Whitepaper - Desktop Virtualization

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                                                              VIRTUALIZATION OF THE DESKTOP

              Desktop Virtualization - Abstract                                          that creates numerous challenges including
                                                                                         data security; update and refresh cycles;
              Today’s computing needs require IT                                         power, heat and space consumption; and the
              departments     to    address    more     PC                               management of local packaged applications
              management challenges than they did just a                                 like productivity suites and browsers, as well
              few years ago. Users increasingly demand                                   as home-grown applications.
              access to their applications and data at any
              location and from any device. The fast                                     Much like server virtualization, virtualization
              growth of computer users who roam from                                     desktops involves separating the physical
              one PC to another has led companies to                                     location of a client device from its logical
              provide access to the user’s desktop from                                  interface. In practical terms, desktop
              any computer in the workplace, detaching                                   virtualization allows end users to access all of
              the user from the physical PC. Users are also                              their data and applications without being tied
              increasing their use of personal technology                                down to a specific hardware device. It also
              at home. This increase leads them to expect                                allows IT departments to reduce management
              similar    personal    configurations    and                               and support costs, along with capital expenses
              technological freedoms in the workplace.                                   for desktop hardware.
              Additionally, users are now more likely to
              use their own devices to access corporate
              applications, such as corporate email, from                                Desktop Virtualization: Introduction
              their personal mobile phones.
                                                                                         Companies are increasingly turning to
              Infrastructure virtualization is a powerful                                virtualization as the answer to these new
              trend in the industry today, but the concept                               challenges. Desktop virtualization is the act of
              of virtualization has been around for many                                 separating the different computing layers and
              years. Virtualization technology has been                                  storing some or all of them in a data center.
              pursued by vendors as a framework to divide                                Through virtualization, employees can access
              the resources of a computer into multiple                                  their applications and data safely over a
              execution environments using a variety of                                  network and the risk of data loss is minimized.
              hardware      and    software     abstraction                              On the IT side, virtualization accelerates
              techniques, resulting in the separation of                                 deployment of new capabilities without
              the logical interface from the physical                                    needing to acquire new hardware and
              machine. Virtualization originated in the                                  configure components. It also reduces
              1960s as a technique to optimize the use of                                application    testing    requirements      and
              very expensive and relatively scarce                                       compatibility issues while simplifying disaster
              computing resources.                                                       recovery and compliance.

              Desktop virtualization offers a way to                                     Further, over the past few years, businesses
              extend the benefits of virtualization – better                             have simplified their data center management
              performance, lower TCO, higher security                                    via server virtualization technologies and
              and greater flexibility – to the full desktop.                             achieved enormous cost benefits in the
              Each desktop is supported by a physical PC                                 process. Now, new advances in virtualization
              Proprietary, Intelligroup Inc.

