Mediocre Best Practices will Lead Next Generation of Virtual Desktops Astray
Hooray for Mediocrity! So I laugh and cry at the same time while reading the above Dilbert cartoon, because of the naivety, ignorance, confusion, and pure lack of education that abounds in the virtual desktop world when deciding on "Best Practices.”
According to the worldwide source of information – Wikipedia:
A best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. In addition, a “best” practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. "Best practice" is considered by some as a business buzzword, used to describe the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use.
We at V3 have been repeating ourselves, sounding like a broken record, belaboring the point that persistent desktops are superior to non-persistent desktops. However, all of the arguments I hear lately suggest that people take a non-persistent desktop and then add a ton of tools to make it persistent again. The part about “adding a ton of tools” leads me to the point of all of this, which is that there is way too much damn complexity surrounding virtual desktops. Great job everybody for making sure that the simplification of computing “made easier” by virtual desktop best practices becomes the biggest irony in tech history. Again, Hooray for Mediocrity!
OK, enough of the melodrama. But I do sincerely say Hooray for all this complexity being the benchmark, because it means we have a ton of opportunities to make it right.
The truth is that the best practices for VDI architectures are simply way too complex.
The virtualization world has made it so complex that you now have to be an expert in Protocols, Thin-Clients, Networking, Connection Brokers, Desktop Provisioning Applications, Hypervisors, Virtual Image Management, Active Directory, Local Storage, Shared Storage, Streamed Apps, Streamed Desktops, Session-Based Desktops, Non-Persistent Desktops, and Persistent Desktops. Forgive me if I left out something. Complexity = Chaos and fear… Good luck!
Needed: A Simple Platform for Virtual Desktops. We at V3 don’t argue that persistent desktops are superior simply because it justifies how we build our appliances. Rather, it gives us a solid platform on which to build, to meet the demands of next generation computing. We need a simple approach to virtual desktops, and a persistent desktop is simple and the straightest forward approach to virtual desktops.
How the Mediocre Release of a Desktop OS can be the Accidental Gateway to a Better Virtual Desktop Platform. In the earlier definition of a best practice, it states that, “Best practices can evolve to become better.” In that light, I was recently reading a product guide describing a feature called Windows To Go, and it listed some of the following features:
- Windows 8 provides the ability to sign in using a Windows LiveID. This allows the user's profile and settings to be synchronized over the Internet and accessible from other computers running Windows 8, as well as integration with SkyDrive.
- Off-site users can have a consistent Windows 8 experience on any Windows 7 or Windows 8 logo-certified corporate or personal PC.
- In Windows 8 Enterprise, IT administrators can provide employees with a corporate Windows image on a compatible USB storage device called Windows To Go.
- With Windows To Go, employees get a rich, consistent, and personalized Windows 8 experience that’s as secure as a fully managed PC. When they shut down, they can remove the USB device and no data is left on the host PC.
These items above were the only things I could find in the feature list that looked interesting to me. This notion of having a Windows desktop anywhere is exactly what we want right? Having Windows desktops able to use your settings and profile information in the cloud is also appealing. Nonetheless, I was hoping that this “Consumer” release would offer something more interesting than the fact that my profile and apps can be in the cloud, and I can use other Windows 8 tablets and devices, or I can throw the OS on a USB stick and open it on any Windows 7/8 machine.
Given my long history at Microsoft, I was not surprised at the offering, yet I was bummed at the same time, until it hit me that these are lame - really lame - features to me unless I am able to build upon them for a virtual desktop world. My thoughts changed and I got really excited at the prospects.
I don’t care that Windows follows me; that’s not interesting to me. But what is interesting to me is that it becomes a platform to build virtual desktop environments on-the-fly, because of the flexibility and enablement they offer. They also allow a doorway into other platforms and devices, not just the Windows 8 devices on Microsoft platforms. Windows To Go would allow a world where I could have my virtual desktop resources on a multiplicity of devices in an offline manner on non-Microsoft hardware.
I need to thank Microsoft for following its best practices and making something better. Unfortunately, whether Microsoft knows it or not, this latest version will absolutely suck for end users and consumers “out of the gate,” and may even be another Vista. However, from my perspective, they built the exact platform features we need in the virtual world. This will usher in a new world of computing for persistent virtual desktops.
Windows product guide: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251529