desktop virtualiza- typically suffer less downtime when applicationsapplication server and testing with a few users. tion,” says Sumit Dhawan, vice president of prod- and desktops are hosted and managed centrallyOnce an application is deemed ready for produc- uct marketing for XenDesktop at Citrix Systems, by IT. And users enjoy a vastly increased level oftion, it can be immediately published for all to Inc. “It’s No.1 in some industries and a great self-service, with IT able to automate the processuse—no need to distribute it to 2,000 desktops, benefit in others.” of distributing applications to users on demand,with the inevitable handful of failed installations. Desktop virtualization also means that users much as users download applications, music and With all applications, desktops and data hosted can employ any device, because the technology videos from the Web for personal use.centrally, desktop virtualization also offers an is operating-system-agnostic. That’s especially “People are looking at the desktop from anCitrix assures the best end, processor-intensive applications such as 3-D modeling. update and data is backed up.virtualization fit • TaSk wORkERS. when many users need to share the same application, it makes sense to host that application XenDesktop 4 includes an enhanced version of Citrix HDX technology, providing a quality user experience, regardless on a centralized server, where as many as 500 desktops can of users’ location and devices. “Enhanced HDX as part ofNo single desktop virtualization technology can address all access one application image. XenDesktop 4 offers rich multimedia, rich Voice over IPuser requirements in an enterprise, so your chosen product and rich 3-D application access while consuming one-tenthshould be flexible enough to meet all your needs. • DESkTOP STREaMING. Streaming can extend the life of the bandwidth of any competing technology,” says Sumit That’s why Citrix recently introduced XenDesktop 4 with powerful PCs already in the field, while reducing the burden Dhawan, vice president of product marketing for XenDesktopFlexCast™ delivery technology. FlexCast enables a single on servers. The application is streamed to the desktop at Citrix Systems, Inc.product—XenDesktop 4—to support different use cases for when the user logs on and executes on the endpoint, not Citrix is offering existing Xenapp customers an attractivedesktop virtualization: the server. upgrade option to XenDesktop. For a $15 premium over the regular upgrade price, users get two XenDesktop licenses for • OFFICE aND REMOTE wORkERS. Virtual desktop infra- • MObILE wORkERS. with forthcoming Citrix XenClient every Xenapp license they own, to make it simple and cost- structure (VDI) and blade-PC-based desktops, where all technology incorporated into XenDesktop, users can load effective for organizations to deliver the benefits of XenDesk- desktop images, applications and data reside and execute corporate applications onto a virtual machine on their top to all their end users. on centralized servers, are well suited for office workers and laptop, segregating business and personal applications and as Dhawan puts it, “XenDesktop 4 delivers the best desk- remote workers who may need access to their desktops from data. Users can work offline, and when they connect back top for every user and the best-possible user experience, anywhere. The blade model is especially beneficial for high- to the corporate network, all applications automatically with the best application management built in. < 4 > VIrTualIzaTION 2.0: ThE DESkTOp rEVOluTION
V VIRTUALIZATION ISION Fig. 3. Is the compexity of IT infrastructue hindering innovation? Do you believe that the complexity of maintaining and managing your organization’s IT infrastructure isoperational perspective, including the amount of time the school opened a new building in July, IT was given hindering innovation at your company?and the number of full-time employees they have dedi- budget for an additional computer technician to support it. (214 respondents)cated to managing desktops and how inefficient it’s “I didn’t fill that position, because the virtual environmentbecome,” says Mark Bowker, senior analyst with Enter- allows us to support the new building with the same staff,”prise Strategy Group. “It’s now business-driven.” Fennel says. “I was able to take that line item and use it Consider a hospital scenario, Bowker says, where to fill a more strategic need,” namely an additional Webdoctors complain that it takes two minutes to log onto a developer to support the school’s growing Web presence.PC inside a patient’s room. “I’ve seen IT looking at differ- Customers need to assess all the various benefitsent options and using desktop virtualization to address desktop virtualization provides when assessing the cost Net “Yes”log-on time,” he says, with a user ID/password providing of an implementation, Dhawan says. If you merely want Responses 63%access to all applications doctors need. “Ultimately, doc- to reduce the cost of your end user hardware, you maytors can put more billable hours back into the business.” find it’s a wash. “We ask customers to look further and Scottsdale students and faculty also exemplify the power see the reduced costs in management and responsive- 16% Yes, significantly 46% Yes, somewhatof classic virtual desktop infrastructure technology. Scotts- ness to user requirements,” he says. “That’s where 3% Not suredale uses Citrix XenDesktop for applications demanding desktop virtualization really helps.” 