              Visit us @ www.intelligroup.com
              Intelligroup, Inc., 5 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540. Tel: 646-810-7400, Fax: 646-810-7500
 and more availability of broadband access                                 the local storage of remote client; thus, when
enable companies to do the same with                                       users work from their remote desktop client,
enterprise desktops by providing the tools                                 all of the programs, applications, processes,
necessary to rearrange how PC components                                   and data used are kept and run centrally,
interact and to choose where those                                         allowing users to access their desktops on any
components reside.                                                         capable device, such as a traditional personal
                                                                           computer, notebook computer, smart phone,
                                                                           or thin client.
Desktop Virtualization
                                                                           The desktop virtualization model allows the
“Desktop virtualization” is a term used for a                              use of virtual machines to let multiple
new approach to the provisioning, delivery,                                network subscribers maintain individualized
and management of user desktops in the                                     desktops on a single, centrally located
enterprise. The main principle behind this                                 computer or server. The central machine may
new approach is leveraging existing and                                    be at a residence, business, or data center.
well-proven virtualization technologies to                                 Users may be geographically scattered, but all
virtualize not only servers but also user                                  may be connected to the central machine by a
desktops (the workstations).                                               local area network, wide area network, or via
                                                                           the public Internet.
Desktop     virtualization   replaces   the
traditional workstation/laptop model where                                 Desktop virtualization offers advantages over
users run all their applications and store                                 the traditional model, in which every
data on their desktop devices. Instead, the                                computer operates as a completely self-
entire desktop experience will be executed                                 contained unit with its own operating system,
in datacenter servers. Although, in theory,                                peripherals and application programs. Overall
the user experience should nearly be the                                   expenses are reduced because resources can
same. Think of the old                                                                          be shared and allocated
mainframe      days    when                                                                     to users on an as-needed
there was a huge central                                                                        basis. The integrity of
processing unit and users                                                                       user    information    is
had thin terminals (monitor,                                                                    improved because all
keyboard, and mouse) with                                                                       data is maintained and
almost no processing power.                                                                     backed up in the data
The user’s terminal was                                                                         center.    Conflicts  in
just a way to send output                                                                       software are minimized
to the user and to send                                                                         by reducing the total
input to the processing                                                                         number of programs
server.                                                                                         stored on any given
The diagram on the right illustrates
this principle in a simplified view:
                                                                                                 Despite the sharing of
                                                                           resources, all users can customize and modify
Desktop virtualization is the concept of
                                                                           their desktops to meet their specific needs. In
separating a personal computer desktop
                                                                           this way, desktop virtualization offers
environment from the physical machine
                                                                           improved flexibility compared with the
through a client-server computing model.
                                                                           simpler client/server paradigm.
The resulting "virtualized" desktop is stored
on a remote central server, instead of on

Proprietary, Intelligroup Inc.

Visit us @ www.intelligroup.com
Intelligroup, Inc., 5 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540. Tel: 646-810-7400, Fax: 646-810-7500
Limitations of desktop virtualization include                              desktop instance, and a virtualization engine
potential security risks if the network is not                             to create the desktops and finally, the
properly managed, some loss of user
autonomy and privacy, challenges in setting
up and maintaining drivers for printers and
other peripherals, difficulty in running
certain complex applications such as
multimedia and problems keeping IP
addresses on users' virtual machines
matched with those at the datacenter.

