For the past year I have been working with several client technologies that revolve around the area of Client Virtualization. As I looked into these technologies and benchmarked them, I began to realize several key things.
These technologies are finally mature enough to start using mainstream. True they may not all fit your current IT model, security rules or management framework, but that is another discussion. The pure fact is with hardware virtualization now enabled in chipsets, we can expect virtualized environments that perform faster than yesterday's systems and almost as fast as the host OS. Moving forward, technologies will be released that will support side by side OS or multiple instance virtual machines. Imagine a world where IT can manage something as simple as a virtual environment and get out of the platform support and enterprise OS business. There are tools there today that allow this to happen and we have done some work in this area and released a white paper recently with our results, it is called Client Computing with a VUE and can be found at (). The key is to make sure you start planning around these technologies now, versus scrambling to support them later.
Some of these technologies are flexible enough, they can be used to enable our users in ways we never could before - Imagine going home at night and not having to carry a laptop. Simply carrying a USB stick that has your IT build on it and being able to plug it into your home system to check email, review documents etc. Imagine users having a choice in the platforms they use. No longer is getting a system in IT like picking the first Model T, do you want black or black? We could enable our users today to be able to simply go to any computer access a website, log in and authenticate, and a few moments later, they can have corporate apps streamed to the system they are on and access their data from cloud storage.
IT can sometimes be more than a cost center - After reviewing some of these technologies, I realized we as IT could use some of these to provide more than standard services to the corporate environments we support. Imagine a corporate environment with thousands of desktops that users use day to day but don't fully utilize. Using some of these technologies, we can take processor and memory slices off these machines and add them to a grid computing environment. Allowing our corporation several thousand more process cycles without having to expand their server or data center space.
Again, not all of these can drop right into your environment today. Some things may need to change on the technology or your IT side. But the key is this area is changing fast. Let's stop thinking about how we have always done it and instead ask how we should do this tomorrow.
Feel free to comment and leave your thoughts!