A co-worker of mine attended the CEO round table session yesterday where the CEO of EMC mentioned that 75% of IT budget is spent on maintaining legacy applications. Now when you sit back and let that sink in, its actually true. If, that applies to you then the urge to replace these legacy apps gets even stronger. The general session today sort of started with the same theme.
In comes Mirage from an acquisition of a company names Wanova. Steve Herrod, covered the issue with disconnected users in View at times. Mirage has the promise to keep this in sync to where the deployed desktops are always in sync with the central location. Now keep in mind, a lot of skeptics believe that running PCs on expensive servers and SAN is not not cost effective. However, its the running cost that includes supporting these PCs is really what makes VDI a vey viable option.
The demonstration for Mirage was pretty awesome. In the demo, an XP user was in the middle of a presentation and received a call from IT who were looking to upgrade him from XP to Windows 7. Yes, in the middle of the presentation, the client started to run and within seconds the user was prompted to restart which came back with windows 7. What made this really seamless was the background, the documents and all personal data stayed intact on the new OS. The user then ends up dropping the laptop, but because mirage keeps info in sync, the image was then accessible via his tablet until it was deployed to his newly purchased macbook.
Speaking of tablets and view, I have been a skeptic myself simply because of the lack of touch screen optimized interface. My prayers were answered in a sneak peak of a windows 7 connection from a tablet that lists out browsing applications in almost an iOS/Android type layout that is native to the tablet and something we all are used to. Hopefully Apple does not have a patent over that :p. Besides that, switching between applications is also how we are used to switching applications on a tablet. I think this will certainly be a more practical approach to adapting View on tablets.
Another improvement thats were discussed was Horizon, another promising approach to truly deliver IT as a service with incredible SLAs. You can now manage not only your web apps, but also your thin apps and mobile Apps. Speaking of Mobile Apps, an awesome thing came up. I have been a big fan of VMware mobile because I hate carrying two different devices. VMware mobile was really geared more towards Android based phones, but VMware has now figured out how to deliver that opportunity to iOS as well and follow the Apple way of things.
Yep, you will not be running a VM like the approach is on the Android side of things. On the iOS side, you will have individual apps that are deployed to you by horizon that are marked with a logo that shows these are secure apps with an encrypted link. The IT department will be at ease because even if this will run on the same device as your facebook and other personal apps, the corporate apps will be completely secure. You will not be able to even copy out of these encrypted apps if that tells you anything about how secure this apps will be. At launch, it will prompt you for an additional password as an additional layer of security. Think about it, you publish an App in horizon and give a user group access to it. The users can then deploy this app on their desktops, or even on their iPhones using the Horizon App Store just like they install apps on their iPhones today. I think this step is certainly in the right direction and will gain a lot of love and support.
All this will tremendously reduce cost, again dont think about the implementation cost as a whole. Think about the cost to run and support the on demand self-healing self-serving environments. Thats the promise that have been made, a lot of what I mentioned above promises to deliver that. Great stuff, and great times to be living in.