VMware’s annual flagship event, VMworld, rarely disappoints attendees, and this year was no exception. After the 2015 conference closed last week, summaries and top-10 takeaways hit the blogosphere.
But during one of the keynotes, VMware’s Sanjay Poonen made a statement, one that might seem out of place at a conference on virtual computing.
“Mobile is the new desktop.”
True, our guts have told us this before, but why at a VMware presentation? And how might it affect your infrastructure planning over the next few years?
A unified (mobile) user experience
Microsoft joined Poonen to discuss the role virtualization will play in the adoption of Windows 10.
Microsoft positions Windows 10 as a write-once, deploy-everywhere platform. This means apps written for Windows 10 will also run on any Windows smartphone or tablet. Poonen claims this cross-platform approach best represents the new mobile-cloud era.
And he says that era is now.
The success of Microsoft’s strategy will depend on developers adhering to its new APIs and guidelines. This is a big challenge, since such apps are not compatible with Windows 7 or 8. Another potential roadblock is the tiny 2.6 percent market share Window Mobile currently claims. Assuming it succeeds, though, it should simplify mobile deployments and reduce mobile security concerns.
A (mobile) desktop in the cloud
Virtual servers have become the processing workhorses of our IT infrastructures. Now VMware aims to make desktop virtualization just as ubiquitous.
Whether you deploy Windows 10 or another OS, a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) stores desktop images and data on a server, instead of on local PCs. Today’s high-speed networks and zero-client appliances make VDI is now a viable alternative to traditional desktops.
In the mobile-cloud era, though, not everyone is bound to a desk. That’s why, according to VMware, mobile device management is an equally-important part of the roadmap. VMware plans to let you manage both your VDI and your MDM strategy at once.
Virtualization marches on
Of course, a viable virtualization strategy requires staff whose expertise keeps pace with rapid change. And change it will, as virtualization technologies reach beyond servers, desktops and mobile device management.
Today, virtual networks can secure our corporate computing, not with switches and cables, but with software and dynamic message routing. Cloud providers can carve out entire virtual data centers on demand, rather than our spending months building a facility. And VMware aims to bridge servers in our private clouds with those in the public clouds.
We’ll discuss these and more in upcoming articles. For now, though, the mobile-era desktop means at least two things to our infrastructure planning:
- Employees need access to their “desktops” from any device, anywhere, and
- They need enterprise-class mobile apps for when they can’t.
If your desktop and mobile devices strategies don’t address the needs of the mobile-cloud, consult a managed services provider that specializes in both.
Does your virtualization strategy still include only servers, or does it address the needs of today’s mobile desktop users? Tell us your experiences in the Comments section.