Types of Desktop Virtualization                                            management               tools   to   manage   the
There are two main variants of desktop
                                                                           VDI Components
Hosted desktop virtualization: This is when
                                                                           End User Access
a server located in a data center hosts
                                                                           VDI changes the way the user accesses his or
virtual machines. Users connect to the
server via connection brokers and receive                                  her desktop. Most users are not as technical
                                                                           as the typical administrator, so it is important
their user interface via standard protocols,
such as Remote Desktop Protocol. VMware                                    to make the transition straightforward. Ideally
Inc. is among the leaders in this market.                                  using the VDI technology must be as easy as or
                                                                           easier than it was to use a dedicated
Other vendors include Citrix Systems Inc.,
                                                                           workstation or laptop. It is possible to use
Virtual Iron Software Inc., and Qumranet Inc.
                                                                           Terminal Services or other remote access
                                                                           protocols on a regular PC, but many
Client virtualization: In this model, “hyper
                                                                           organizations decide to deploy thin client
visor” software installed on the client
device allows one desktop to run multiple                                  solutions to make things simple for its end
operating systems. Top vendors in this                                     users. There are several choices for thin
                                                                           clients, Wyse, Neoware and Computer Labs
market include VMware Inc., Microsoft Corp.,
                                                                           are some examples of thin client offerings.
Sentillion Inc., and Parallels Inc.
                                                                           The thin client works with a hardware monitor.
                                                                           It is a very thin OS that boots and manages
How to achieve Desktop                                                     interaction with one of many remote
Virtualization?                                                            connectivity technologies. Some thin clients
                                                                           come pre-packaged with a connection broker.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure [VDI]
VDI is an integrated solution of hardware,
software and management tools to provide a                                 Connection Broker
replacement      for    standard     desktop                               The simple purpose of the connection broker
deployments. In the simplest terms, VDI                                    is to manage the end user connections with
places user desktops on a centralized server.                              the     virtualized desktops.    In    smaller
There are five components that comprise                                    installations, a connection broker isn’t
the VDI solution. In order of user to                                      absolutely necessary; however in installations
centralized server these are: the end user                                 in excess of 100 users, it is essential. Some
access, a connection broker that manages                                   examples of connection brokers are Provision
end user to server connections, a virtualized
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Visit us @ www.intelligroup.com
Intelligroup, Inc., 5 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540. Tel: 646-810-7400, Fax: 646-810-7500
Networks Remote Desktop Broker and Leo-                                         many laptops and workstations are only
stream Virtual Desktop Connection Broker.                                       backed up piecemeal, and instigated by
                                                                                the end-user, if at all. The server could
Virtualized Desktop and Virtualization                                          also be a highly reliable and redundant
Engine                                                                          configuration with high RAID and SAN
The last important component of the VDI                                         configurations to ensure availability and
solution is the management toolset used to                                      data access.
deploy the virtual desktops. It’s critical to                              •    Data is secure and is only accessed by the
have a good management toolset to                                               end-user. For example, there have been
accompany the deployment. Software and                                          instances of laptops with highly secure
OS patches must be simple and controllable,                                     customer or government data that has
while desktops need to be simple to create                                      been lost by employees.
and modeled to provide a consistent desktop                                •    Creating a desktop for a new user can be
to users.                                                                       done with only a couple of clicks and in
                                                                                less than two minutes.
VDI is a new technology that gives IT                                      •    Freeing IT staff from many of the mundane
departments some choice and control over                                        and time consuming tasks of managing and
how to manage their exploding desktop                                           maintaining     the   desktop   computing
infrastructure. With a set of components,                                       infrastructure.
deploying a VDI solution can be an effective
way to centrally manage and control
desktop instances and delivery.                                            The Benefits of Desktop Virtualization

Why Consider a VDI Deployment?                                             Unlike server virtualization, which got its
VDI is moving the computing from the end-                                  foothold in many organizations as a way to
user to a centralized location. This is a                                  consolidate servers, desktop virtualization
dramatic change in any organization.                                       doesn’t aim to reduce the number of PCs. By
                                                                           separating physical machines from their
The main benefits of VDI include:                                          logical interfaces, desktop virtualization aims
• Centralized software management is                                       to reduce the headaches and complexity
   much simpler and more cost effective for                                associated with deploying and maintaining
   the IT organization.                                                    client devices, which ultimately helps IT
• OS and application patches can be done                                   departments reduce desktop management
   quickly, reliably and managed centrally.                                costs.
• Increased        resource     efficiencies-
   centralizing the processing onto a server                               Hosted Desktop Benefits
   ensure that resources are used fully and
   efficiently. Some desktops may only use                                 In the hosted desktop virtualization model,
   a small percentage of processing                                        data and applications run on servers in the
   capability, while others constantly                                     data center and are essentially streamed to
   exceed processing capabilities.                                         clients. That leads to greater security,
                                                                           because data and applications reside on
• Data security- Data backups can be
                                                                           physically secure servers rather than on more
   completed easily and quickly without
                                                                           easily compromised client devices. Also,
   user interruption. Typically laptop or
                                                                           transferring much of the desktop processing
   workstation backups would be done while
                                                                           workload from client devices to the data
   the end-user was using the system,
                                                                           center enables IT departments to reduce wear
   slowing processing and detracting from
   the end-user productivity. As a result,
Proprietary, Intelligroup Inc.

