Sunday, August 28, 2011

Solving The Desktop Virtualization Challenge With Vblock FastPath

The Desktop Challenge
The traditional workplace experience used to be working at the office on a PC. Now, the workplace could be the office, the home, or any public location. Now we have more than PC's. Work tools also include tablets and smart phones. Network users could be anywhere, on any kind of device, and they'll need access to all forms of rich media like real time interactive video as well as voice. As a result of these changes organizations are faced with growing security concerns around access to applications and control over corporate data.

Virtualization has been used extensively over the last decade to consolidate servers, improve resource utilization, reduce power consumption, lower costs, and streamline server management. Many of the same issues around cost, complexity, and energy efficiency impact desktop users and IT administrators. Conventional desktop computing approaches are evolving to address an increasing number of regulatory requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley, and HIPAA. We all know that data breeches are a major concern for corporations. Organizations are trying to protect data, and to simplify desktop management , while meeting the needs of users who demand greater mobility, more devices, and increased flexibility.

As a result of these challenges with desktop management organizations are looking for ways to deploy a more secure, cost effective and flexible desktop environment using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. With VDI organizations can centrally manage desktop images, ensuring a uniform experience for users no matter what platform they are using or where they are locates. With VDI company wide security posture is improved by keeping critical information in the corporate data center, not on the PC. Costs are reduced through centralized desktop management.

Customers who are considering VDI seek to accelerate deployment of virtual desktops and there are several key pain points that they need to addresses:
  • Difficulty leveraging features and benefits of solutions created with components from different vendors
  • Long test and development cycles as the infrastructure must be validated
  • A complex environment that requires skilled resources to manage and maintain
  • Difficulty scoping and architecting virtual desktop environments
To meet this need VCE is delivering the Vblock FastPath Desktop Virtualization Platform.

The Vblock FastPath Platform
The Vblock FastPath Desktop Virtualization Platform is a purpose-built solution that helps IT organizations to automate desktop and application management by enabling rapid deployment, reducing costs and improving security through centralization of the desktop environment. This integrated solution is built on the VCE Vblock™ Infrastructure Platform that is optimized for a wide range of virtualized solution deployments and integrates best of breed technology from industry leaders Cisco, EMC and VMware.

The Vblock FastPath Platform eases the task of choosing the right combination of resources required for virtual desktop deployment by providing a pre-engineered solution that has the compute and storage resources as well as the virtualization components that are needed to serve a specified number of users.

By providing automated provisioning and deployment capabilities the Vblock FastPath Platform enables organizations to reduce the time it takes to trial and deploy virtual desktop infrastructure solutions. The intuitive GUI handles system initialization and configuration tasks, easing the effort to set up the systems. Time to deployment from system ordering to full installation can be reduced to 30 days from 60 – 90 days. Once the Vblock is installed time to deploy VMWare View can be as little as 60 minutes from a typical 4 days.

This ability to rapidly deploy the system means that organizations can easily test their applications and their virtual desktop configuration. FastPath provides a function to reset the system to defaults so that organizations can test various use cases, and user profiles. This greatly reduces the time and cost to do a proof of concept, which means that customers can roll out VDI deployments in record time. This speed becomes an asset when IT departments need to move users to virtual desktops to meet special demands such as when new applications are rolled out or large numbers of new employees need to be accommodated.

Vblock FastPath Platform Benefits
With the VCE Vblock integrated platform, what you need is what you get. There is nothing else to buy. This means that organizations can predict the cost for their user base and they can budget with confidence. With VCE’s simplified procurement process only one SKU is needed for the complete desktop virtualization solution. This includes VMWare vSphere, vCenter, View and the unique FastPath deployment automation capabilities.

FastPath provides modular and scalable growth. IT managers can easily support thousands of users per platform and add more virtual desktops by upgrading their platform or adding platforms.This facilitates a departmental virtual desktop infrastructure roll out and avoids the need to pre-purchase hardware that may not readily be used. Enterprises can start with a right-sized Vblock and scale up as needed.

FastPath automated provisioning capability makes deployment easy. IT admins can deploy virtual desktops in rapid fashion, enforcing VMWare View best practices. They can test their configurations and then decommission the system, resetting to defaults and deploy new configurations, speeding the POC or supporting new applications quickly.

The Vblock architecture is validated by VCE engineers and built to be resilient. Elastic properties based on best practice deployment methods accommodate unplanned events such as spikes and boot storms to ensure a consistent high performance user experience. This means that users keep working even when the unexpected happens. Enhanced security improves manageability, protection and security of user desktops and data.

There is only one number to call for support. VCE provides the industry leading support with a single contact with 24x7 availability of subject matter experts that includes support for the desktop virtualization environment, not just the hardware infrastructure.

To learn more visit,

Backstory: I was the marketing manager for the FastPath product launch and I wrote the collateral on the landing page linked above including the brochure, FAQ and the customer facing presentation. I worked with IDC to get the IDC Tech Spotlight and IDC Analyst Connection written providing them with information on the product and reviewing the documents.

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