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MokaFive: Desktop Virtualization in 2011 - What's Next?

What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2011?  Find out in this series exclusive.

Contributed Article By Purnima Padmanabhan, Vice President of Products and Marketing, MokaFive

Desktop Virtualization in 2011 - What's Next?

By freeing the desktop from the device, desktop virtualization has the potential to significantly transform computing -  both in the way it is consumed by the user, as well as how it is delivered by IT. The promise of this potential has caused a huge interest in the market, but various factors have constrained the growth. I see new trends in 2011 that might change the status quo for computing as we know it. Here are my top five predictions for desktop virtualization in 2011.

1.     2011 is the year of implementation.

While 2010 was the year for pilots, 2011 is shaping up to be the year of adoption. Based on experiences from these pilots, there is a clear understanding in the market that the one size fits all, "server hosted desktop" model (VDI), initially espoused by VMWare, does not work for all use cases. A number of vendors in the market have risen to the challenge and have come up with viable alternatives to the VDI model. We have seen a range of solutions that enable virtual desktops to be run on servers, be deployed and managed on any desktop or laptop, be executed even from a USB, and be shared across hundreds of users. In the past there have been kinks in these solutions but they have been resolved during this year of pilots, and now we have some viable alternatives that are ready for prime time. While desktop virtualization solutions may not be deployed to support a full-fledged enterprise environment next year, I believe they will be adopted across most large enterprises to address specific use cases such as MAC support, work from home, mobile computing, outsourcing, M&A integration, and Windows migration.

2.     iPad will continue to change the desktop consumption model

The popularity of the iPad has cracked open a door that until now was shut. Many organizations had strict locked-down policies where non-standard devices were never allowed-be it corporate or personal. With executives pounding their fists saying they want iPads, many IT organizations are realizing that whether they like it or not, the discussion has to change from whether IT can support a device or not. The discussion is now, how do I keep corporate data safe on the devices chosen by my users. This change in attitude will be a big boost to the virtual desktop market. Desktop virtualization definitely offers a viable solution for enabling a secure corporate environment on a personal device. With desktop virtualization, you can contain that entire corporate desktop in a bubble and drop it on any corporate or personal device, and manage it securely.

3.     The demand for Macs will increase significantly across the enterprise

Based on the smashing success of Apple products in general and most recently the iPad and MacBook Air, today's workforce is becoming increasingly reliant on the Mac ecosystem in their personal life, including the Mac OS, iTunes and the App Store. This is all driving the desirability of Macs within the enterprise. The desktop management model will have to adapt to support the full richness of the Mac environment, which again points to the power of utilizing a virtual desktop that can be centrally managed by IT, but executed anywhere completely independent of the hardware device type.

By provisioning the work environment on Macs at the end point for local execution, employees are empowered to use the operating system, software and personal applications of their choice outside of their job-related functions. In this scenario, employees benefit from choosing the machine best suited to their needs, while companies benefit from happier employees, reduced IT costs and reduced hardware investment.

4.     Windows 7 migration will accelerate the adoption of desktop virtualization

No matter how one dresses it up, there's no hiding the plain truth: IT organizations are being asked to budget an extra 20 to 60 percent to their costs over the next two years to address Windows 7 migration. In addition to recognized costs such as new hardware and Windows 7 licensing, there are also many hidden associated costs that can add up quickly. The alternative to physical migration that will take hold in 2011 is the more cost-effective approach of virtualizing the desktop. Once people go through the pain of migrating, they won't want to migrate again and virtual desktops also offer a way out of future forklift migrations.

However, even more optimal than putting Windows 7 on a server, organizations will discover they can now send it back down to the endpoint for local execution, thereby eliminating the datacenter requirement. With this approach, IT has no additional capital costs. In addition, users now have a Windows 7 environment without having to wait for a hardware refresh cycle, and any application on the end point can be refreshed in the future. The best part is that the users can still use Windows XP on their host machine to access legacy applications. This is a new desktop management architecture that helps today but is also future proof, and organizations will begin to realize the advantages of this model in 2011.

5.     Hypervisors will make their mark on the industry

By the end of this year, we will start seeing some viable options for Type 1 hypervisors that are embedded with hardware from vendors such as Dell, HP, Citrix and Microsoft. Enabling desktop virtualization on machines "out of the box" clearly stands to accelerate adoption of this technology and bring it into the mainstream. This will also help the industry overcome what might be considered - to a degree - a perceived level of complexity. While 2010 served as an important introductory year for desktop management solutions, we expect to see the industry start to reach its tipping point in 2011, especially as devices that are delivered to market purely with desktop virtualization in mind become prevalent.

In conclusion, desktop virtualization is a great way to reduce your IT costs, empower your employees and help your enterprise productivity reach entirely new levels. Just keep in mind that the type of virtualization approach makes a big difference. At MokaFive, we're looking forward to meeting with organizations of all sizes and discussing the tremendous opportunities this technology can deliver in 2011.

About the Author

Purnima brings extensive experience in building teams that can define and deliver products based on a keen understanding of market dynamics & customer needs. As the VP of Products and Marketing at MokaFive, Purnima is responsible for marketing, product management and user experience functions. Most recently, Purnima served as the Director of Product Management for BMC’s Service Automation business where she drove business strategy, M&A, and product definition. Prior to BMC, Purnima held various marketing roles at Marimba, a software distribution vendor & Loudcloud, a managed services provider. Purnima has a Masters in Business Administration from Graduate School of Business, Stanford and Masters in Computer Engineering from University of Southern California.

Published Friday, December 03, 2010 5:32 AM by David Marshall
7 Virtualization Trends in 2011 » Welcome to - (Author's Link) - December 30, 2010 7:40 AM
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