The Power of Cloud – Driving business model innovation

IBM have published

Cloud has already changed both business and everyday life – from consumers who perhaps unknowingly use it to access their favorite music, to companies that purposely harness its powerful resources. While much activity and buzz relating to cloud involves its technological capabilities, the benefits of cloud adoption actually extend into the business realm.

When utilized effectively, cloud capabilities offer numerous opportunities to drive business innovation. Recent technology and social connectivity trends have created a perfect storm of opportunity for companies to embrace the power of cloud to optimize, innovate and disrupt business models.

How do organizations use cloud today and how do they plan to employ its power in the future?

To find out, the IBM Institute for Business Value, in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit, surveyed 572 business and technology executives across the world. An analysis of survey results revealed some game-changing business enablers powered by cloud.

Organizations that exploit these business enablers are driving innovation that extends well beyond IT and into the boardroom. Three business archetypes represent the extent to which organizations use cloud to impact company and industry value chains, and customer value propositions:

  • Optimizers use cloud to incrementally enhance their customer value propositions while improving their organization’s efficiency.
  • Innovators significantly improve customer value through cloud adoption, resulting in new revenue streams or even changing their role within an existing industry ecosystem.
  • Disruptors rely on cloud to create radically different value propositions, as well as generate new customer needs and segments – and even new industry value chains.

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SBC and VDI terms Demystified

Basically there are two techniques to execute desktops in a datacenter and present it to end-users:

Server Based Computing (SBC). Also known as ‘presentation virtualization’ and ‘session virtualization’. Invented by Citrix when it launched WinFrame in 1995. It basically is able to host multiple user sessions on a single operating system. Each user session is able to run it’s own user environment and applications. WinFrame evolved to the current Citrix XenApp. Microsoft acquired the code of Citrix and started it’s own product named Terminal Services. Currently this is called Remote Desktop Services. Both Citrix and Microsoft solutions allow to present individual applications or full desktops.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). VMware is inventor of the VDI-technology. It introduced Virtual Desktop Manager 2.0 at January 24 2008. This was the first VDI solution on the market which involved to the current VMware Horizon View. Citrix released competitor XenDesktop in 2009.
Using VDI each user session runs on a seperate operating system running as a vitual machine hosted by a hypervisor.
VDI is in most scenarios used to present a full desktop to the enduser. Citrix offers in XenDesktop a way to present a single application in a VDI session.(VM hosted apps)

For VDI  many other terms used. One of the reasons is that VMware has legal rights on the name VDI. To prevent copyright issues some vendors decide to use a slightly different naming. Another reason is because different implementations are used in VDI like server and client operating systems.

  • Hosted Virtual Desktops (HVD). Same as VDI but Gartner uses this to prevent copyright issues
  • Centralized Virtual desktops (CVDs)= Same as VDI. Used by IDC
  • Server-hosted virtual desktops (SVHD)= Same as VDI. Mainly used by analyst firms.
  • Hosted VDI Desktops (1-to-1 Windows 7/8)= VDI. Term used by Citrix.
  • hosted private desktop = VDI. Term used by Citrix
  • Server VDI = VDI . A term used by Citrix. It is VDI delivered by Citrix XenDesktop
  • Personal VM-based VDI= VDI where each user has its own, persistent environment stored on unique virtual disks. Applications  which are installed by the user remain available even when session has ended.
  • Pooled VM-based VDI= VDI in which the user environment is reset after the session has ended.
  • Server VDI Workers (VM/Server Isolation) = VDI. A term used by Citrix. In this configuration virtual machines are running Windows Server as a guest operating system without Remote Desktop Services enabled. Each instance is used by a single end user. In most cases a Windows 7/8 look and feel is applied. Citrix XenDesktop is used to run these Windows Server vm’s. The reason to use Windows Server as a operating system for end users is Microsoft not allowing to use Windows client operating systems in multi-tenant infrastructures with shared hardware.

Server based computing terms

  • Session-Based VDI = SBC. Term used  for Remote Desktop Services of Microsoft
  • Session virtualization= SBC.
  • Presentation Virtualization= SBC
  • Terminal Services= The old name for what now is called Microsoft Remote Desktop Services.
  • Hosted-Shared Desktop (multi-user RDS) = SBC. Term used by Citrix which is in fact just Citrix XenApp running on top of Remote Desktop Services
  • MetaFrame, WinFrame, Presentation Server = SBC. Old names for what is now called Citrix XenApp

some other terms for presenting desktops used are:

cloud-hosted desktops = Also known as Desktop as a Service (DaaS). A  set of applications or a full desktop are consumed by end users. The infrastruture to offer these is managed by a service provicer.

VM hosted apps/ VM hosted applications = Uses Citrix XenDesktop to present a single application to the end user instead of a full desktop. Acts as an alternative for published applications available in XenApp.

UP2V

I was getting a bit confused by all the different terms used by vendors like Citrix for ways to present datacenter executed desktops to end-users. This post is an attempt to make clear what vendors and analyst firms like Gartner mean.

