by Thor Olavsrud

7 Dwarfs of Desktop Virtualization – Whistle While You Migrate

Feb 25, 20155 mins
Desktop Virtualization

In February 1938, Walt Disney Productions revolutionized animated film with the world's first full-length cel-animated feature film, carried by seven dwarfs and a princess. Seventy-seven years later, seven virtual dwarfs are revolutionizing the corporate workspace.

7 Reasons You Should Migrate to a Virtual Workspace

For 77 years this month, the seven dwarfs of Walt Disney Production’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have been the hardest working dwarfs in show business. In the film the dwarfs spend all day, every day tirelessly digging up jewels from their mine. In the world of business, desktop virtualization can help your IT teams empower your workforce to work more productively than ever.

These seven dwarfs of desktop virtualization are reasons you should migrate to a virtual workspace.

Mobilizing Apps

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Desktop virtualization allows you to take apps originally designed for a desktop and transform them for any touchscreen device.

“It’s not enough to simply deliver a Windows app to a smartphone or tablet, the app needs to adapt to the touchscreen and device features, and it needs to work right, even on poor Wi-Fi or cellular connections,” says Calvin Hsu, vice president of Product Marketing, Desktop and Apps, Citrix. “That’s why we provide developers with an HDXS toolkit to customize their Windows applications to be mobile-aware and take advantage of features like GPS location awareness, pictures and video capture and screen rotation re-factoring. It’s also important to use delivery protocols that can overcome packet loss and uneven bandwidth that can commonly occur on wireless networks.”

Enabling 3D Graphics

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About 50 percent of engineers work late nights and weekends fixing design data. You can make your engineers a lot happier by enabling IT host apps and desktops in the data center for secure, real-time remote collaboration.

“3D remote apps and data delivery can break the chains that bind engineers and designers to deskbound workstations,” Hsu says. “That freedom, done securely, can unleash a new wave of innovation, providing access from the field, and onsite, as well as from their home offices. With 3D app delivery, the files remain secure in the data center, a vital factor for businesses that must protect intellectual property, since the loss or theft of design data can be costly for large companies and disastrous for smaller firms.”

Accessing Data from Anywhere

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Through desktop virtualization you can allow contractors, partners and employees access to data from anywhere, keeping them productive. This can be especially important in light of the growing number of contingent workers and employees who work from home at least once a week.

“It’s critical to balance access to data with the need to keep it secure,” says Bill Carovano, senior director, Enterprise Product Marketing, Citrix. “Paradoxically, if you just focus on security, you end up with less security. That’s because users end up going rogue and find their own solutions to get the job done. So it’s important to provide users with an enterprise-class alternative that still empowers them to sync files across their devices and securely share files in the intuitive experience they’ve come to expect.”

Transforming Call Centers

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Through virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) you can create virtualized call centers, offering tremendous flexibility while minimizing costs.

“VDI is perfect for delivering a call center workspace, providing agents with simple, secure access to all the applications and data they need,” Hsu says. “These workspaces can be delivered from the cloud or in centralized data centers, allowing IT managers to easily spin up new locations or add new agents as business demands change.”

Simplifying PC Refresh

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Through VDI you can deliver desktops and apps securely to any device. This can greatly simplify the PC refresh process and even allow you to eke more work out of your aging PCs.

“Most businesses have come to grips with the fact that in five years, they don’t want to be managing PCs the same way they have for the last 25 years,” Hsu says. “Thousands of businesses today are redirecting their PC refresh budgets to implement VDI, which is more cost effective and easier to deploy than ever. Then they can simply take those aging PCs and repurpose them as thin clients, extending their usable life.”

Securing Corporate Laptops

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One in 10 corporate laptops are lost or stolen, according to an October 2010 report by security research firm Ponemon Institute. That’s a serious data loss problem, but desktop virtualization can help keep your data out of the wrong hands.

“Every mobile device that needs access to data from yet another location outside the office increases the risk to data loss and theft when data is directly accessed and/or stored locally,” says Kurt Roemer, chief security strategist, Citrix. “With application and desktop virtualization, the data remains securely in the data center and not on the laptop or mobile device, which helps protect vital information and resources.”

Easing BYOD Pain

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From 2005 to 2012, telecommuting increased by nearly 80 percent, according to Citrix. In the same period, pressure on the enterprise to enable bring-your-own-device (BYOD) for employees has dramatically increased. VDI can eliminate many of the headaches caused by BYOD.

“As the workforce becomes increasingly mobile, it’s critical to deliver access to applications, data and resources on any device, not just from home, from any location where employees need to work,” Hsu says. “It’s also important to extend secure access beyond mobile devices to include non-corporate laptops, contractor PCs and laptops, home PCs, etc.”