dimanche 27 mai 2012

Move over, VDI: It's time for IDV

A lire sur:  http://www.infoworld.com/d/microsoft-windows/move-over-vdi-its-time-idv-192710?page=0,1&source=IFWNLE_nlt_virtualization_2012-05-10

May 09, 2012

VDI may have met a new competitor in the form of intelligent desktop virtualization

Like an "emperor's new clothes" scenario, VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) seems to offer so much but at a price tag that's hard to justify. That's not to say VDI has had little or no value for IT: VDI was born of issues IT managers faced around centralized desktop management, migration issues, and support frustrations, and no one is denying the need to centralize management or address management support issues. However, VDI fails us in many ways, starting with the fact that devices require high-bandwidth connectivity to access user systems. We want the centralization of VDI with the performance and responsiveness of a locally installed OS on a PC.
VDI, although appropriate in certain circumstances, is not the answer for the majority of users in the enterprise. Just look at the number of PCs purchased: Hundreds of millions of PCs were sold in 2011 compared to 6 million thin clients.
[ Read the InfoWorld Test Center's comparative review of "VDI without the server connection." | Stay abreast of key Microsoft technologies in our Technology: Microsoft newsletter. ]
Where do you turn if desktop centralization is a concern and VDI doesn't fit the bill?
  • Back to Terminal Services? Some of the same frustrations will resurface, starting with the requirement to have connectivity to access the desktop, as well as the less-than-perfect display experience.
  • Client-side hypervisor options? Perhaps. In the past I've explained the value of products like Virtual Computer's NxTop, which promote desktop virtualization through hypervisor-based clients that have saved versions of the client-side VM stored in a central location.
Now there's a third type of desktop virtualization to consider: intelligent desktop virtualization (IDV), which brings together both IT needs and user wants.
A tour of Wanova's Mirage IDV approachI recently had a chance to check out an IDV product, Wanova's Mirage, which takes a PC running Windows XP or Windows 7 and installs a 2MB client onto it, then saves the PC's image onto a Wanova Mirage Server, which runs on Windows 2008 R2.
Mirage doesn't just upload the full image of the system; it also determines what files and data are already on the Mirage Server, then sends only the differences to the PC, in a process called calculating the delta. This saves on bandwidth and storage. In addition to this on-the-fly deduplication, Mirage uses proprietary WAN protocols to ensure high-performance connections.
At the same time, the Mirage client takes an inventory of the entire system (hardware and software) so that IT can perform inventory management more easily. Disaster recovery is also much easier if a person has a problem with his or her system. If someone drops a laptop on a business trip, an IT admin can grab a new laptop, install the Windows and Mirage clients, and sync the saved data from the Mirage Server onto that new laptop over a LAN or wide area network. It can also restore that PC image to a virtual machine.

Plus, Wanova provides tools for IT to perform centralized repair and migration, along with updates and fixes to a single core image pushed out to clients.
What I like about the overall IDV approach, whether in a hypervisor-based tool like NxTop or in a client-based tool like Mirage, is that the users have local access to their systems and their data at all times.
I'm also excited to see other innovations result from the new thinking behind IDV. For example, Wanova has developed a file portal that lets users access their files online. If someone needs a PowerPoint presentation on a laptop that is broken or left at home, he or she can log into the file portal from an iPad, PC, Mac, or any other system with a browser. From there, they can grab that file without getting a new laptop and restoring the whole system just to access that one file at that moment.
The immediate future lies with IDVI foresee a world in which our desktops, laptops, tablets, and whatever will be in the cloud. All our data -- everything -- will be available from anywhere. A device will be just an access point, an endpoint to reach that data. A future in which VDI may be king is not far out of reach.
But today? There are hundreds of millions of desktops and laptops with locally installed Windows, and VDI costs too much to become the end-all, be-all solution to enable that future. The infrastructure isn't there yet, and neither is the cloud.
That's why IDV is the better choice today. Centralized management with a localized OS, whether hypervisor-based or on a traditionally installed OS -- IDV will do what you need without having to alter your infrastructure and empty your company's bank account.

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