The Desktop Transformation Implementation Cycle – Solutions Development – Part 2

By Greg LaVigne

In Part
1
of this Solutions Development section, we introduced the concept of an
integrated Desktop Transformation model.
In Part 2, I’ll further define each category of solution and the
relationships to other components.

Again for ease of reference, Figure 1 depicts what I consider to be a pretty complete conceptual rendering of the various solutions that can comprise a wide scoping Desktop Transformation Implementation.


DTIC-Solution Components

Figure 1: Desktop Transformation Solution Components

I’m going to start with the
traditional base functionality of any PC or virtualized PC solution where an
operating system interacts with base computing hardware (CPU, RAM, HDD, etc.)
in order to “compute”. 

  1. There are 2 categories of
    models that constitute this core computational facility:

    • Corporate Workstation Image
      (red) is the traditional managed corporate windows image that ultimately is
      deployed to a physical desktop PC or laptop.
    • Client Virtualization (orange),
      are solutions that are centrally hosted within a data center and accessed by
      end users via a remote device. These include VDI solutions (View or XenDesktop),
      Blade Workstations, and Shared Server computing models (XenApp or RDS).  This is where numbers are ultimately
      crunched, documents created and presentations built.
  2. The next layer is focused on
    the end user and the personalization of their computing environments and associated
    primary data storage facility:

    • Localized profile (maroon)
      is the traditional local Windows profile that is stored locally on their
      physical device
    • For the Client
      Virtualization stack profiles are generally managed via a User Profile Virtualization
      (green) or what is sometimes referred to as User Profile Management solutions
      such as those provided by AppSense or RES. A remote storage facility, such as
      an assigned home drive built on a NAS appliance is also required
    • It’s worth noting that these
      solutions also can be leveraged on the traditional corporate Windows Image
      stack as well. However, this sort of implementation is generally an exception
      to the rule, but is starting to be more widely seen.
  3. The Application layer (aqua)
    is all about the applications themselves. These can be locally installed,
    virtualized via and App-v or ThinApp-like solution, browser based web
    applications or even SaaS.
  4. Finally, the device layer
    which is split into a two different parts—the corporate owned and the
    user owned or BYOD model:

    • For the corporate owned
      (navy), these can be desktop or laptops, thin clients, tablets and smart phones
    • The BYOD (bright red) can be
      almost anything the user brings that IT has offered a connectivity option for
    • You’ll note that the laptops
      and the tablet/smart phones are depicted as crossing the Corporate vs. BYOD
      boundary. Many organizations today offer a corporate supplied phone, tablet or
      laptop, and they offer connectivity options for each of those as well.
  5. Now that we have discussed
    the core components that comprise any end users’ computing experience, it’s
    time to discuss core support functions that enable this:

    • The left bookend focuses on
      the Application Preparation (light blue) efforts required to make applications
      available for end user utilization. These processes include application
      packaging efforts and similar application virtualization efforts. Extending
      beyond these core services, we start to include items such as application
      compatibility and remediation efforts
    • The right bookend or the User
      State Migration (light green) focuses solely on processes associated with
      migrating users to either a new core solution (think traditional Windows
      physical PC to a VDI implementation) or an upgrade within the same model
      (Windows 7 to Windows 8 on a physical device). The sole focus here is to make
      any and all transitions as seamless and painless as possible for the end users
      as this sort of effort has traditionally been quite painful and often times
      results in periods of lost productivity
    • This brings us back to the
      base, the Systems Lifecycle Management (purple) foundational layer. Any and all
      desktop transformational solution components must include a systems management
      focus. The importance, of course, is to deal with any required move/add/change
      work that may be required. Items within this arena include systems management
      solutions (SCCM or Altiris), Mobile Device Management solutions (Air-Watch or
      MobileIron), Patch Management (WSUS, SCCM) and related Asset Management
      solutions.

As we discussed in Part 1, it
is key to remember is that EACH of these components requires its own unique
implementation plan that includes the high availability considerations as well
as operational readiness aspects required for production use. Obviously, there
is a degree of integration between the solutions, but if managed independently
as part of an overarching Desktop Transformation program, organizations can
achieve their desired results in a timely manner.

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