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virtualization whitepaper en

  1. 1. White Paper - Version 1.0 eyeOS - January 2012 Hybrid virtualization: optimal management of a company’s IT resources How Cloud Computing can revolutionize the virtualization of desktops in the work place Jose Carlos Norte eyeOS CTO
  2. 2. White Paper 2eyeOS - January 2012Version 1.0Contents1. Starting point: Thick Client: the dominant model2. The turning point: a post-PC world with an abundance of bandwidth3. Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI): the emerging alternative4. Virtualization of applications: the second iteration5. Identifying the underlying problem6. Hybrid virtualization: the most efficient solution7. Hybrid virtualization put into practice8. Conclusion Summary Jose Carlos Norte, creator of the software and CTO of eyeOS since it was founded in 2005, discusses the limitations of traditional VDI and puts forth a more efficient alternative based on centralized control of the desktop thanks to eyeOS’s Cloud Desktop solution combined with virtualization applications such as XenApp from Citrix. Tickets Virtualization eyeOS cloud desktop Citrix XenApp VDI Windows
  3. 3. White Paper 3eyeOS - January 2012Version 1.01. Starting point: Thick Client: the dominant model 2. The turning point: a post-PC world with an abundance of bandwidthTo have a better understanding of what eyeOS is andwhat it can be used for , we first have to understandthe need that it attempts to satisfy, considering thatthis need is derived from the current state of IT OSsystems and their limitations. As a consequence to the major advances in telecommunications and connectivity in general, as well as the arrival of new devices at the work place, such as smartphones and ipads, the IT departments within organizations have had to question the ‘Thick Client’ model. They have realized that what users really need is not so much an isolated computer that manages all the desktop applications locally, with ‘windows’ into other computers, but, rather a logical working environment, separated from the underlying hardware, that provides the user with access to theUp until relatively recently, the widespread roll out files and applications they need.and adoption of the PC in the workplace has beenbased on the ‘Thick Client’ model. This model Why?assumes that each individual computer has allnecessary software locally installed as well as a local • The prohibitive costs of user support (Help Desk)hard drive to store information. resulting from the complexity of the incidents caused by the number of possible hardware andWithin this context, the computer is an autonomous software combinations present in organizations.unit, independent of its environment. To address • The license upgrade cost of each PC.the need to share information, computers were • Lack of control over the applications installedconnected via networks, whereby the units locally by the user whether for professionalcontinued to be stand-alone and independent, purposes or not, with the associated risk ofalbeit with access ‘windows’ within which they can viruses or PC malfunctions.communicate with other computers using client- • Computer hardware failures that cause data toserver software, such as file-sharing. be lost. If the computer fails, then users no longer have a work environment, as the computer itselfThis model spread throughout the world, and millions is the environment, and they potentially have toof companies now have their work stations set up wait for another computer to be prepared in orderaccording to this model. to continue working, a process that can take hours or even days. • Applications are increasingly diverse (web, transactional, Unix, Windows, etc.), and users must be able to use them all irrespective of the underlying architecture.
  4. 4. White Paper 4eyeOS - January 2012Version 1.0• Excessive time to prepare new work stations for every new employee.3. Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI): the emergingalternativeEver since IT industry professionals began tocomprehend the limitations of having the desktopenvironment concept connected to the PC concept,they have tried several strategies to disconnect theminto separate and independent components.A relatively simple approach that was designedto tackle this issue was to run multiple Windowssessions on a company’s server, whereby userswould connect to these sessions remotely and then However, no matter how much these particularuse them to access their applications and data. In protocols are perfected, working with a remotethis way, the local operating system is irrelevant, desktop has its down sides, both in terms of userand the data is located on the server. Users can experience – system performance issues areconnect to that Windows session from any terminal inevitable depending on the number of simultaneousand work away. The process achieves PC <-> work sessions running – and in terms of server scalability.environment independence. The consequence of the structural limitations of aIn order to ensure that there is a Windows session solution of this type, such as CITRIX’s XenDesktop,available for every individual user, virtualization is that the financial costs of software licensing astechnology must be used. Virtualization consists of well as the infrastructure necessary to run a remotesimulating a PC within another computer, such that Windows session for each user, tends to cancel outmultiple operating systems can be run simultaneously the benefits associated with centralized managementon a single physical server. of the client desktop. Therefore, this solution is not universally appropriate to all company typesA secondary challenge is how to send the image of or environments, and is much more suited to largethe Windows session running on the server to the companies associated with high volumes of repetitiveuser’s PC and make it possible for the user to use the transactions that are capable of assuming the highkey board and mouse to interact with their particular initial costs of deployment.Windows session. This technology is called Virtual Desktop InterfaceTo be able to send the image of their Windows (VDI). VDI has been a failure in many aspects duesession to the user, running with its wallpaper, to the aforementioned reasons and it has really onlyicons, etc., certain protocols are used, that have been feasible in the banking sector, the public sectorbeen specifically designed to consume minimum and similar organizations where there are large ITbandwidth. Tens of millions of dollars have been budgets.invested in these protocols, and currently one of themost advanced is ICA.
