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Wanova: Predictions for 2012 on Desktop Computing in the Enterprise in Face of Consumerization: PC-Plus, not Post-PC


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Predictions for 2012 on Desktop Computing in the Enterprise in Face of Consumerization: PC-Plus, not Post-PC

Contributed Article by Dr. Issy Ben-Shaul, CTO and co-founder of Wanova

There has been a lot of speculation about the future of PCs, or the lack thereof as highlighted by those positioning a "post-PC" era. As much as some popular vendors would like to see the landscape positioned to favor their lines of business, the reality of the matter is that we are entering a PC-plus era (as termed by Bob O'Donnell from IDC) where Windows and non-Windows devices are co-existing within the business landscape. This is being led by a number of driving forces:

1.   There are hundreds of millions of business PCs today. Furthermore, these PCs are continuously migrating from XP to Windows 7 following a massive investment by enterprise IT. This transition to a robust and advanced OS means that IT administrators are continuously feeling empowered with the necessary tools to securely and properly manage their desktop environments.

2.   There are thousands of Windows-based applications currently being deployed throughout the enterprise. The vast majority of these applications represents the "long tail" and would still need to be supported over the foreseeable future. While some of applications have been ported to run on other devices, it is a numbers game that highlights how many enterprises need to embrace a balance between PCs and alternative devices.


IDV, not VDI  -- To address PC-Plus Needs

In the PC-plus era, Windows apps need to be made readily available to end users regardless of the OS or type of the access device. One approach that has been advocated by VDI vendors to address this need while eliminating the need for physical Windows devices is as follows:
  • Surrender your PC.
  • Rely on a "PC-like" solution in the data center. This could be either a fully-personalized PC image loaded on a VM, or a "workspace" consisting of a set of applications accessible through a terminal services-like solution along with personal data and settings.
  • Allow your device to access the virtualized workspace (apps, files and profile) through a remote desktop protocol. Alternatively, use technologies that can render the UI of a remotely executing application using HTML5, and hence accessible from any HTML5-compatible browser.

This approach sounds compelling in that it offers a uniform and centralized way to access the Windows legacy while eliminating endpoint PCs from the picture. However, there are some major drawbacks to this approach:

  • When a user needs to do generational work (as opposed to read-only/access work), he/she wants to have the native user-experience that allows for the user to work locally irrespective of whether they are now connected online via Wi-Fi from Starbucks, from home, or not even online. With RDP as the only way to reach your desktop for real work, this is a limiting factor.
  • Furthermore, the user also wants to utilize their native powerful device/laptop resources instead of having to rely on shared and remote resources at the data center.
  • On a touch-centric device, running Windows applications remotely to do serious, day-to-day work is not realistic. These apps were not designed to work with a touch-centric interface, and simple things like the functionality of a mouse right-click are sometimes challenging. It is acceptable to use these devices for occasional access for read-only tasks, but not for actual, day-to-day operation.
Hence, my prediction is that enterprises will look for a different approach to serve best the PC-Plus era. Dubbed by Intel as Intelligent Desktop Virtualization (IDV), this model offers a Dual-mode that combines central and local execution modes. When applied to PC-Plus, Enterprises will allow users to access their Windows applications for "mostly read access" from non-Windows devices using a hosted virtualized environment, while at the same time allowing users to do "write-access" using their native laptops. This approach requires a combination of local and centralized copies of the workspace to be synchronized. While this will not happen overnight, and requires a proper solution, it is the ultimate way to address the PC-Plus Era.


About the Author

Dr. Issy Ben-Shaul is the CTO and Co-Founder of Wanova, leading all aspects of the technical and product vision for the company. Prior to co-founding Wanova, Issy was the CTO of the Application Delivery Business Unit at Cisco and led the technology and vision for the successful Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) product. Issy joined Cisco via the acquisition of Actona Technologies, where he was Co-Founder, CTO and Vice President of Engineering.

Published Thursday, December 08, 2011 6:00 AM by David Marshall
Comments - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - January 4, 2012 7:07 AM

I'd like to personally welcome each and every one of you to the start of 2012! As we begin what will certainly prove to be a fantastic new year, I wanted to make sure to thank all of the loyal member's and readers of Once again, with the help

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