One of biggest challenges for IT departments is that users are individuals and so they all want different things. This has been a particular problem with VDI which, while it’s very good at making all applications available anywhere via a browser, gives everyone exactly the same thing. It really struggles with power users and laptop users who need their ‘own’ stuff, locally, and so even at best it will only meet the needs of three quarters of your workforce.
So how do you deliver applications to the rest of the organisation? One solution we’ve been testing is cloud paging from Numecent. It’s designed primarily for the most complex applications, which is how we’ve been testing it, but it can be used to package any application of your choice.
Cloud paging works by provisioning native applications from the cloud through virtualisation and containerisation. This enables all applications to be delivered quickly in one package to any device, handling the mix of DLLs, browser plug-ins and versions and different user login requirements.
It can also track licences - the bane of every IT department – and makes it easy to remove software as well as provision it. Every organisation that Fordway has ever dealt with has had licencing issues, and getting them right can save you a significant amount of money.
For example, applications such as Microsoft Visio and Project may be installed for every user as a requirement of their job, but some people may not use them. Cloud paging actively tracks what applications are being used and provides comprehensive reports, so you can see immediately if you have unused licences. It can also be configured to remove an application automatically from the device if it is not used for a specified period of time – making licence management much easier.
Updates to applications are also handled in a straightforward way. Once an application has been updated, the next time the user launches that application the new version is downloaded and available, which is much quicker than traditional delivery methodologies. Application delivery is totally secure, as all applications are encrypted and compressed prior to leaving the cloud paging server. This means that, no matter where the client device is located, the applications can be loaded or installed without worrying about how secure the environment is.
Of course the move back from centralised to distributed computing means some of the other issues that VDI was designed to address will return. For example, users will tend to store data locally, which means it will not be backed up. However, endpoint backup and compliance solutions are available to fill those gaps, and organisations should also have appropriate security policies in place.
If you’d like more information, we’re running a seminar with Numecent and other vendors on 11 January which will cover this along with a range of ways to optimise your infrastructure. Or contact us directly on 08448 700100 and we’ll be happy to discuss this and other options with you.