35% Nohigh performance, including a CAD application, Google Customers also need to consider that, as Scottsdale The public sector (28%) is significantly more likely thanSketchUp and Adobe Create Suite 4. Whereas once stu- has found, it’s beneficial to use different types of desktop the private sector (12%) to say that the complexitydents had to be on campus in a lab to access such appli- virtualization to fulfill differing user requirements. It is with of maintaining and managing IT infrastructure iscations, now they simply log on via a Web interface, using just that issue in mind that Citrix, for example, recently significantly hindering innovation.whatever computer they like, wherever they may be. announced its FlexCast™ delivery technology, which SOURCE: IDG Research makes it easy for IT to deliver any type of virtual desktopImproved IT Efficiency to any user, on any device (see sidebar on page 4).IT likewise realizes benefits from desktop virtualization,beginning with reduced costs. “For us it decreases total Conclusion Why is desktop virtualizationcost of ownership,” says Fennell. Instead of spending As the IDG research shows, the complexity that has$25,000 upgrading a lab with new hardware, for exam- crept into their environments is thwarting IT groups’ abil- glowing white-hot today?ple, he can spend half that on a new server for the Citrix ity to dedicate resources to strategic projects that can Experts John Gallant of IDG and Gordonfarm and licenses. And whereas the lab upgrade would deliver business benefits to organizations. Desktop vir- Payne of Citrix get right to the heart of this newbenefit only students using the lab, the server supports tualization technology can reduce that complexity while IT phenomenon in this insightful, targeted videoapplications that can be utilized anytime by any student lowering costs and improving productivity for end users on the brave new world of client virtualization.or faculty or staff member. and IT, meaning a more agile organization. Scottsdale is also preparing to deploy a new CAD appli- Enterprises are getting the message, Bowker says.cation that employs desktop streaming technology, where An ESG survey of some 400 North American andthe application is streamed to a user’s desktop on demand European companies found that 21 percent werebut actually runs on the local machine. That will enable the already using desktop virtualization in production envi-school to take advantage of high-end hardware it already ronments. “It’s not necessarily across the entire compa-has in place while reducing the burden on its servers. ny, but the fact that upwards of 20 percent are already Additionally, the virtual environment has proven so using it makes me believe that more and more compa-much easier to manage than individual desktops that nies are willing to look at desktop virtualization and toFennel has been able to reallocate IT resources. When consider deploying it,” he says. • < 5 > > Watch video now VIrTualIzaTION 2.0: ThE DESkTOp rEVOluTION
Simplicity is power. Citrix.
V VIRTUALIZATION ISIONBuilding the Future of IT Game Changer:Bechtel Corporation’s bold IT makeover offers a graphic illustration Desktop Virtualizationof the efficiencies made possible by virtualization. By rich Freeman Desktop virtualization is poised to revolutionize the user h ave you ever fantasized about rebuilding your instant access to applications, customers, colleagues and IT infrastructure from scratch? suppliers. Satisfying those needs would have been difficult experience as well as the way Of course you have. Most companies, in even if the company’s data centers had been running at peak IT manages and secures PC fact, look at the superefficient data centers efficiency. But three years ago, Bechtel’s average server utili- run by Internet giants such as Amazon.com zation rate was a mere 2.3 percent and allocating IT resourc- resources. Just be aware thatand YouTube and wish they had one too. Few, however, pos- es to new projects could take as long as 30 days, an eternity not all client virtualization solu-sess the courage to act on that wish. as far as Bechtel’s business managers were concerned. tions are created equal. Count Bechtel Corporation among that brave few. Looking Bechtel Senior Vice President and CIO Geir Ramleth knewto improve the efficiency and agility of its IT operations, the that simply updating the company’s existing systems andSan Francisco, Calif.-based construction, engineering and processes wouldn’t put much of a dent in those numbers. To > Learn more nowproject management firm gave its infrastructure an extreme get the job done, Bechtel would have to reinvent its entiremakeover. Drawing heavily on server and desktop virtualiza- approach to IT. “We had to start from the infrastructure up,”tion, along with operational best practices pioneered by cloud Ramleth says.computing leaders such as Google Inc. and salesforce.com, Bechtel’s IT overhaul would eventually touch everythingthe company erected a brand-new set of cutting-edge data from networking to applications. At the core of the project,centers. The results include major power savings, a more however, was a total rebuild of the company’s server farm.than 3,000 percent improvement in server utilization, and a Ramleth looked to Google for inspiration. Research indicatedsneak peek for the rest of us at what just may be the future of that the Mountain View, Calif.