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MDOP Offers Cost Cuts Under the Radar

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) doesn't get a lot of high-level attention, but this primarily client-side management suite is producing some impressive cost and productivity numbers for its ever-growing worldwide user base, which is driven by some 26 million licenses. In an IDC study conducted in February the product, consisting of six separate technologies, was found to produce annual IT savings of up to $252 per year--or a 36 percent reduction in annual cost--for a PC utilizing all six solutions.

Beyond that, IDC said users see productivity gains as well, with cost savings associated with improved user productivity calculated at an additional $274 per PC per year. "Together with savings realized by the elimination of third-party software, hardware, and additional software licensing costs ($46 per PC per year), these savings can reach a combined total of up to $571 per PC per year," IDC stated.

Those six solutions help deploy apps, support virtualized deployment scenarios, recover damaged configurations, and diagnose performance or operational problems. The six are Microsoft:

  • Application Virtualization (App-V)
  • Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V)
  • Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM)
  • Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT)
  • System Center Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM)
  • Asset Inventory Service (AIS)

According to Niamh Coleman, who is lead on the MDOP product management team, the many benefits of MDOP include its ability to streamline Windows 7 migrations, adding that business customers should view this migration as a "once-in-a-lifetime inflection point" and use it as an opportunity to "rethink how they architect their desktop systems."

Regarding the number of seats per typical MDOP implementation, she says that number is dependent on the product the customer is using. "For example," she notes, "customers using App-V often use it on their full enterprise, but those using MED-V might only use it on a subset because MED-V is used for application compatibility and not all users may require access to the non-compatible application."

When asked how satisfied Microsoft is with the level of understanding within its target audience when it comes to MDOP, she replies, "Each customer scenario is a little different and they are therefore interested in various combinations of the product suite. Some of our customers, for example, may have purchased the suite for the Group Policy, Asset Inventory or virtualization components. We want them to be aware of all the technologies they get for the price they pay."

Not all Microsoft customers are even aware that MDOP exists. In a decidedly non-scientific reader survey conducted by Virtualization Review, 47.1 percent of Microsoft users (24 respondents) said they were not familiar with MDOP, while 27.5 percent (14 respondents) said they were aware of the product suite.

Someone definitely aware of MDOP is Citrix chief Mark Templeton, who, as you might expect, sees Citrix as the ultimate benefactor of MDOP proliferation. As he puts it, Redmond's strategy is to ensure that MDOP has a "broad basis--really broad" across Microsoft's customer base so that going forward, Microsoft will tend to drive basic implementations by small and medium enterprises toward a trial and adoption of VDI. This is good for Citrix, because it does not directly serve the SMB space, and it leads to more implementations.

"A first experience leads to a second and a third, and the more you want to do it in VDI, the more it points to Citrix, and then the more experience in VDI, the more it points to doing more virtualization at the desktop, which clearly points to Citrix," Templeton says. "That's the way it worked in the server environment, and I think it's working very much that same way in the desktop environment."

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 06/16/2011 at 12:48 PM


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