When was the last time you heard an IT admin saying that their job is so much easier now or how they love their job? No doubt an IT admin job function is both expansive and unique to the environment that they are in. A certain segment of the IT administrator community is focused on building, rolling out, and managing corporate desktop images across laptops and desktops in enterprises. IT admins now have to manage a wide range of devices and software applications that their users need for work. The traditional tools haven’t changed that much though, to sufficiently address challenges from physical or virtual desktops, applications, devices and everything in-between.
Desktop virtualization technology is now available to deliver similar kind of benefits that server virtualization was able to deliver in the enterprise backend. Through the abstraction of the software stack from the underlying hardware layer, the desktop image can be seamlessly deployed, managed, protected, and optimized.
Here are some common challenges that IT admins face daily, some of these may be apparent:
- Traditional desktop management tools often require dedicated, corporate network connection to deploy desktop images and updates. The connectivity requirement makes it harder for enterprises to manage the laptop users in remote/branch offices or mobile employees who don’t always have dedicated connectivity.
- Business data leaves the enterprise every time a worker carries a corporate laptop out the door, making data protection difficult, resource-intensive and prone to user tinkering or human error.
- For IT, a key element of the value of desktop virtualization is the ability to standardize on a finite set of approved desktop OS and applications, and maintain a well-managed single virtual machine (VM) as a golden image for the enterprise. But workers often install their own applications or make other changes to the pristine image, greatly complicating management and creating the risk of application and system incompatibilities, security breaches and other problems.
- Provisioning and supporting desktop images for mobile laptop users can be both resource-intensive and time-consuming. New workers are unable to become immediately productive, reducing business agility. When a laptop hardware component fails while a worker is out of the office, it must often be brought back into the office for repair, delaying work and stalling productivity.
- Enterprises typically rely on specific approved hardware vendors, models and software versions due to hardware-related limitations/requirements. This restricts how desktop images can be easily deployed and managed in enterprises.
Enterprise workers want performance and flexibility, including many who need to able to work anywhere, anytime. At the same time, IT admins need ease of management, effective control and uncompromised security for the desktop images and laptops that they are responsible for. With traditional desktop image management methods, these two requirements can seem difficult or impossible to reconcile. Local virtual desktop can effectively solve some of the major issues where traditional desktop image management tools have come up short on.
XenClient and its management backend, Synchronizer for XenClient, provide numerous complementary management functionalities for laptops and desktops, including backup/recovery of laptop data, software updates and patching for virtual desktops, and virtual desktop security. User changes to desktop images can be prevented or rolled back easily to maintain standardization. Desktop images are delivered through a centrally managed environment, speeding the onboarding process for new workers. When a laptop is lost, stolen or incapacitated due to hardware failure, a worker can simply pull down a new golden image from the server to start anew or download the most recent backup of their existing virtual desktop from the backend management server to resume work on their new laptop. Workers also gain the freedom and flexibility to run multiple environments on the same laptop, such as a corporate standard business desktop in addition to desktops optimized for demo, customer or personal use. It admins definitely will see value in considering local virtual desktop solution like Citrix XenClient in their desktop image management toolkit.
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