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19Aug/110

VDI – nothing like watching the lightbulb go on!

I was a conference for a Federal agency this week, and had a fantastic experience with a (prospective) customer. We were talking about this and that, but the conversation worked it's way around to mobile computing. And while agencies are announcing "mobile initiatives" left and right, the reality is that everyone is still really concerned about what BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) means.

My friend, Joe Baguley, has been going on about "the consumerisation of IT" for a while (and he's English, so it's an "s" and not a "z" in consumerisation) as have others, but the Feds work differently. It's not purely about savings, and things are a bit more measured. And that's one of the reasons that the Blackberry continues to hold on, and the iPad has made no movement yet. When the OS cannot be locked down through a central server, and policies cannot be set on applications and data, the device has a slim chance of making it in the Federal space.

But Quest have an interesting solution to the problem; one that took 5 minutes to demonstrate, and turn on the lightbulb for a senior-level manager at this agency. It was vWorkspace. He had his iPad with him (running a beta of iOS 5, in fact - good to know it looks like it works there, too!), and we started talking about how he can control data and access. Thankfully, I had a demo account on a set of servers that a colleague had up  and running (Rob Mallicoat - many thanks!), and he had a network connection on the iPad. Within 5 minutes, I was able to download the vWorkspace iPad app, configure the settings, and voila! I was showing him Visio running on an iPad in no time.

And the thing is, I tell people about it time and again, but until you actually see it working, you don't realize how cool it is. Even the sales guy in the booth lit up when he saw how easy it was, and what it did. That got this manager interested, and proved one of the core problems with VDI; users need to touch it and see it for themselves. It's not enough to give them docs and white papers, and even web demos don't cut it.

But that's not enough; what's unique is how Quest does it. We don't care if you have some apps and desktops on VMware, and others on Hyper-V. You could even be running Terminal Services! We combine all of that, and give you a single interface. As a user, you don't know (and shouldn't care) how an app or a desktop is delivered. We even have a slick, "local VDI" option, thanks to MokaFive.

That's what got the manager really excited - he realized he didn't have to be tied to a single VDI option or vendor, and he can even provide multiple environments all through 1 app, delivered to his users' desktops. Plus, add the fact that it can all be remote means he could even give out iPads, but keep all the data in his data centers.

So if you have an iPad or Android device, ping a Quest person, and see if they can get you access to a demo system. Or ping me if you're with a Federal agency. Because this is something you simply need to try, and not just watch or read about.

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Copyright (C) 2010-2011 Dmitry Kagansky – All opinions expressed are those of the respective author and do not reflect the views of any affiliate, partner, employer or associate.