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IGEL Technology 2017 Predictions: Windows 10 Driving VDI as Organizations Bolster IT Security

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Jeff Kalberg, Chief Technology Evangelist, IGEL Technology

2017: Windows 10 Driving VDI as Organizations Bolster IT Security

To borrow a Wall Street phrase, we're bullish on virtualization for 2017!  It's hard to believe, but in just three years, Windows 7 will reach end of support, and organizations will be required to move to a newer supported version of Windows.  Because it makes zero sense to adopt Windows 8.1 at this point in the evolution of Windows, organizations will move straight to Windows 10.  But the migration to Windows 10 will be far different from any we've seen before, and the biggest drivers are going to be security and end-user mobility, with cost headlining the list.

Migration Costs

The industry has experienced numerous Windows migrations over the years, with each migration being more complicated and expensive than the last.  While it is feasible to perform in-place upgrades from Windows 8.1, it is nearly impossible to migrate from Windows 7 because of hardware limitations; Windows 7 hardware cannot realistically run Windows 10.  Because Windows 10 demands more resources, organizations will incur more expense for more powerful and capable hardware. But organizations are tired of having to spend money to replace perfectly good and usable end-user computing hardware. 

So, rather than paying for new hardware, organizations are looking to deliver Windows 10 using virtual desktop technology from providers like Citrix, VMware, Microsoft, and others. They can use their existing end-user hardware as access devices for connecting to the new virtual world.  This is the future in 2017 and beyond... Virtualize the desktop and provide anywhere secure access.  One point of validation is the Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offerings from industry leaders like Amazon, Citrix, IBM, VMware and others.  Perhaps most telling is Microsoft's decision to support Windows 10 running on Azure, using remote display technology from Citrix.

Against this landscape, software companies that provide solutions to secure and manage workplace endpoints are understandably bullish on virtualization.  As organizations virtualize Windows 10 - delivering Windows 10 from centrally managed data centers - there is increasing demand for endpoint technology that can provide robust remote display protocols, can save organizations money, and at the same time, improve security.

Operational and Data Security Developments

In the past, we've seen endpoint technology accommodate less secure environments, but in the future this changes.  As we progress through 2017, the network stack of device operating systems simply will not connect to access controllers that do not support the TLS 1.2 protocol; Internet browsers will not connect to websites using outdated SHA-1 signed security certificates, and neither will remote display clients from Citrix, VMware, and others.

In 2017, to ensure the security of devices and date, we will see the introduction of new technologies to actively manage all endpoints that work in, through and around public clouds, when they are not "on the corporate network."  We will see this Mobile Device Management concept evolve within enterprise organizations as Windows 10 desktops become managed more by Microsoft's On-premise Mobile Device Manager rather than through Group Policy.  However, this MDM approach to managing Windows 10 will be usurped by virtual Windows 10 systems provisioned from centrally managed virtual machine templates.

Worldwide, we are also bullish on virtualization expansion as enterprises continue their focus on security, and increase data protection by consolidating customer, financial and intellectual property information into virtualized data stores that are housed in secure data centers.  Organizations with a global presence will be focusing on methods that will combine regional application access with centralized data stores - regional for remote access to the most commonly used applications, and centralized for consolidating and securing data.

End-User Mobility

The mobile worker today expects, and demands, 24x7 access to their work desktop, applications and data.  To keep it simple, this access needs to be available to the user wherever they may be working on any given day on their schedule, and IT needs to attest and certify that everything is secure.  They only way this is possible is through virtualization.

To provide end-users with a reliable and predictable experience, and to ensure the security of stored proprietary customer and corporate data, we will see an increase in the adoption of multi-purpose terminal devices or thin clients.  Because such terminal technology requires effective mobile device management, we will see a surge of new thin client management features that will include device awareness for management, security and control purposes.


Throughout 2017, we will see workers continue their demand for anytime, anywhere access.  With the inevitable migration to Windows 10, we will also see continued focus on data and network security, and a growing interest in maintaining the investment in existing computer assets.  We expect the majority of Windows 10 to be presented from the confines of the secure data center using virtual applications and desktops, remote display technology, and low-maintenance thin client technology at the endpoints.


About the Author

Jeff Kalberg is Chief Technology Evangelist for IGEL Technology.  With over 35 years of industry experience, Jeff has advised organizations of all sizes on a variety of technologies.  Over the years, he has counseled some of the world's largest and most respected companies.  Working within all levels of an organization from marketing and sales to operations and finance to information technology, Jeff has developed a unique perspective that he leverages to the benefit of his client customers today.

Jeff Kalberg 

Published Friday, December 16, 2016 7:06 AM by David Marshall
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