Published on March 11, 2014
Desktop virtualization is always hosted in a datacenter or in the cloud with nothing running locally. I don’t need a local virtual desktop because I’m rarely “disconnected.” You have to choose between hosted or local virtual desktops. End users will be confused over how to use a local virtual desktop. Traditional PC management tools are good enough.
Some think there’s only one approach to desktop virtualization— VDI—where the OS, apps and ﬁles are hosted on servers in a datacenter. IT replaces physical desktops with thin clients and nothing is stored or executed “locally.” This perception has been promulgated by the fact that some desktop virtualization companies don’t have a great offering for local virtual desktops, but Citrix does, and it’s part of FlexCast. Running locally is ideal for use cases such as laptops, branch ofﬁces, or any other scenario where network access may be limited. It also provides a powerful solution to make physical PCs more manageable, reliable, and secure.
Many organizations assume that laptop users can always access high-speed networks. But reality eventually sets in when users complain after ﬁnding themselves in an area or on a wireless network with latency or connectivity issues. And it happens at the worst time—when giving a customer presentation or working on a critical report. If your users’ laptop functions only when attached to a network, they’re out of luck. But with a local virtual desktop, laptop users can always get to their critical applications and data to keep performing their jobs.
Hosted and local virtual desktops actually work very well together on the same device and provide a big boost to user productivity. For example, laptop users can access their desktop from their iPad, phone or home PC, pull up a desktop in a conference room, or even keep working if their laptop gets lost or broken. When business executives, sales professionals, ﬁeld technicians and other mobile workers can easily move between hosted VDI and local virtual desktops, they are truly free to work on any device, anytime, anywhere—regardless of network connectivity.
Is it native or is it virtual? End users don’t even know they are using a virtual desktop when local desktop virtualization is set up to be transparent. They simply boot up, enter their password, and access apps and ﬁles—just like they do on a native desktop. Even accessing wireless networks is handled in the same familiar Windows environment. Of course, power users can be given additional capabilities, such as the ability to run multiple different virtual desktops – even different versions of Windows. With local virtual desktops, life is the same for everyday business users – and better for power users!
Traditional PC management tools rely on agents that run inside the OS. If something goes wrong with the OS due to a virus, malware breach or corruption – or any other issue – these tools can fail. Operating systems require constant updating to keep desktops and apps running smoothly. Using traditional PC management tools to push out updates often causes patch conﬂicts, application failures, and other issues such as OS image drift. With a 6% update failure rate, a company with 10,000 PCs has to manually debug 600 PCs— a time-consuming and challenging task. Local virtual desktops are much easier to manage than physical desktops, as images are normalized and updates are failsafe. Centrally-managed local virtual desktops dramatically reduce PC support costs by 70% or more.
• Increase productivity by allowing end users to work from anywhere at any time—even if they experience slow, intermittent or no network access. • Allow employees to use their virtual desktop on their laptop and access the virtual desktop with synchronized proﬁles and data from another device such as a home PC, tablet or smartphone. • Provide IT with new levels of security, reliability, control and simpliﬁed desktop management.
Citrix XenDesktop with FlexCast technology is the only desktop virtualization solution that provides support for a complete set of use cases for a mobile workforce, including local virtual desktops with centralized management. XenDesktop can even deliver and manage physical desktops and laptops with XenClient for PCs and DesktopPlayer for Mac, enabling users to continue working regardless of the quality of the network connection—or even with no network access at all.
“Thanks to XenClient, computers are being deployed to our newest hospital at a fraction of the time it would ordinarily take. We’ve seen a 96% decrease in PC support issues due to corruptions or slowness.” - Ames Prentis, CEO, IVG Hospitals “We chose XenClient because it is simple to implement, cost-effective and scalable. It has dramatically changed the way we deploy and manage desktops… it has reduced our PC support issues by 90%.” - Chuck Miller, IT Director, Town of Lincoln, MA “We expected this solution to provide exceptional performance and reduce support calls from users, and the data is proving it out. Support tickets have dropped by 80 percent and overall team productivity and morale have skyrocketed.” - Alan Rabideau, CIO, Residential Finance Corporation “One of the main cost differentiators for XenClient is its highly-accurate software deployments—compared with a failure rate as high as 40 percent for native PC management. We’ve experienced a 56 percent reduction in support calls compared to the same time period last year.” - Elmer Gordner, Network Administrator, Home Properties
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