Keep Users at the Center of your Desktop Strategy

Note from the Editor: This is the first post in a series of guest blogs from our #DellWorld event partners. Doug Lane is the Director of Product Marketing at AppSense, Inc, provider of user virtualization solutions to enterprise organizations. You can find him on Twitter @dlane. With that, here's Doug's post:

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As DellWorld 2011 rapidly approaches, the entire Dell ecosystem will soon be immersed in exploration of how virtualization technology can unlock new possibilities in the enterprise IT setting. But as you dive into the many efficiency and security opportunities that desktop virtualization can bring, it is essential to keep two key things in mind:

  • No matter how significant the benefits to IT, your desktop virtualization project will not be successful unless users embrace it.
  • PCs will remain a focal point of enterprise computing even as virtualization transforms how you deploy and manage desktops. 
Let’s begin by focusing on user experience. In the context of desktop virtualization, user experience is most often associated with remote display protocol performance. This is certainly important, but it is an area that platform vendors like Citrix and VMware address very well these days. Arguably more important is the extent to which a virtual desktop can be personalized in the way the users are accustomed to. Are personal settings and customizations retained from one desktop session to the next? Do local resources such as printers and drives become available to users even as desktop execution moves to the data center and users roam between locations and workstations? And most importantly, can all of this personalization and dynamic configuration be done without negatively impacting log-on times or letting infrastructure costs skyrocket?

Through collaboration with Dell, AppSense user virtualization technology can now be an element of the Dell Desktop Virtualization Solutions (DDVS) approach. By incorporating user virtualization into their desktop strategy, you can build a highly standardized desktop virtualization fabric that is instantly personalized to each individual user at log-on time. This both optimizes your storage investments and provides users with a personalized experience that adapts based upon what they are doing and where they are doing it. With user virtualization, all aspects of the user are decoupled from the underlying OS and applications, managed and governed by policies centrally, and then delivered on a just-in-time basis as a user accesses and uses a desktop – any desktop.

That brings me to my second point, all of the benefits that user virtualization brings to virtual desktops can also be realized on native PCs. By abstracting the user from the underlying platform, user virtualization makes it possible for users to roam between myriad desktop and application delivery methods. For most organizations, desktop virtualization will not be an “all or nothing” proposition. A heterogeneous mix of PCs and virtual desktops will be the new normal, and user virtualization is the glue that can tie this new, heterogeneous world together for both IT and users.

To find out more about how DDVS can be optimized with user virtualization, visit AppSense in the DDVS End-User Computing Domain at DellWorld, or find more detail online at: http://www.appsense.com/alliances/dell

Doug Lane

Director of Product Marketing

AppSense, Inc.

About the Author: Doug Lane