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Strategic Advisor Tech Deep Dives

Mobility Solution Strategy: Desktop Evolution to IoT Revolution


Mobility and End User Computing (EUC) are evolving at a very rapid pace. With the recent announcements made by VMware around Horizon 7 it becomes all the more important to recalibrate and map the emerging innovation trends to your existing enterprise EUC and application rationalization strategies. As business and IT leaders, the burning questions that emerge are: What are these EUC innovations leading to and why should it matter to my organization? What is the end-user desktop in the EUC realm evolving into and are these innovations a precursor to an Internet of Things (IoT) revolution? What outcomes might we expect if we were to adopt these innovations for our organizations? How do we need to restructure our existing EUC/mobility team to fully leverage the mobility evolution?

Before we dive in, I would also like to share this paraphrased prelude on this topic from Paul Strong, VMware’s CTO, Global Field –

“Desktop’s evolution from monolithic, tightly coupled devices and applications to today’s anytime, anywhere access from any context is disrupting the mobility industry from a multi-dimensional perspective. While on one end of the spectrum you have the evolving devices and applications capabilities from the perspective of packaging and accessibility; the other end of the spectrum is rapidly evolving from a traditional Systems of Record (SOR) approach to Systems of Engagement (SOE) and more importantly to Systems of Intimacy (SOI) approach as seen in advanced telemetry capabilities generated by IoT.”

Paul’s blog can be found here. 

Multi-Dimensional Desktop Evolution to IoT Revolution

Now that your creative juices have started to flow, let’s dive right in!

The What

Desktop virtualization revolutionized how end-user desktops with their applications and data were securely managed within the guard rails of a secure datacenter. These were essentially Generation1 (Gen1) desktops that were persistent (full clone) desktops within a virtual machine (VM) container. While the benefit was mainly secure encapsulation within a datacenter, the downside was cumbersome provisioning with a bloated storage footprint. For instance, if you had one persistent desktop with 50 GB base image and 100 users, you would be looking at 5000 GB or 5 TB of storage. In an enterprise where we have thousands of users with unique operating system and application requirements, the infrastructure Capital Expense (CAPEX) and the associated Operational Expense (OPEX) would be through the roof.

The preceding anomaly was addressed by the Generation2 (Gen2) virtual desktops which were classified as non-persistent (linked clone) desktops. Gen2 desktops relied on a parent base-image (replica) and the resulting linked clones referenced this replica for all read operations and had delta disk to store any individual writes. These desktops benefited from a faster process automation using a Composer (i.e. desktop provisioning) server that generated linked clones referencing a base replica image. This resulted in significant reduction in storage footprint and faster desktop provisioning times. This aided in reducing the CAPEX and OPEX incurred in Gen1 desktops. However, the downside of desktop boot-up time was still not fully resolved as it was contingent on the storage media being used. The boot-up time was faster with flash storage and comparatively slower with the spinning media storage. The OPEX associated with application management was still not fully resolved despite application virtualization technologies from various vendors. It still required management of multiple patches for desktop images and applications.

The panacea of here and now with Horizon7 accelerated the virtual desktop evolution to Generation3 (Gen3) desktops. Evolution to Gen3 results in just-in-time desktops and application stack delivery. Meaning: patch the desktop once, clone it with its running state and dynamically attach the application stack using VMware’s App Volumes. Gen3 virtual desktops from VMware have the benefits of Gen2 desktops without the operational overhead of Gen2 desktops, resulting in reduced CAPEX and OPEX. Here is an infographic detailing the evolution:

Virtual Desktop Evolution

Gen3 desktops pave the way for Generation4+ (Gen4+) mobility platform that leverages VMware’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) platform and the EUC platform into Workspace One, capable of tapping into all of the possibilities of mobility enabled IoT solutions. The potential generated by these solutions is capable of being tapped across various industry verticals– Healthcare, Financial, Retail, Education, Manufacturing, Government and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) creating an IoT revolution in days to come.

The Why

The innovations listed in the preceding section have the potential of transforming an enterprise’s business, IT and financial outcomes. The metrics to quantify these outcomes are best measured in the resulting CAPEX and OPEX. The reduction in these expenditures not only fosters business agility as in accelerated M&A, but also enhances an organization’s workforce efficiency. The proof is in the pudding. Here is a sample snapshot of a healthcare customer:

Sample Healthcare Customer

The How

While the mobility evolution and its leap to an IoT revolution is imminent with the promise of anticipated outcomes as mentioned in the previous sections, the question still lingers: How do you align the roles within your organization to ride the wave of mobility transformation?

Here is a “sample” representation of the recommended roles for an enterprise mobility center of excellence (COE):

Recommended Roles for Enterprise Mobility COE

Here is the description of field recommendations in terms of mandatory and recommended roles for an enterprise EUC/mobility transformation:

Proposed Roles


Given the rate at which the enterprise mobility is evolving towards IoT, it is only a matter of time until every facet of our lives from work environment to home environments will be fully transformed by this tectonic mobility transformation. The following table summarizes this pragmatic mobility evolution to the IoT revolution.

Mobility Evolution

VMware’s mobility product portfolio in combination with VMware’s experienced Professional Services Organization (PSO) can help you transform your enterprise going forward in this revolutionary journey. VMware is ever ready to be your trusted partner in this “DARE” endeavor. Until next time, Go VMware!

TJ VatsaTJ Vatsa is a Principal Architect and member of CTO Ambassadors at VMware representing the Professional Services organization. He has worked at VMware for the past 5+ years with more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry. During this time he has focused on enterprise architecture and applied his extensive experience in professional services and R&D to Cloud Computing, VDI infrastructure, SOA architecture planning and implementation, functional/solution architecture, enterprise data services and technical project management.

TJ holds a Bachelor of Engineering (BE) degree in Electronics and Communications from Delhi University, India, and has attained industry and professional certifications in enterprise architecture and technology platforms. He has also been a speaker and a panelist at industry conferences such as VMworld, VMware’s PEX (Partner Exchange), Briforum and BEAworld. He is an avid blogger who likes to write on real-life application of technology that drives successful business, IT and financial outcomes.