sudu loonu epa | information technology consulting

Hosted Desktop market Heats up

It’s very interesting what’s occurring within the VDI/Hosted Desktop space at the instant. Microsoft with their offering (and increasing their SPLA costs to partners), VMware buying Desktone, IBM with Virtual Bridges, Cisco with their UCS offering – and now Amazon with their introduction to the race with the WorkSpaces product set. With the larger players now entering the VDI market place, how can the smaller companies compete? Compare the Cloud asked a number of the highest VDI/HD companies within the UK to urge their combat the market shift.

Amazon is offering Windows Client desktops (DaaS), not the whole VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).information technology consulting Therefore you'll still need another IT supplier involved to create the VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure); to create the Windows domain, the file redirection servers, the mirrored web interfaces, the appliance servers and to integrate the desktops with the servers. then who goes to place an SLA (guaranteed uptime) on all of that infrastructure? Amazon won’t.

So, Amazon is offering a virtual desktop. In my opinion, their offering is DaaS and IaaS (Desktop as a Service with Infrastructure as a Service). the sole difference between this and what every other large US IaaS provider is, and has been offering, maybe a Windows 7 (or 8) desktop. Personally, I feel this is often great because it strengthens confidence across all segments to prove VDI has not only been set as a precedent for future cloud services, it’s also been adopted by the mainstream, it had been only a matter of your time. Fortunately, many folks much more agile companies realized this a decade ago and have shaped our businesses around this state of mind.

Anyone who has successfully implementing VDI solutions will know, VDI isn't something you'll commoditize. Most businesses ' IT systems are fairly complex, they don’t just run standalone Exchange, Office, and SharePoint. actually, businesses run a myriad of applications, not only do they run LOB applications, but they also integrate these applications. So supported the straightforward DaaS concept of a Windows 7 (or 8) desktop running IE and Office, the truth is that the requirement is way greater; Exchange integration between multiple applications, MS Office running multiple plugins, additional browser requirements, installation and management of 3rd party applications, to not mention the customization of group policy management for desktops, servers, and applications.

So stepping into a tad more detail, the difficulty with Amazon offering VDI is that they wouldn’t be ready to fulfill the wants of 95% of most UK businesses and organizations.information technology colleges Most organizations would simply not accept expecting days for Amazon’s support desk to return a call, or fix a drag. they might not be happier with anything but a named (if not, dedicated) account and project manager, they wouldn’t be proud of being told “no you can’t have this”. And this is often something Amazon will certainly say because they're commoditizing the cloud by automating provisioning and selling in bulk. they can't compete with localized support, agility and therefore the realistic requirement of customized infrastructures that clients demand.”

James Mackie, MD Vesk

Earlier in the week, Amazon launched a limited preview of Amazon WorkSpaces, its play within the hosted desktop market. So where does this slot in with what’s already available? For very small businesses, I'm unsure it offers many advantages over using traditional desktop/laptop with Office365, Google Apps, or maybe Dropbox. At the highest end, I think the IT department will want to possess a touch more control; they'll still use AWS, but build their own environment instead.That leaves the center ground, organizations with enough staff to possess complex systems, yet not large enough to possess an IT department. this is often also the world that the majority of existing hosted desktop providers also occupy. Since it seems unlikely that these customers have the potential to set-up and use the answer themselves, I think there'll be a channel offering and MSPs/VARs are going to be those pushing this.

For about the only customers though I'm unsure it fits the bill. Most won't require some sort of 3rd party app, like a recruitment database, integrated with their desktop and office applications. it'll be interesting to ascertain what integration will become possible.”

Mark O'Dell, CEO Connect Cloud Services

It’s interesting to look at the developments happening within the VDI market place at the instant. I feel the Hosted Desktop/VDI awareness has eventually inherited popularity thanks to the media hype around BYOD. As ever, with correct marketing and execution, anything is often sold and sometimes oversold. what's vital to notice with the increased awareness of VDI is to endure the wants are gathered correctly before signing up. VDI is great for many consumer firms but not all and it’s imperative that this expectation has got to be discussed at the beginning of any dialogue before contract signing.

I cannot see Amazon getting this right thanks to the in-human element of their service delivery. cloud technology companies After reading Brian Madden’s article published a couple of weeks ago, it seems clear that the Amazon WorkSpaces product is way from being a billboard offering, but what it does help with is that the general awareness for Hosted Desktop Technologies and therefore the firms that do that well.”

Andrew Mclean, CEO App layer

As with any product launched from an outsized enterprise vendor a number of the interaction between the top clients always gets overlooked. There always has got to be a consultation with the top user, within the same way that you simply would consult on a physical box. Is it fit the purpose, what's the particular requirement than on?

Cloud providers that put out ‘standard’ servers and expect customers to suit in aren't providing the core of service that the cloud should be. it's not a commodity sale, it's a consultative sale. But moreover, there should be an ongoing review of requirements. Somehow I feel that this may not be the case with the larger players during this market place and there's no substitute permanent account management.

There seems to be an identical comment here based on setting expectations then managing them. These old analogies keep arising time and time again for service delivery and, if I’m honest, only a few large enterprise vendors get this right. Something as critical as ALL of your IT Infrastructure being housed with one provider needs managing and not just a tick during a box then click on migrate.

