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Is Windows 7 driving virtualisation?

Virtualization is the future. Getting to virtualization is the present. And it’s going to be painful for most large corporates.

According to this article in CIO Magazine, 38 percent of IT managers are timing their investment in desktop and application virtualization with enterprise Windows 7 migration because both have a direct impact on each other.

Windows 7 and Juriba

Barry Angell, CTO of Juriba, comments: “It’s no surprise to see these figures. IT has always, with any major enterprise desktop transformation, tried to change not just the OS, but also the associated technology for provisioning, management, delivery, and support. This is the trap that most organisations fall into. The more you change, the more complex the programme of work to get the project done, and the more dependencies you are building in to achieve success. The only thing that’s ringfenced these days is Active Directory, the de facto standard for user authentication and security.

“Virtualisation is the future. Getting to virtualisation is the present. And it’s going to be painful for most large corporates.” Here’s Barry’s view on the subject:

1. With enterprise Windows 7 migration and virtualization, no one size fits your organisation. You will end up with a mixture of virtualized and non-virtualized clients, and therefore, two (or more) management tools, provisioning mechanisms, delivery mechanisms and support processes. Compared to the single system you probably have today, this will make your Windows 7 environment more complex, not less.

2. You need to have a reliable mechanism and tools to identify who and what should be virtualised. The reality is that a significant number of your users and applications are not suitable to be virtual candidates. Think about how you identify your virtualization candidates, or face project stall and business disruption as you find out the hard way.

3. You need to choose your virtualization technology wisely. You have a lot of different options, and there is no obvious technology leader right now, each having significant pros and cons. You’ll need to invest a large amount of money up front in getting your virtualization solution implemented, so take time to make sure that your selection is the right one for your organisation and user types.

The benefits of moving to a virtual desktop and/or applications are that you will seamlessly be able to upgrade future generations at will, with a simple method of rollback. However, the vast majority of organisations are moving from legacy 10-year-old OS and 5-year-old management technology. There will be baggage in this environment. IE6, legacy applications, corporate sprall. Don’t make the assumption that simply by virtualizing, all the inherent problems in your current environment will go away. They won’t. You’ll need to manage this upgrade more closely than ever before.

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