Basically there are two techniques to execute desktops in a datacenter and present it to end-users:

Server Based Computing (SBC). Also known as ‘presentation virtualization’ and ‘session virtualization’. Invented by Citrix when it launched WinFrame in 1995. It basically is able to host multiple user sessions on a single operating system. Each user session is able to run it’s own user environment and applications. WinFrame evolved to the current Citrix XenApp. Microsoft acquired the code of Citrix and started it’s own product named Terminal Services. Currently this is called Remote Desktop Services. Both Citrix and Microsoft solutions allow to present individual applications or full desktops.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

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Nimble Storage Launches Smartstack Converged Infrastructure Solution

 

Nimble Storage Introduces SmartStack Solution to Unify Infrastructure Silos for Multiple Workloads

New Converged Infrastructure Solution Unifies Desktop and Server Virtualization Silos; Pre-Integration Services for Nimble Storage SmartStack to be provided by Avnet Technology Solutions

Nimble Storage (NYSE: NMBL), a leading provider of flash-optimized hybrid storage solutions, today announced a new converged infrastructure solution that allows enterprises to address the storage performance challenges for desktop and server virtualization workloads in a single converged infrastructure stack. With this new solution, enterprises are no longer burdened with maintaining separately managed infrastructure to cost-effectively meet performance demands. To assist channel partners, Avnet Technology Solutions, the global IT solutions distribution leader and an operating group of Avnet, Inc. (NYSE: AVT), will offer pre-integration services for Nimble Storage SmartStack converged infrastructure solutions, providing faster time to deployment.

Due to the differing characteristics and performance requirements of business critical applications and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), enterprises with multi-workload environments are forced to create and manage infrastructures in silos. To alleviate this administrative nightmare, enterprises require a single architecture that adapts to both the performance and data protection requirements of each workload. The new SmartStack for Desktop and Server Virtualization delivers the high performance required for VDI and server virtualization, while at the same time providing high levels of reliability and data protection through the snapshot and replication features built into Nimble’s Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL) architecture.

In addition to meeting the demands of diverse workloads with a single storage architecture, enterprises are able to accelerate deployment while minimizing the risks associated with deploying solutions with a pre-validated reference architecture based on Cisco Unified Computing System with VMware vSphere®, VMware Horizon View™ and Nimble Storage. By leveraging Cisco blade architecture and VMware’s desktop and server virtualization platforms, enterprises now have the flexibility to scale their environment as their business grows. For easy scaling as organizations grow, IT administrators can replicate the 500-user building block.

Resellers Provide Faster Time to Deployment with Avnet Technology Solutions Pre-Integration Services

Whether deploying solutions for desktop virtualization, server virtualization, or both, Nimble Storage channel partners can offer SmartStack converged infrastructure solutions as an integrated solution through Nimble Storage’s North American distributor Avnet Technology Solutions. Avnet has availability slated for mid-March 2014. As a result, resellers can be confident in rapidly deploying solutions for their customers that have been pre-integrated by Avnet Technology Solutions, and pre-validated by VMware, Cisco and Nimble Storage.

As a part of this service resellers can depend on Nimble Storage as the point of entry for SmartStack Integration Support. Resellers are now able to ensure customers experience a faster time to deployment, a consistent level of quality integration and a single point for support.

Supporting Quotes

“Besides greater performance and simplified management, the Nimble Storage array provides the flexibility and scalability that guarantees us continued success. When combined with our Cisco UCS platform, VMware vSphere, and VMware Horizon View, we now have a complete top-to-bottom infrastructure that provides the agility to conform to the needs of the business. Because storage constraints are no longer our major area of risk, we can deploy our upcoming VDI project on the same array as our virtualized applications, eliminating the need to deploy and manage another storage silo.”

Jeremy Stephens, the executive director of information technology, The Santa Claran Hotel Casino

“Virtualized applications and VDI environments are workloads with differing characteristics. Customers continue to seek simplified approaches for deployment and management of these workloads in their infrastructures. Nimble Storage with VMware Horizon View™ can provide a foundation for storage planning and architectural design, with the flexibility to scale as these diverse workloads grow.”

Mason Uyeda, senior director of technical marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

“Our ability to provide configuration services and testing validation for SmartStack solutions is an expansion of our support for the Nimble channel ecosystem, which has already simplified the procurement process for resellers. Leveraging our pre-integration services enables channel partners to gain a competitive edge by strengthening their offerings and speeding time to a complete solution deployment, while minimizing costs and investment risk.”

Scott Look, vice president and general manager, Connected and Secured Solutions, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas

“Increasingly, our customers are expressing the challenges associated with managing multi-workload infrastructures. To eliminate the administrative burden of managing separate infrastructure silos, Nimble provides storage arrays that adapt to serve these diverse workloads in a single system, and now also provides a reference architecture to accelerate the deployment of a unified desktop and server virtualization solution with Cisco and VMware.”

Radhika Krishnan, vice president of product marketing and alliances, Nimble Storage

 

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