There are many virtualisation terms today, such as VDI (virtualised desktop infrastructure), hosted virtual desktop (Gartner) and centralised virtualised desktop (IDC) – these solutions have been available for a while, although with some setbacks and nuances.
Today, VDI is a very competitive and functional infrastructure and one that should be considered in all IT strategies. If they haven’t already done so, most IT strategies will include VDI as a preferred way forward for their infrastructures. Most VDI deployments and architectures won’t have any collaboration integration within them and this is where a ‘next generation workspace’ (NGW) is needed to addresses all the nuances of virtual desktops and rich media services.
Collaboration and productivity
NGW delivers better collaboration and a richer media user experience with best-in-class RoI in a fully-integrated, open and validated desktop virtualisation system. This allows all workers to have access to any application on any device in any environment, and therefore be more connected, more collaborative and more productive. At the same time, IT leaders are relentlessly challenged by tight budgets, limited resources and proliferating data centres demanding more continuity, compliance and security. Now IT can deliver timely deployment of the latest services, applications and end-point devices and a consistently productive user experience, with better cost control of infrastructure and client services, and more protection for business assets.
The infrastructure lets you give your employees an environment that is both agile and efficient, enables personalised and pervasive user interactions, and combines both openness and control through centralising business assets.
What if you as an IT thought leader could do the following:
- Give all participants in your ‘borderless’ company a truly virtualised and collaborative workspace – one that delivers a consistent, uncompromised user experience to data and applications, rich-media collaboration and communication services, anywhere, across any device and across any connection, securely and transparently?
- Deliver a solution that also enhances control and protection of valuable corporate assets, placing them within the confines of a highly-efficient, secure and agile virtualised data centre, while at the same time making it easier to deploy new desktops during corporate re-organisations, mergers, acquisitions and workforce expansion?
- Implement a solution that minimises the total cost of ownership of both IT infrastructure and user workplaces through improved resource utilisation and new user end-point business models? One that for the first time cost-effectively addresses today’s business objectives and initiatives, such as Windows 7 migration, business process outsourcing, compliance and business continuance as well as support for contractors, remote branches, and mobile users.
We believe that this architecture is really the way IT strategies are developing, having a more manageable, agile, performance-based, cost-effective and feature-rich virtual environment – we know that it lets our customers compete effectively, become extremely agile and win business through innovation.
NGW offers the following advantages:
- Agile and efficient service provisioning – this allows companies to quickly deploy new applications, services and devices while at the same time optimising resource utilisation. The result is greater end-to-end productivity and agility, lower operating and capital costs, and ultimately the ability to support more dynamic business models with lower TCO. With this approach, you can set up the computing workplace of a new employee, partner or contractor with a click of the mouse using customised user profiles, with no need to order, configure and implement new end-point hardware. At the datacentre, these virtualised workspaces are mapped dynamically to available computing and storage resources, based on the specific user requirements and privileges, thereby increasing efficiency.
- Personalised and pervasive user interactions – these create a customised and consistent virtual workspace experience across multiple devices and networks. Customised service profiles make desktop management easier, and advanced communications and collaboration applications enable pervasive user interactions. The user’s profile and workspace experience is adapted dynamically based on the network, location, client, and change in role, while an optimal user experience is maintained. For example, application, content and media support can change depending on whether the user is working on an office laptop, a PC at home, or a smartphone across a 3G infrastructure.
- Open and controlled operations – this combines what may seem at first to be two incompatible and competing priorities: an open environment, and control and protection of valuable corporate information and assets.
NGW is supported by a partner ecosystem comprising Cisco, NetApp, VMware and Citrix, which provides endpoint flexibility, with choices of storage, end-point and virtual machine manager (sometimes termed hypervisor). At the same time, it provides virtualisation-aware control of security and policy, and support for high availability and business continuance. With IT now able to more effectively control virtual workspaces while the spectrum of supported clients is broadened, end-users realise that they can choose from an almost open portfolio of end-point devices. The net result is a balance of innovation and risk mitigation.
With NGW, the fully-virtualised user workspace, network, and data centre are combined to provide IT with a manageable, end-to-end strategic asset. These three foundation elements are tied together by service and management layers, creating the first functionally-integrated solution that supports end-to-end services, spanning networked end-points to the data centre. It uses ConvergeOne’s expertise in bringing to market validated solutions that cut across traditional IT and development silos. In fact, ConvergeOne’s vendors’ enterprise hardware and software development roadmaps are aligned across these three elements to enable the evolution of NGW as new technologies and requirements emerge, while helping ensure investment protection for the initial deployments.
Mark Johnson is managing director of ConvergeOne.