This week I will be attending Citrix Synergy in San Francisco. It is my first major Citrix event and I am looking forward to comparing the event to VMworld, which I have attended several times. I will blog about the differences on my way back home.
Desktop Virtualization (aka VDI) is going to be a hot topic at the conference, and I am especially interested in new use cases. Many of you are familiar with the replacement, contractor and the "iPad" use-cases. However, over the past few years I have seen a lot of innovative use-cases starting to emerge with a tremendously different ROI.
In these new use cases IT is creating single purpose VDIs that can be used for a limited time for a very specific business purpose. Sometimes this is done for performance. For example, one customer had an old and large client/server application used by external partners that because of the growing amount of data needed to be transferred from a database in the data center to the application on the desktop outside the company's firewall, performance was becoming worse and worse. Their solution was a simple service catalog front-end, which enables end-users to provision a virtual desktop on-demand with just that one application and direct access to the databases. The resulting service provides superior performance without the need to make any other modifications to the client/server application.
Other examples are driven by convenience and secure data access. One customer needed to give business analysts access to data and an analytical software package based on proper approvals but didn't want the data or the tools outside the data center. Again, this was solved with a specialized VDI that could be provisioned on demand with all the entitled access to data and the application. The service included a pre-determined time-period after which the VDI was destroyed. The approval and fulfillment process was again front-ended by a service catalog, so it became a repeatable and standardized offering. The other benefit achieved with this setup was that the "extra" virtual desktop the analyst had access to could do all the analysis and data crunching without impacting the performance of the analyst's current desktop environment. While some of this could be achieved with application virtualization and streaming or user virtualization/workspace management software, sometimes simpler solutions are more effective and faster.
What other new and innovative use-cases are you seeing? Are we entering a new era where IT will bundle and deliver some IT services in discrete packages through VDI as a hybrid approach?
Come by our booth (#405) at Citrix Synergy to share your opinion and get a demo of our virtual desktop automation solution, a high-performance, virtual desktop-as-a-service for Citrix XenDesktop environments.