Image is Everything...
Think of your own image. It’s probably required years of careful focus and dedication for you to emerge as the well-balanced individual you are today. One’s image tends to be the result of a lot of attention, refinement and scrutiny. With the growth of virtual desktops, another kind of image has emerged -- the image used in a virtual desktop environment.
Images involve a delicate balance of many factors. In the case of virtual images, it’s a balance of operating system functionality and shared virtual resources. Throughout the years, virtual images have gone through a refinement process. As the industry moves to a virtual desktop infrastructure, image equilibrium has become the new focus.
In the past, physical desktops have been a place for users to download and store files, folders and applications whenever and where ever they please (unless they are in a “controlled” environment). Gone are those days when an image is made quickly, simply to serve as a dumping ground to accommodate a user’s storage needs.
In order to understand the current focus on equilibrium, let’s look at the OS. Operating systems are designed to run on physical hardware, allowing users to interact with devices, applications and many other elements the operating system offers. Over the years, operating systems have been allowed to become increasingly sloppy in their resource allocation, because the hardware hosting the operating systems can handle the inefficiencies and bloating.
The OS in virtual machines is similar to the OS in physical machines, but with at least one important difference that affects performance. While the operating system in a virtual machine also allows the user to interact with devices, applications and other elements of the operating system, it does so in a shared way. This means that inefficiency and bloating can no longer be tolerated and need to be minimized. This is where image scrutiny plays a major role in the performance of the virtual machine.
Image optimization guides and philosophies seem to be everywhere. Just as there are cosmetic options for one’s personal image, virtual image optimization guides tend to focus on the obvious elements of the image that are easy to adjust. However, the deeper and more basic elements of an image are the ones that can make a major difference. With image optimization, the main focus should be on analyzing how the operating system works in a virtual environment, and how applications, services and devices work within that operating system.
Coupled with persistent desktops and hybrid storage, a finely-tuned image provisioned as a virtual desktop will provide the best possible solution for Desktop Cloud Computing. It’s funny how today our individual image is heavily reliant on digital media, or should we say “the virtual world.” This too is the evolution of personal computing.