Since Smart Axess Solutions has specialised in and focused on virtualisation, they’ve seen it grow from just delivering applications to achieving the most mind blowing feats in an infrastructure – true end-to-end virtualisation now has years’ worth of implementation experience under its belt, and has matured into an offering every IT manager should be considering.
This is according to Gerhard Gibbs, a consultant at Smart Axess Solutions.
To prove this is the case, it’s worthwhile to consider some common negative arguments about application and desktop virtualisation. Some of these used to be valid, some were just far-fetched.
To gauge how far virtualisation has come, let’s refute these arguments, in a commonsense and practical way, and consider how the product offerings in the desktop/application virtualisation space has grown to where today none of these arguments hold water:
* Users have to be online and connected to be able to access applications and connections, and this is not always possible – this may have been true some years ago, but connectivity has grown to where today NASA pilots in the International Space Station (ISS) are using Citrix to connect to home.
Applications and Web sites are securely being delivered to astronauts on the ISS, so the sky is not even the limit anymore. More importantly for a business, today users can stream applications, or even whole desktops, to mobile workers and run them offline anywhere in the world.
* It’s a security risk to connect to applications over a WAN – a little known fact is that one of the major desktop/application delivery vendors is also one of the leading SSL VPNs in the world, according to Gartner. Another security thought: what can be safer than having all the data secure in a data centre, and not roaming around on notebooks and other non-secure devices in unsecure environments?
If users are still not convinced, the United States Air Force uses virtual application delivery to 12 500 of their staff in 180 countries across the world. If anyone has done their homework regarding virtualisation risk, it would be them.
* What is it going to do to bandwidth? – This was, up until a couple of months ago, a valid question. The answer now is: “who cares?”. Bandwidth pricing is lowering every day here in South Africa, at an exponential rate.
Today, for less than R500.00 per month, users can have an uncapped 4Mbps line. Another important point is that some of the virtualisation products on offer today would, as a standard, actually lower the total bandwidth usage – just think about all those e-mails with their attachments not being delivered to the end point devices anymore, but sitting secure in a data centre.
* It is expensive – on face value it might seem that way. But when it comes to a TCO/ROI done by a trained qualified partner (a crucial proviso), it is soon evident where the savings and benefits will come in for an organisation. Some clients report savings of up to 40% with certain vendors, so there is nothing to lose and a lot to gain by speaking to the right virtualisation partner.