Desktop Virtualization, VDI and Client-Hosted

Another acronym – just what the IT world needs, but VDI is with us now. VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is one type of desktop virtualization. It refers to hosting client virtual machines on a central server and deploying that virtual machine to any appropriate device –a PC, a thin client, a netbook on the road, etc. The other category of desktop virtualization is client-hosted. That model involves having two or more separate environments –as separate virtual machines on one client machine.
VDI is the more generally applicable model for business computing needs. This approach offers at first blush a lot of advantages. Your friendly, all setup as you like it office computing environment can be accessible to you anywhere from a lot of different devices.
Setting up a new desktop would take potentially minutes. Management, maintenance, updating of all of a business’s “desktops” is done centrally and probably more quickly than for separate desktop machine. The whole concept of a desktop PC goes away to some degree.

Cost, time and security advantages make the technology certainly intriguing. One disadvantage is the effort to get setup –without ending up with double the hardware investment. That is you could end up with bigger, more powerful servers and more of them plus be using desktops. A from scratch implementation with thin clients in place of desktops would make more sense.
The big players seems to be VWware and Microsoft. We will be deploying a pilot environment here at ERGOS and I will report back on our experiences.

Windows 7 – Looking Good!

Microsoft is getting close to release of Windows 7 – the plan is in October of this year. After the many concerns and issues with Vista there is some hesitancy to jump on the bandwagon for Windows 7, but it looks good! It apparently builds on the best parts of Vista and adds speed and reduces memory usage. It reduces laptop power consumption. It has improved internal search, faster online access, touch screen options and new “jump screens” that seem to add functionality. One of our techs has used it for several weeks now and his comments are very positive:
“My initial impressions of Windows 7 have been overwhelmingly positive. It is amazingly stable and intuitive. The user interface has not changed drastically from Vista, but it resolves all of the complaints I had with its predecessor. After a clean installation, it went out and downloaded every single driver I needed, even drivers only available from third party websites, and automatically notifies me when new drivers become available from the manufacturer. I attempted to install two products that were never functional in Vista x64 for me, and when they failed in Win7, I received prompts recommending that I run them in WinXP compatibility mode. A quick click of accept and both are running flawlessly.

Windows 7 also includes a utility called Windows XP Mode, based off of Microsoft’s Virtual PC, that allows you to run an XP virtual machine from within Win7 in the event of a software compatibility issue, which I have not found to be necessary due to the compatibility adjustments. I was skeptical that the Virtual PC offering could be as useful as its VMWare opposite number, but was pleasantly surprised again. It’s as smooth as I’ve ever seen a virtual machine, and all of the host’s hardware, including anything attached by USB or Bluetooth, is automatically available in the virtual environment.

In short, Win7 provides multiple, redundant solutions to the major issues raised in Vista. I can perform most actions faster, with less clicks, than I ever could with Vista Ultimate. With several weeks of business and personal use and not a single crash or lock up, I am very optimistic about the newest version of Windows.”

Other reviews that I have read also have been very positive such as, “…upgrade without trepidation, people. With excitement even.”[1] and “essentially a faster Vista, the Vista that should have been”.[2]

Windows 7 is looking good!

[1]Windows 7 Review: You Can Quit Complaining Now
By Matt Buchanan,
http://gizmodo.com/5330609/windows-7-review-you-can-quit-complaining-now

[2]Business Insider, Eric Krangel, http://www.businessinsider.com/2009/1/windows-7-review-consensus-its-a-faster-vista-msft
“Windows 7 Review Consensus: It’s A Faster Vista”