  5. 5. White Paper 5eyeOS - January 2012Version 1.04. Virtualization of applications: the second iteration The main problem with VDI as an approach is that Microsoft Windows combines two environments atCitrix, seeing the aforementioned problems, decided the same time: an operating system that can houseto create a new product called XenApp. XenApp, applications such as Microsoft Office, and a desktopunlike its big brother XenDesktop, does not project an that defines the user’s interaction with the PC. Withentire Windows application to the user’s terminal, but VDI, there cannot be a separation between the tworather it projects single applications on demand. The environments: even the most basic of the user’suser continues to have his local Windows operating actions are virtualized en bloc and are run remotelysystem, but the applications they use, MS Office (for on their desktop, such as moving or minimizingexample) are abstracted from the local environment a window. They are actions that, when executedand are in fact hosted on a remote server. This remotely, consume server resources as well asapproach has the advantage of not requiring a copy bandwidth, when they could be executed locally moreof MS Office, for example, to be installed locally efficiently.on each machine. This allows for more efficient The arrival of new devices with innovative usercentralized maintenance of the application. Licensing interfaces (varying screen size, new operatingcosts are not necessarily impacted as in our example systems) further complicates the task of sendingthe software license is paid per user, not per remote images in such a way as to ensure that theinstallation. user always has a satisfactory experience. However, all new devices have at least one point in common:XenApp has however, a major deficiency, which goes they have a considerable amount of computingback to its original design. The IT administrator is power. The available computing power should beno longer in control of the user desktop. In order used to relieve the server of performing tasks that areto minimize VDI costs the virtualization process not vital to either the management of applications orbecomes more selective in terms of deciding which to independence between the environment and theapplications are virtualized and which ones run device. Pushing these tasks to the server makes nolocally. Moreover, using XenApp to virtualize only sense and is expensive: CPU and RAM cycles endcertain applications on a remote server, with these up being paid for twice over.applications being ‘projected’ onto the local operatingsystem, does not resolve the initial requirement Moreover, from a central perspective, infrastructurearound which Citrix revolves: disconnecting the work has limits in terms of vertical scalability: a serverenvironment from the physical access device. certainly cannot grow infinitely. Very soon, more users will be added and a second server will be needed in order to run so many Windows session5. Identifying the underlying problem. and then a third and a fourth. Subsequently, when a certain threshold is reached, communication between each server becomes critical, and latency issues will have to be tackled: it will then be time to install an expensive fiber optic network, and the infrastructure ? thus continues to grow, while the users’ terminals have their CPUs under employed. One strategy that might seem attractive to tackle this problem is to keep running the Windows session on the server, but push some parts of the rendering and
  6. 6. White Paper 6eyeOS - January 2012Version 1.0computation to the local terminal. the server: operations such as moving a window or working with files do not require virtualization;The problem with this approach is that, ultimately, operations are only being done through the webmaking the work station independent from the on the server.local computer is not simply a question of takingit as is – with everything bundled together and Within the system, direct accesses and resourcesconnected – and sending it to the server, and then of all kinds can be integrated, such as the‘projecting’ it over the network to the client PC. following:del renderizado y computo al terminal local. • eyeOS native web application launchers. • External or third-party web application6. Hybrid virtualization: the most efficient solution launchers, hosted on the client’s servers or SaaS.The only real way to make the work station • Launchers of local desktop applications, suchindependent, manage it, and make it available as Microsoft Office or AutoCAD, which arefrom a central point entails decoupling the desktop installed on the user’s access terminal.concept from the operating system concept. • Launchers of virtualized applications running on a server using XenApp.eyeOS proposes that users work in a web-based environment. The proposed environmentis a highly advanced web page that recreates 7. Hybrid virtualization put into practicethe entire work environment, with the look of adesktop such as the one that can be found in MSWindows.Based on this environment