I attended my first BriForum seminar last week in Chicago. This was the eighth year of its existence. It was well attended with approximately 500 people attending 56 different virtualization centric presentations. Most attendees thought it was well done and thought provoking, and I did as well. Topics ranged from Type 1 Hypervisors (T1H), remoting protocols, application management, disk storage for virtualized desktops, Windows 7 best practices, and many others.
I was not too surprised to see that there were 5 different presentations on Type 1 Hypervisors with the emphasis being on Citrix’s XenClient. I was somewhat surprised that only about half of the attendees were familiar with Type 1 Hypervisors. I was also surprised that when asked the question, “how many in the audience had full scale VDI solutions in production”, only 3-5% of the audience raised their hand. I thought it would have been more. However when asked “how many people are testing VDI”, approximately 30-40% of the audience raised their hands. From the many seminars I attended, the VDI solution is not as easy at sounds, and there are many best known methods still in progress. There were lots of discussions surrounding desktop virtualization methods. Everything from the “PC is dead” to client side desktop virtualization (T1H) is “the wave of the future”, was discussed. When I heard the “PC is dead” I had a flashback to about 25 years ago when PC networks were first being installed. Back then the cry was the IBM mainframe is dead. As hindsight is 20-20 vision it was rather silly to believe that. IBM still sells mainframes today.
There will not be one all encompassing manner in which to deploy and manage the desktop/laptop (no one size fits all). But rather, we will see a variety of solutions being deployed in the Enterprise depending upon application usage, security/data concerns, storage concerns, centralized management and bandwidth availability. The new T1H’s hold great promise, for not only the mobility factor, but also, for desktop image management in the Enterprise. And, as usual in the computer business, there will be a variety of T1H’s from which to choose. The decision on which one to choose will depend upon the manageability capabilities that are incorporated in with the T1H.