Everyday Virtualization

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Hosted VDI, Part 3

For the last few posts, I've featured my experiences and observations of the iland workforce cloud. This offers a hosted virtual desktop as well as hosted server infrastructure. One of the major experience points about anything in the cloud is latency, the hosted virtual desktops can access hosted virtual servers on a local (Gigabit) network. There are other considerations as well for a cloud installation. Chances are, any cloud implementation will involve some segment of an IT footprint instead of the whole inventory. Like other cloud providers, the iland workforce cloud offers networking options.

For a hosted virtual desktop, this is where it starts to get interesting. For the iland situation, every installation includes a basic firewall and private VLAN for use for the hosted infrastructure. Further, the VPN can be configured to link into your on-premise data center or private cloud, if you will. This can be done via IPSEC or SSL, extending your network to the cloud.

A use-case for a hosted virtual desktop with site-to-site VPN can be the remote field office. In this situation, you don't want a server sitting in the remote office that the small workgroup needs access to, yet there isn't bandwidth at the remote site to host the server at your primary site. If a hosted infrastructure is created for virtual desktops and a select number of servers, you can provide the remote site with quick access (local) to the server resources without standing up a datacenter at the remote site. The virtual desktops and servers can be on your IP address space as well, making domain integrations simple for a cloud installation.

The other half of that is the device experience. I have been using the VMware View client running in Windows to access the iland workforce cloud. This service can also be accessed from thin-client devices that support VMware View. One such device is the Dell OptiPlex FX160 as well as other leading devices. This is a critical decision point as well. I have never been a fan of virtual desktops that are accessed from systems with operating systems, as you end up managing double the clients. This is more the case for task workers, certain types of knowledge workers of course can be an exception. These devices can also support seamless device redirection as well, making a remote site truly a zero-touch site.

Does the hosted virtual desktop make sense yet? Share your thoughts here.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 11/10/2009 at 12:47 PM


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