The allure of client virtualization is increasing in the eyes of enterprise organizations. Aside from its obvious benefits of eliminating the management headaches and upgrade cycles of corporate desktops and laptops, organizations can better meet the growing demands of employees who want to bring their own devices (BYOD) to access corporate networks. However client virtualization can result in enterprises simply swapping one set of problems for another unless organizations first assess what their requirements are so they may put a solution in place with the right framework for their environment.
Desktop virtualization clearly has momentum. High performance networks, powerful servers and bountiful storage capacity have all become extremely economical in recent years. These factors coupled with the virtualization of other parts of the business are giving organizations the technical and business justifications they need to roll out client virtualization. Toss in the never ending OS upgrade cycles on PCs and laptops and the ongoing security risks they pose and client virtualization becomes almost a no-brainer.
Yet the intangible that is starting to drive client virtualization from a “nice to have” to a “must have” is the speed at which individuals are adopting mobile computing devices. Today’s employees want the flexibility to bring their own device (BYOD) to work and use their mobile phone, iPad, tablet or laptop anywhere and use it to as their preferred device to access corporate networks.
This trend shows no signs of abating. One analyst firm predicts that over 140 million tablets will ship in 2015 alone with Apple CEO’s Tim Cook essentially affirming this claim as he stated 92% of Fortune 500 companies are either testing or have already deployed iPads. This rapid growth of tablets makes it almost a necessity for organizations to deliver client virtualization sooner rather than later.
So here is the dilemma that organizations face. As workers go mobile, organizations are almost compelled to implement client virtualization to give their workers the flexibility they want. However that only works if the back end infrastructure they put in place provides the reliability they need so worker productivity is not impacted.
This is easier said than done. Organizations typically need a lot of information at the outset to successfully execute upon a client virtualization initiative. For example, they will need to know:
- How many servers with the appropriate amount of capacity for the user community will be needed
- The number of desktops that will be virtualized
- What applications function best with client virtualization
- The additional number of net new virtual desktops that remote workers will now need
- Storage with the proper amounts of capacity and performance
- Expected I/O loads
- How to scale the environment up (or down)
- How to allocate and reallocate resources where they are needed as they are needed
- The appropriate network configuration to support these workloads
- What software is available to manage this virtual infrastructure
It is for these reasons that we are seeing the rise of reference configurations and pre-configured solutions for client virtualization such as the HP VirtualSystem for Client Virtualization (CV2). This integrated solution addresses some of the major concerns that organizations have about deploying client virtualization as it enables them to:
- Deploy tested and proven configurations. Availability and reliability are keys to winning over and gaining end user acceptance in client virtualization deployments. The last thing any organization wants to do is deploy a client virtualization solution that only works part or some of the time. All of the hardware and software in the HP CV2 is tested and guaranteed to work in an end-to-end configuration so the possibility of interoperability issues is minimized.
- Flexibly grow the infrastructure in a way that matches how the organization grows. No one can predict exactly what demands an organization will ultimately place upon the infrastructure that supports its client virtualization deployment. An organization may need more performance, more capacity or both. This is where the value of HP CV2’s reference architecture comes into play. It can grow and scale in ways that match an organization’s specific requirements so an organization always has infrastructure options no matter what demands its client virtualization initiative places upon it.
- Get out of the gate quickly. The last thing an organization wants is to deploy a solution that is new to them and then discover there is no one there to help get if off the ground or support them as they grow. HP provides a client virtualization analysis and modeling service that analyzes Microsoft Windows client devices, builds models based upon the applications found and used and identifies those apps that may present challenges once virtualized.
Using this model, HP has done many client virtualization projects with over a decade of experience deploying client virtualization. This experience has resulted in HP building up a wealth of information and expertise that it may draw upon that help mitigate deployment risks while significantly reducing the time and effort required to roll client virtualization out across the organization.
The financial and technical arguments to deploy client virtualization are evident but mobile computing is the new wildcard in today’s business environments which is giving organizations new impetus to deploy client virtualization sooner rather than later. But as they feel the push to roll out client virtualization, they can also feel more uneasy about the unknowns associated with such a deployment.
Reference architectures and pre-integrated solutions such as HP CV2 quell those fears as it accounts for the key challenges that may emerge at various stages in the client virtualization roll out and adoption. It gives organizations access to a highly available and reliable solution and the flexibility to adapt it according to how their infrastructure evolves so they may confidently move ahead with their client virtualization initiatives.