The Revolution of Client Computing

This article originally appeared on Stephen’s personal blog. You can visit it here.

The future of client computing has a very different look and feel.  There are a couple of driving forces and they are driving hard and fast.

Always on connectivity is actually finally pervading.  Smartphones with 8MB/s data connections have been here for approximately a year. Tablets with similar connectivity are here.  And now ultabook laptops will include this capability too.  We will have access to our data wherever and whenever we want.

The force behind this persistent connectivity is ubiquitous data. We want our information, the same information, on our phone, on our tablet, on our PC. There are many examples of this becoming common in life and work today.

I frequently write the bulk of a grocery list in Evernote on my PC.  Then get home to realize a few more things are missing, so open Evernote again on my tablet and update the list.  Finally when I get around to going to the grocery store I consume the information from my phone and get things done.  I do use Evernote for other things but this is definitely my favorite as benign as it may be. [Read more…]

Healing the woes of migrating user profiles

The last layer of abstraction: Virtualizing it is easier than you think.

 If you’ve been following this series of posts – here and here  – you’ve probably already gotten a good sense of the positive impact virtualization can have on migrating two vital layers of abstraction: your Windows 7 OS environment and applications. But there’s one more component to deal with, one more layer of abstraction that you have to worry and define success criteria for. And it probably won’t come as a surprise but virtualization along with some pretty nifty tools can help here too.

 I’m talking of course about migrating user profiles.

 It turns out though that a lot of IT professionals are a bit jumpy about making this particular move. A recent survey found that while 57 percent of respondents intend to rollout Windows 7 by this fall, 45 percent were specifically worried about migrating user profiles. Nearly half! 

 It seems that while the arrival of Windows 7 presents an opportunity for IT to re-assess the way desktops are managed and leveraged throughout the organization, it’s also a risky and expensive proposition – or a perceived one, at least – particularly if it affects users’ working environments.

 In Windows XP you had personalization settings referred to as Version 1. Windows Vista and now Windows 7 use a different profile configuration called Version 2. Traditionally, if you were going to migrate to Windows 7, IT would have to painstakingly copy things over or make users re-enter their user profile data. A big hassle for everyone involved.

 But now there are solutions [Read more…]

Guess what? Virtualization works for your applications too

 So you’re sold on virtualization being the answer to controlling hardware costs in your organization’s long-awaited great Windows 7 implementation. But, you may be wondering, what about all my apps? In other words, you’ve found a resource-friendly way to implement Windows 7 but you worry that won’t amount to a hill of beans for users if your current applications aren’t supported by the new OS. And the time and cost associated with updating all those apps to make them compatible with Windows 7 just isn’t in the cards.

 Well, not to sound like a broken record, but virtualization can help here too.

 How? It’s quite simple. Once your operating system is virtualized – residing on servers in your new data center – it’s able to work independently of your applications and vice versa. That means with virtualization you can take applications that, say, once only ran on your old Windows XP operating system, place them on a centralized server and deliver them to Windows 7 machines – all the while having them remain completely independent of those machines. [Read more…]