Visit us @ www.intelligroup.com
Intelligroup, Inc., 5 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540. Tel: 646-810-7400, Fax: 646-810-7500
and tear on client hardware and thereby                                    newer systems. A company that uses a
extend its life span.                                                      homegrown application incompatible with
                                                                           Windows Vista, for example, no longer has to
In addition, hosted desktops enable IT                                     rewrite the software before upgrading to
departments to improve support. With                                       Microsoft’s latest operating system. Using
traditional desktop computing, the IT                                      client virtualization, the company can simply
department must dispatch a technician                                      run the application on its Windows Vista PCs
every time a client device won’t start                                     inside a Windows XP-based virtual machine.
properly. With virtual hosted desktops,                                    Client virtualization is also an ideal model for
however, a technician can rebuild the entire                               organizations that allow employees to use
operating system without ever setting foot                                 their laptops for both work and personal use.
outside the data center, and have the end                                  IT departments can create different corporate
user up and running in minutes. That means                                 and personal images on separate virtual
increased productivity for IT employees and                                machines, and impose stringent security
end users alike.                                                           controls only on the corporate image. That
                                                                           enables companies to remain in compliance
Moreover, unlike “dumb” terminals that                                     with government data privacy regulations
deliver the same plain vanilla computing                                   while still giving employees the freedom to
experience to everyone, virtual hosted                                     use their computers for personal tasks as they
desktops support customization. Just like a                                wish.
regular PC, virtual machines reflect users’
personal operating system and application
settings. They can also store personalized
screen savers and digital music collections.                               Challenges of Desktop Virtualization
Client Virtualization Benefits
                                                                           As with any technology, desktop virtualization
                                                                           doesn’t come without trade-offs. For
The client virtualization model of desktop
                                                                           organizations considering hosted desktops,
virtualization delivers equally compelling
                                                                           client virtualization, or a combination of the
benefits. For instance, IT departments can
                                                                           two, it’s necessary to first understand desktop
use    client   virtualization  to   isolate
                                                                           virtualization’s limitations.
confidential data and applications within
discrete virtual machines. That helps
protect the data from hackers if they
                                                                           Hosted Desktop Virtualization Challenges
compromise a client device’s operating
                                                                           • Most networks aren’t powerful enough to
system. Similarly, IT administrators can
                                                                              deliver rich graphics, such as those offered
assign different security restrictions to
                                                                              by the aero interface in Windows Vista, to
virtual machines based on the sensitivity of
                                                                              a virtual hosted desktop.
the data they contain. For example, they
can configure some virtual machines to bar                                 • Virtual hosted desktops are server-based
                                                                              and delivered to end users over the
users from copying data onto thumb drives
and other portable storage devices, while                                     network. If the network goes down,
configuring other virtual machines more                                       therefore, users will be unable to access
permissively.                                                                 their desktops.
For end users, client virtualization means                                 • Virtual hosted desktops require significant
greater flexibility, since they can run                                       bandwidth, and the ratio of users to
multiple operating systems and thereby                                        servers is not as high as in other client
accommodate both legacy applications and                                      computing models. As a result, some

Proprietary, Intelligroup Inc.

