Enterprise Desktop Architecture 5 Year View


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  • The impact of machine virtualization on desktop computing to date has been limited. Products like Microsoft’s Virtual PC and VMware workstation, although relatively mature and well understood, have not been widely adopted as a general purpose desktop management technology. The primary use case for these products has been by IT professionals who need to create and maintain isolated development and test environments. However, machine virtualization on the desktop has not proven valuable either to the average corporate user or the IT department managing those users. There are a number of general purpose use cases that have been considered. The first is the use of machine virtualization as a general solution desktop deployment and management. However, the main OS deployment benefits of machine virtualization such as image and driver standardization are outweighed by technical costs of running a VM on top of a machines host OS. The technical costs include the need to manage both the host and the guest OS (i.e. service packs, security fixes, etc.), the performance hit and potential device management issues (devices that are not supported inside the VM.) Others have contemplated using virtual machine technology to solve desktop application deployment and management challenges. Using VM’s to solve these issues, however, is very much a sledgehammer approach. Using VM technology to solve application conflict, for example, requires the hosting of multiple OS instances on a user’s desktop which results in reduced performance both within the guest and host environments. Multiple OS instances also create user experience issues because users get confused as to which session they are viewing. Also, applications running within different sessions (whether a guest OS or the host) are running in completely isolated context, which restricts the kind of interaction possible between applications running in the different environments. For these reasons, machine virtualization has not become widely used by standard users in the corporate enterprise. Even solutions like VMware’s ACE, which attempts to centralize some of the management aspects of VM creation and security policy enforcement, have only proven useful for edge cases in the enterprise, such as contract employees using their own devices or stationary remote employees using home PC’s or other unmanaged devices.
  • All thin client architectures, from traditional Terminal Services-based environments to both dedicated (ClearCube, HP CCI) and virtualized (IBM VHCI, VMware VDI) solutions, suffer from the same core limitations: For users with a fat desktop or laptop computer (which is 90 – 95% of the typical enterprise), deploying a thin client solution involves the provisioning of redundant compute resources in the data center. Data center systems (in the form of Terminal Servers or dedicated/virtualized blades servers are more expensive then client compute resources. Economically, this is becoming harder and harder for the CIO to justify to the CFO, especially as the cost of client devices continues to decline. Thin client architectures suffer from application execution context issues. This is due to the fact that applications executing in the thin client environment are running on a system in the data center; however, the user is running an OS and core applications locally on their machine (assuming a fat desktop or laptop model.) Therefore, the applications running in the thin client environment are not aware of and cannot communicate with those running locally and vice versa. Also, manipulation of data files becomes challenging (especially for non-technical end-users) when an application on the desktop requires a data file that resides in the data center and vice versa. Thin client architectures do not support disconnected or offline operation
  • Final side for follow up – visit the Softricity web site.
  • Enterprise Desktop Architecture 5 Year View

    1. 1. Jeff Fisher Director, Business Development May 2006 Enterprise Desktop Architecture A 5 Year View
    2. 2. Contents <ul><li>Today’s Enterprise Desktop Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Transformational Desktop Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Predictions for the Future </li></ul>
    3. 3. Today’s Enterprise Desktop Architecture
    4. 4. Today’s Enterprise Desktop Architecture <ul><li>OS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primarily rich Windows client (2K or better) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deployed using sector-based, disk imaging technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Runs natively on the system hardware, not on a hypervisor or other virtualization layer </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Today’s Enterprise Desktop Architecture <ul><li>Applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primarily a mix of rich Windows-based and browser-based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Widely used apps are packaged and distributed using automated software deployment or pre-installed into the core image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrowly used apps are either pre-installed into departmental OS images (derived from the core) or manually installed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One-off apps are manually installed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All applications are either installed and/or can modify the state of the underlying OS at runtime </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of thin client solutions is limited in the average enterprise; they are still primarily deployed for remote access, branch office and mobility solutions, as opposed to desktop replacement </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Transformational Desktop Technologies
    7. 7. Benefits/Limitations of Transformational Desktop Technologies <ul><li>New format </li></ul><ul><li>Increased management complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Only minimal improvements in support for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Application/User preferences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intelligent; OS-aware </li></ul><ul><li>Better support for heterogeneous: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Driver sets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional settings </li></ul></ul>File-Based Disk Imaging <ul><li>De facto standard </li></ul><ul><li>Simple to use </li></ul>Benefits <ul><li>Passive; not OS-aware </li></ul><ul><li>Does not address heterogeneous: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Driver sets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional settings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applications/User preferences </li></ul></ul>Sector-Based Disk Imaging Challenges Technology
