It’s in to be thin

The computer under your desk is a big, clunky thing with a lot of moving parts. And moving parts mean that, sooner or later, some of those parts are going to break. That’s why, realistically, the traditional desktop has a three- to five-year lifespan.

 But the increasingly widespread adoption of virtualization and data centers is leading a lot of IT professionals to ask: “If I’m running little or nothing locally anymore, and all my processing is being done centrally, why do I need beefy, high-performance boxes with lots of moving parts prone to breaking sitting under everyone’s desk?”

 Well, the reality is, you probably don’t. And that’s why thin clients have begun getting a lot of attention. Frankly, it’s about time. Because though thin clients are one of the most ignored or misunderstood hardware options out there, they’re also one of the most cost-effective and secure.

Essentially, a thin client is a slimmed down, stripped down version of a desktop. But [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…]