-based company was employingcorporate IT. one administrator for approximately every 20,000 servers in its cavernous data centers. A single Bechtel administrator, in XenServer for free!New from the Ground Up contrast, was supporting just 100 servers. An enterprise-class,Much of the impetus behind Bechtel’s IT transformation Ramleth soon recognized that the key to Google’s remark- cloud-ready virtualizationstems from the challenges of supporting a highly mobile able efficiency was its ruthless commitment to standardiza-workforce. At any given time, Bechtel has employees at tion and virtualization. In 2007 he made the daring choice solution, free of charge.dozens of project sites around the globe, all of whom require to follow suit by scrapping Bechtel’s seven data centers and Download the XenServer trial at no cost or obligation. < 7 > > Try it now VIrTualIzaTION 2.0: ThE DESkTOp rEVOluTION
V VIRTUALIZATION ISIONreplacing them with three state-of-the-art facilities in Europe, For its part, Citrix views Bechtel as a model customer.Asia and the United States. Each one uses identical server “It’s expanding the way the capabilities of virtualization can behardware and makes extensive use of XenServer virtual- realized,” says Sumit Dhawan, vice president of product mar-ization software from Citrix Systems, Inc. keting for XenDesktop at Citrix. In the data center, Bechtel’s The results have been undeniably impressive. Today story shows how organizations can use server virtualizationserver utilization stands at 70 percent and Bechtel has not just to reduce their server inventory but also to save seri-increased processing capacity tenfold without raising ous money on power and administration. “And the company’stotal operating costs. Meanwhile, virtualization has helped vision hasn’t just stopped at the data center,” Dhawan notes.the company slash its power spending and shrink what On the desktop side, Bechtel’s efforts underscore thewas once 30,000 square feet of floor space down to employee satisfaction gains that virtual clients make pos-approximately 1,000 square feet. And because virtualiza- sible. Today’s tech-savvy knowledge workers increasinglytion makes recovering from service outages dramatically expect corporate applications to offer the same anytime,easier, availability has never been better. “We are more anywhere access that Web sites such as LinkedIn and Face-resilient than we ever were, and we have better capabili- book deliver. With desktop virtualization, that’s just what theyties for business continuity,” Ramleth says. get. “If you can provide the same corporate workspace for users wherever they are, you’ve met their expectations and,Moving to the Desktop as a result, increased their satisfaction,” Dhawan observes.Building on its success with server virtualization,Bechtel has more recently begun virtualizing theemployee workspace as well. “We have a very at any given time,nomadic workforce,” Ramleth explains. “What Bechtel has employees at dozens of project sitesyou want in the end is that, regardless of where around the globe, all of whom require instant accessthey are, everything looks and works the same.” to applications, customers, colleagues and suppliers.In pursuit of that goal, Bechtel is using CitrixXenDesktop to deliver global access to virtualdesktops. In the future, the company will supplement that Boldly Forwardfoundation with application virtualization and advanced user Not surprisingly, Bechtel has even-more-ambitious plansprofile functionality, so that an employee’s software, data for the future. Ramleth’s long-term goal is to connectand personalized settings can follow that person seam- Bechtel’s suppliers directly to the company’s employeeslessly around the world as well. In the interim, to enable its and customers, so that everyone can exchange informa-goal of a more “consumerized” user experience, Bechtel tion in real time. It’s a grand undertaking, but, thanks in parthas integrated multiple access methods into a customizable to Bechtel’s new data centers, the company has exactlyportal interface, providing users a personalized experience the kind of flexible infrastructure it needs in order to bringfor securely accessing their applications and services. its vision to life. “We could have done it before, but it would According to Ramleth, it’s no accident that Bechtel uses have been very cumbersome and costly,” Ramleth says.Citrix software for both server and desktop virtualization. “Now we can do it very efficiently.”He appreciates the functionality that Citrix products offer Such are the rewards available to companies bold enoughand the commitment Citrix employees have consistently to wipe the IT slate clean and start over. “There’s too muchshown to helping Bechtel succeed. “They’ve just been very change in the world on all fronts to accept that things shouldgood partners,” he says. always be the same,” Ramleth concludes. • < 8 VIrTualIzaTION 2.0: ThE DESkTOp rEVOluTION