My combat the insurgence of VDI/HD? Well, I see this as a stepping stone to true SaaS enablement. Why else would most of the most important tech companies within the world have an interest in getting into this space? the toughest initiative from localized technology is to virtualize and work from a centralized Cloud System/Service. Once this has been achieved it’s relatively easy to convert to the other means of application access/usage once the diligence has been done.

making it a simple transition to VDI.”

Mark Southerton, MD Xanadu Technology

So the Hosted Desktop / VDI space is somewhat more complex than it appears initially. Certainly, by all accounts, Amazon is getting to got to provide a more supportive hands-on approach so as to realize serious traction with the enterprises. However, it certainly seems like Hosted Desktop is prepared to hit the large time and secure widespread recognition as a valuable subset of cloud computing delivering real business value.

Does your business provide Hosted Desktop services – if so what’s your combat this news and progress within the market? Or are you a business that’s unrolled hosted desktop? If so what's been your experience?

Is Software-Defined Storage (SDS) your ticket to Storage Freedom?

By Keith Joseph

Storage Virtualization – Storage Hypervisor – Software-defined Storage.” it's many names, but has the time come for the info center to embrace the concept of full vendor-independent storage management?

Over the years we've seen a move by vendors to feature new storage products to their portfolio by in some cases obtaining – at great cost – new and latest leading-edge storage products, or by signing OEM agreements with suppliers to fill the gap within the product lineup; and a few even designing and building new product lines themselves to offer them access to a market sector. A case in point is that they enter the Solid-State Drive (SSD) market space and therefore the monies changing hands for vendors or from investors wishing to take advantage of this current hot market.

We see this with one ‘tier two’ vendor being offered $150m in VC funding to assist drive their business forward – or from an outsized networking vendor paying $415m for a start-up with limited sales because they wished to maneuver into this space. But the signs are clear that’s where they think the market goes, and that they will invest to win. However, during this modern age gold rush, we are seeing companies adopting the stance that ‘if we build it (or buy it) they're going to come’… but is that the case? Well, the reply from Storage managers is “yes and no”…confusing – yes! Understandable? Actually, yes. to know why it's confusing read IT Managers Struggling to ascertain Through all-Flash Storage Myths.

So let me put my point of view forward and explain. The storage market is driven by a couple of big players who will attend almost any length to guard their market place. the rationale is that they make a really nice return on investment for their investors and this successively makes them happy – so entitling them to raised rewards. Simple that’s the planet we sleep in today. However every now then a replacement company starts up that pricks the ears of their customers or a replacement technology like SSD or flash comes along, so all the ‘hunters’ circle looking to spear this fish within the proverbial storage barrel, and in most cases, it’s a win-win: Vendor gets a new line and therefore the start-up’s investors bag tons of money. However this “win-win” for the investors and vendor may be a problem for the end-user and therefore the reason is that the vendors increasingly have an assortment of products they provide.

If you check most of the vendor's offerings out there this assortment is pulled alongside different interfaces and or management consoles that don't talk or work with one another and in some cases mismatched functions but look alike. increase this the very fact the vendors sort of a nice cozy closed ecosystem so don’t want to open up their customers' storage because by doing so this might reduce their potential to earn big returns – and will also highlight their shortcomings within the product range.

However saying all that the planet of storage is moving fast and learning pace, and it's being driven by the way we consume more and more data and the way we use it, store it and demand it; but the difference now's that we aren't willing to pay through the nose for it. Plus the drive to more outsourced infrastructures and data centers, and therefore the reduction in budgets of “on-premise” hardware. This results in a requirement to scale back upfront costs and sweat products hardier throughout their lifespan.

So what to do? Well, vendors have noticed and try to act without fully throwing open the door to other vendors hence the outline ‘software-defined storage’ becoming more common within the marketing stuff they put out. Why this term and not “Storage Virtualization” or “Storage Hypervisor”? Well once you have pushed back on an idea for therefore long it's a touch odd to try to to a 180 u-turn in order that they are moving 90 degrees first! Then time will allow them to complete the move.

So is that this the proper move? Well for storage consumers it most certainly is. It covers and sorts out tons of headaches. It removes the mixed management problem, lets different storage types work together, adds new functions to models that are missing them or too old models that never had them – the list goes on…

Does it help the seller that embraces the movement? Well, that’s right down to the vendor; if they embrace it fully then yes because the conversations with the storage consumer change from a “we sell tin” model to a “how can we help or fix your need?” approach. If they are doing not then the storage consumer will walk and SDS lets them do so without impact.

So who should be watching this? Well, most data consumers outside of users just needing a basic file store. Why? Because it gives options that you are doing not have with a tin-based offering. Tin is Tin and Disk is Disk, 

software is that the controlling conductor or your storage orchestra.

who should be watching this? Well, most data consumers outside of users just needing a basic file store.

Is it the remedy for the storage world? It might be except for a few bumps to navigate around. Cost: currently vendors charge way an excessive amount for a bit of software – in some cases six figures plus. increase this the way they sell it by making you purchase a node/ header or two or three then adding the value of the storage capacity you would like to manage – in some cases, this will be 2-3 times the value of the physical disk …so not an honest start. Then who do you have to pip out from? IBM has the foremost mature offering from the main vendor stable with the SVC range otherwise you buy from boutique software houses that are supported by different operating systems starting from Windows, Linux, or ZFS. But the alternatives are out there and it’s right down to you. The interesting fact is that this is going to be ongoing as vendors' position and counter position beat the interest of defending their corner…