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AppSense 2016 Predictions: True Desktop Performance and Productivity will Come when Complexity is Removed

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Simon Townsend, Chief Technologist, EMEA for AppSense

True Desktop Performance and Productivity will Come when Complexity is Removed

It's an exciting time in end user computing. Users require greater power and control over their environment and their applications. Their ability to personalize work-place computers is growing and the number of operating environments they use continues to expand.

At the same time, the year ahead gives security and desktop professionals a lot to worry about - and to plan for. The introduction of Windows 10 desktops to the corporate enterprise. The increasing threat of attacks on endpoint devices. The multiple paths of application deployment. Implementation and maintenance costs for VDI deployments. And the impending release of Windows Server 2016. The list goes on, and on.

At the core is the need to minimize complexity from the enterprise, especially when it comes to desktop, laptop and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) workspaces. No other enterprise technology impacts user productivity more, and yet puts the enterprise at such great risk. As such, AppSense believes user environment management (UEM) will be among the top technologies adopted in 2016 to both secure and simplify enterprise endpoint management while improving user productivity and performance.

Consider the following 2016 predictions:

1.      Organizations Using One Platform Will Adopt VDI over RDSH. With the need to decrease complexity between managing the complex mix of physical and virtual desktops, organizations that use one platform will turn to VDI over remote desktop session host (RDSH) technology.  Why? Because VDI will help simplify application compatibility and the packaging process. VDI is simply easier and more cost effective for some customers to support and easier still to deploy applications on the desktop OS - regardless of whether it's virtual or physical. It also eliminates the typical blame game when applications don't work "because it's being delivered via RDSH."

2.      Organizations with Multiple Environments Will Embrace RDSH. Organizations that want the best of all worlds will look to RDSH over VDI. Here enterprises can benefit from the local processing power for applications such as Microsoft Office but embrace the security and control of corporate applications that are delivered from the datacenter. During 2016 this will become increasingly prevalent as Windows 10 devices, Surface Pro and Mac Books continue to enter the enterprise. Published applications delivered via RDSH to these devices will continue to be used to provide needed balance and control.

3.      Windows 10 Will Change the Way Users are Managed. Windows 10 projects are already underway for some, but for many some questions around cadence of updates, business store applications and up and coming feature sets are still unanswered. IT will have to balance how much time and effort they place into Windows 10 and ensure they are not just upgrading the OS but thinking about how they change the way they manage users, their data, apps and the OS. At present Windows 10 offers a nice new UI which performs well. Next year, and when server 2016 hits the market, new functionality and ways of managing Windows machines could change the way users are managed for good.

4.      Vendors Will Move Away from Native Consoles. Into 2016 and beyond, vendors will be working to meet their customers' craving for simplification, automation and a desired state configuration. As such, vendors will wake up and move away from native consoles and appreciate that API and PowerShell methods can remove VDI barriers including implementation and maintenance costs.

5.      Analytic Visibility Will Drive a More Agile Environment. Visibility and analytics will become more important than just control and management. As organizations look to achieve greater freedom, flexibility and agility, tools that provide monitoring, auditing and reporting will become highly desired. Solutions that can aggregate auditing and reporting from multiple technologies will be particularly valued.

6.      Endpoints Will Continue to be Under Attack. 2016 will be the year of security, security, security. The endpoint is arguably the most vulnerable point in the enterprise. Machines in VDI are no different. Once a user is connected to their desktop the damage any malicious attack on the user's machine is critically dangerous for the entire enterprise. The simple truth is that antivirus solutions on VDI don't scale and organizations need to embrace new ways to containerize, deny, control and manage application-based targeted threats.

7.      Cloud-Based Delivery Mechanisms Will be on the Rise. There is a lot of noise about the best ways to deploy and package applications. App-V is still leading the way, but for VDI, layering is rising in interest. However, layering is still early-stage technology and needs to be proven at scale to be effective without impacting user experience. Today it only moves the problem and doesn't suite traditional desktops. New developments from both Citrix and VMware in this area are to be expected. But it's also worth keeping an eye on cloud-based delivery mechanisms such as Cloudhouse, Application Jukebox and the recently renamed Turbo VM. Don't count out Microsoft either. Its remote application in Azure will be one to watch as Microsoft continues to grow its cloud-based offerings.

8.      Windows Server 2016 Will Massively Change How Windows Desktops are Managed. Today, for those that want a desktop look and feel are arguable forced to use VDI, because Windows Server still uses Windows 8 tiles. This will likely change in 2016 along with massive changes to how Windows desktop operating systems are managed. More Azure-like management and Azure Active Directory will start to be seen on premises - not just in the cloud. This isn't to minimize the impact of containers in Server 2016, which could ultimately, over time, dramatically change the way we create endpoint scale and deliver applications and services.

As no one solution fits all, the hybrid of desktop and application delivery models will drive a need for UEM to enable these 2016 developments. By delivering the ability to separate user profiles and configurations from the operating system, and preventing unknown executables from launching, it eliminates the security risk and complexity that can get in the way of achieving the secure endpoint infrastructure that will fuel both user productivity and business performance.

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About the Author

Simon Townsend is Chief Technologist, EMEA for AppSense, the industry's leading provider of User Environment Management solutions which deliver unprecedented user productivity while securing and simplifying workspace management at scale across physical, virtual and cloud-delivered desktops. A frequent industry speaker, Townsend has spent most of his professional life specializing in desktop, application and Citrix delivery for some of the largest organizations around the world. 
Published Friday, December 11, 2015 6:35 AM by David Marshall
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