    8. 8. Benefits/Limitations of Transformational Desktop Technologies <ul><li>Passive; not OS-aware </li></ul><ul><li>Does not address heterogeneous: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Driver sets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional settings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applications/User preferences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Delivers the OS on-demand (using predictive streaming) without local installation </li></ul>OS Streaming (Ardence, Neoware, Wyse) <ul><li>Hosted virtualization model suffers from driver limitations and performance constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Additional resource requirements (RAM, CPU, etc.) and management overhead (host OS must still be managed, patched, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Widely deployed on the server side </li></ul><ul><li>Has properties that ease desktop deployment </li></ul>OS-Based Machine Virtualization (Microsoft Virtual PC, VMware Workstation/ACE) Benefits Challenges Technology
    9. 9. Benefits/Limitations of Transformational Desktop Technologies <ul><li>Requires new hardware </li></ul><ul><li>Can be used to create isolated, role-based partitions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inaccessible admin partition to host AV </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Minimal performance/ resource impact </li></ul>Chip-Based Machine Virtualization (Intel VT, AMD Pacifica) <ul><li>Context support (communications between isolated virtualized applications) </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminates application conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Simplifies application packaging, deployment and management </li></ul><ul><li>Addresses heterogeneous applications/user preferences </li></ul>Application Virtualization (Softricity) Benefits Challenges Technology
    10. 10. Benefits/Limitations of Transformational Desktop Technologies <ul><li>Provisioning of redundant computing resources </li></ul><ul><li>Application execution context issues (communication with locally executing software, dealing with manipulation of data files) </li></ul><ul><li>Do not support disconnected operation </li></ul><ul><li>Abstracts application state and preferences off the desktop </li></ul><ul><li>Centralized management </li></ul>Thin Client Solutions Benefits Challenges Technology
    11. 11. Transformational Technology Evolution Reduced Complexity & Cost, Increased Business Value <ul><li>Evolution of transformational desktop technologies over time will be shaped by the Infrastructure Optimization Model (IOM) </li></ul>Basic Cost Center Uncoordinated, manual infrastructure Standardized Efficient Cost Center Managed IT Infrastructure with some automation Rationalized Business Enabler Managed and consolidated IT Infrastructure Dynamic Strategic Asset Fully automated management, dynamic resource usage
    12. 12. Transformational Technologies and the IOM Dynamic OS Imaging App Virtualization Machine Virtualization <ul><li>Sector-based disk imaging </li></ul><ul><li>File-based disk imaging </li></ul><ul><li>Limited use of OS-based machine virtualization </li></ul><ul><li>Wide use of chip-based machine virtualization </li></ul><ul><li>Limited use of application virtualization, primarily to solve application conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Application virtualization used as primary method of software deployment </li></ul>Standard Rationalized
    13. 13. Future Impact of Transformational Technologies <ul><li>Disk Imaging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>File-based disk imaging will become the de facto standard over the next 5 years, replacing sector-based approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OS Streaming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OS streaming will be of limited value and will only be used for specific types of fixed desktop users (i.e. call center, university, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Machine Virtualization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OS-based machine virtualization (Microsoft Virtual PC, VMware Workstation/ACE) will continue to be used for edge cases and will not be widely adopted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chip-based machine virtualization (Intel VT, AMD Pacifica) will become widely adopted </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Future Impact of Transformational Technologies <ul><li>Application Virtualization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Application virtualization (Softricity) will become widely adopted for application deployment and management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thin Client </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thin client will continue to be used primarily for remote access, branch office and mobility solutions, as opposed to desktop replacement </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Tomorrow's Corporate Desktop Architecture
    16. 16. Tomorrow's Corporate Desktop Architecture <ul><li>OS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primarily rich Windows client </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deployed using file-based disk imaging technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Runs in a partition managed by a chip-based hypervisor; every system runs a number of role-based partitions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inaccessible admin partition hosting AV, other security software </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Managed partition for corporate productivity tools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>User configurable partition for personal browsing, gaming, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited use of OS streaming (i.e. call centers, universities, etc.) </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Tomorrow's Corporate Desktop Architecture <ul><li>Applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primarily a mix of rich Windows and browser-based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited set of core applications (i.e. Microsoft Office, AV, VPN, etc.) are pre-installed in a file-based disk image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most other applications are virtualized and delivered via on-demand streaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thin client solutions are still limited to supporting remote access, branch office and mobile users, as opposed to being used for desktop replacement </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Comparison of Architectures Wide use of chip-based machine virtualization Limited use of OS-based machine virtualization Machine Virtualization Wide use Limited use Application Virtualization Limited use Limited use Thin Client Limited use Limited use OS Streaming Uses file-based disk imaging technology Uses sector-based disk imaging technology OS Deployment Primarily rich Windows client Today Primarily rich Windows client OS Tomorrow Component/Solution
    19. 19. <ul><li>Jeff Fisher Director, Business Development [email_address] (917) 658-0516 </li></ul>