Visit us @ www.intelligroup.com
Intelligroup, Inc., 5 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540. Tel: 646-810-7400, Fax: 646-810-7500
     organizations may need to make costly                                 multiple virtual test machines with multiple
     upgrades to their servers, storage, and                               different operating systems running on one
     network infrastructure before rolling out                             physical desktop. Employees who need to
     desktop virtualization.                                               work with applications on incompatible
•    End users may experience latency when                                 platforms can also benefit from client
     operating their virtual desktops. Remote                              virtualization, as can contract workers who
     workers in particular may experience                                  need to access a customer’s network through
     poor performance if their virtual hosted                              their own PCs. IT departments can simply
     desktops are delivered across a wide                                  create virtual desktops for them with all the
     area network.                                                         applications and data they require. Accessing
                                                                           that hosted desktop through a virtual machine
The best way to address these challenges is                                allows contractors to keep the customer’s
to deploy hosted desktops only to                                          applications and data separate from their own.
appropriate users. Traditional target users
for virtual hosted desktops are workers who
use their computers for very specific tasks                                Benefits of virtual desktop computing
that are not knowledge-intensive, such as
employees in call centers and administrative                                    •    Maintain the Windows desktops and builds
workers. Remote and mobile workers can be                                            from one central location
good fits for hosted desktop virtualization                                          o No need to visit physical machines to install
                                                                                         or update software or change
too, provided they have access to high-
speed network connections.
                                                                                •    Support is improved by shadowing sessions
Client Virtualization Challenges                                                     and watching the user’s steps
                                                                                     o Use RDP tools or the VMware server console
Client virtualization has its challenges as                                             to follow what the user is doing when
                                                                                        giving support remotely, or take control of
well. For one, running multiple virtual                                                 the machine.
machines simultaneously requires more
powerful client hardware, particularly in                                       •    Easy recovery, replacement of machines.
terms of processing and memory. As a result,                                         o Blue screen, dead OS, no problem! Simply
organizations must often make up-front                                                   delete the virtual machine and replace it in
                                                                                         minutes rather than hours. No need to
investments to get their desktops “virtual                                               physically collect a machine.
machine ready.” Additionally, end users
sometimes         experience       degraded                                     •    Centralized control, shutdown or restart
performance when running applications not                                            machines remotely
native to their client device’s base                                                 o If a user changes department, simply
                                                                                        change the connection profile for that user,
operating system. For example, some Apple                                               allowing them to access the appropriate
Mac-based systems may not operate as                                                    department build Shutdown or restart a
speedily on a Microsoft Windows-based PC,                                               client machine remotely
even when they’re run in a Mac-based
virtual machine.                                                                •    Manage your pool of machines
                                                                                     o Add or remove virtual desktops as needed
                                                                                        in a few minutes. No need to wait for
To overcome these challenges, organizations                                             hardware to arrive, when staff changes
should carefully assess where implementing                                              occur.
client    virtualization    makes      sense.
Traditional use cases for this model include                                    •    Lower costs
technical end users, such as software testers.                                       o Old PCs and low cost thin clients can be
                                                                                        used, as the processing is done by the
Client virtualization enables them to have                                              server not the client
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Intelligroup, Inc., 5 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540. Tel: 646-810-7400, Fax: 646-810-7500
           o     No difficult Terminal Server management,                       •    Difficulty in running certain complex
                 3rd party utilities needed                                          applications such as multimedia
           o     No Terminal Server CAL costs
                                                                                •    Increased downtime in the event of
           o     Reduced support and time administering
                 physical desktops.                                                  network failures
                                                                                •    Complexity and high costs of VDI
Limitations of Desktop Virtualization                                                deployment and management
                                                                           Notable providers:
     •     Potential security risks if the network
           is not properly managed                                              •    VMware View
     •     Some loss of user autonomy and                                       •    Citrix XEN Desktop
           privacy                                                              •    Wyse
     •     Challenges in setting up and                                         •    Microsoft Remote Desktop Services
           maintaining drivers for printers and                                      and/or Terminal Services
           other peripherals


Augmenting traditional PCs with a powerful and cost-effective thin computing alternative makes
good business sense for many organizations. Particularly when budgets are tight, IT resources are
scarce, and security is a concern, consolidating desktop environments in the data center is a
solution well worth considering.

Using virtualization technology in the server room and clients on the desktop, companies reduce
maintenance and support costs while users continue to enjoy the same desktop experience as
with PCs. With this approach, organizations can deliver secure, isolated desktops that are always
on, accessible from anywhere and easy to set up and maintain.

Proprietary, Intelligroup Inc.

Visit us @ www.intelligroup.com
Intelligroup, Inc., 5 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540. Tel: 646-810-7400, Fax: 646-810-7500
                                 Corporate Headquarters
                                        Intelligroup, Inc.
                                   5 Independence Way,
                                    Princeton, NJ 08540.
                                       Tel: 646-810-7400
                                       Fax: 646-810-7500

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Proprietary, Intelligroup Inc.

Visit us @ www.intelligroup.com
Intelligroup, Inc., 5 Independence Way, Princeton, NJ 08540. Tel: 646-810-7400, Fax: 646-810-7500