as a starting point,a company can determine the applicationsthat it introduces on to the desktop. Out of thebox eyeOS includes some purely web-based A good way to understand eyeOS is to recreate anapplications that are seamlessly integrated on example using eyeOS and Citrix.the desktop, that are in fact an added value of theplatform and straight away provide some work By combining XenApp and eyeOS, a companyrelated functions (calendars, file management, only uses virtualization when it wants to runcontact list, collaborative work, etc.). certain remote applications (that’s what XenApp consists of), but it does not lose control of theHowever, the real power of eyeOS lies in the complete environment, given that the desktop ispossibility of building an entire work environment centralized and is web-based. What we’ve done isaround a web-based environment. to cease providing a virtualized Windows desktop from a server, and we’ve started providing aThe eyeOS environment can be adapted and working desktop controlled by the company, whichmodified according to the client’s needs, and it is made available through the web much morecan be adapted to new mobile devices. And since “thinly”.it is also very thin, given that it is web based, itdoes not require constant communication with
  7. 7. White Paper 7eyeOS - January 2012Version 1.0Then the applications or resources that are made This ability to support such varied behaviorsavailable within that environment can be decided depending on the user profile gives the system aupon by the company or organization that installs flexibility that is at the core of eyeOS’s entire reasoneyeOS. for being. A company can continue to use MS Office software licenses at work stations that have thiseyeOS allows this concept to be taken to very software already installed for all employees whoadvanced levels and allows an administrator to need mobility, meanwhile optimizing the numberdiscriminate between user profiles and provide of concurrent users of virtualized applicationsbehaviors according to a company’s needs and by offering a preview. The savings in licenses isresources, something completely new from eyeOS. immediate.A clear example of this is the following: what happens With XenApp, strange situations can often arise,when a user double clicks on a Microsoft Word such as having a Windows session running on top ofdocument? another Windows session through XenDesktop, and within the latter, you could be working with MS Office,The administrator has the authority to predefine when the underlying Windows session also has MSthe sequence, per user profile, within a range of Office.possibilities: In eyeOS, users can access the web desktop from anywhere and from any device. It is an entirely thin approach, and the consumption of applications adapts to a company’s needs and the profile of each • Download. user. Open the local Word application. The classic VDI cannot handle the problem in this • Web preview. way, given that in the end it only projects either a part of a Windows session or all of it, but it does not • AOpen Word running on a remote process any file on its own or make decisions about server and made available via the user’s actions within the desktop. This is because XenApp. the desktop is not controlled by Citrix, it is controlled by Microsoft Windows, and for Citrix it is only an • Thin web preview, and in the case image sent by wire. of editing, click on the launch edit button from: In addition to being a desktop, eyeOS is a platform that enables the existence of the the local application desktop. This platform includes file management, or the XenApp application. user management, authentication, etc. Some of the platform’s components can connect to the • Open the local application if it is organization’s resources. This is the case with available or use XenApp if it is not. regards to authentication, which can be auto- managed by eyeOS using its own database or it can be consumed from an Active Directory.
  8. 8. White Paper 8 eyeOS - January 2012 Version 1.08. Conclusion will be web-based applications or even local applications. This flexibility allows optimized management of softwareVirtualization with the remote projection of applications licenses, and it radically reduces CPU consumption byis not an incorrect approach. What is incorrect – or more central servers, without sacrificing control over a user’saccurately, what is inefficient – is the virtualization and experience by the administrator.remote projection of complete desktops. Therefore, eyeOS should be seen as a platform thateyeOS acts as a web desktop under the centralized connects to a company’s resources, thereby becomingcontrol of a company, thereby bringing together integrated within an organization (resources, file servers,resources and managing access to the appropriate etc.), that provides a web-based work environment,applications. In certain cases, the applications will be unified and centralized on a company’s servers orvirtualized from a central server, and in other cases they wherever a company decides to install it.