AppSense to partner on hosted VDI service

Windows 7 migrations a prime candidate for the service

AppSense, looking to capitalise on the growing interest in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), is in discussions with local hosted service providers and virtualiastion vendors to embed its technology in their VDI offerings.

The company’s technology treats user information as a separate layer of the desktop experience and applies this layer to a virtual desktop, effectively replicating an individual user’s environment on top of an otherwise standard operating environment.

According to AppSense vice president of worldwide marketing, Peter Rawlinson, the inclusion of AppSense into a virtual desktop service has the potential to reduce the management and storage costs associated with virtual desktops as-a-service; using a single, standard desktop template rather than the per-employee, dedicated desktop as exists today.

Although the technology is currently in the investigation phase, the company would look to begin providing a combined VDI service in the first half of 2010, Rawlinson said.

“In the first instance, we would look to partner with hosted service providers that have an existing relationship with the comms provider. Such providers will have subscription desktop services they provide to companies,” he said.

“As we look further into the future, it could very well be possible for the user personality to become a service in itself, providing user personalisation settings to standard desktops as an independent service — but this is more likely a five plus years opportunity.”

Rawlinson said the company was also looking to Windows 7 as a major driver of VDI take up in the country, arguing that a significant amount of time is spent during any Windows migration ensuring employees’ desktop experience is not unduly compromised by moving to a new OS.

“Whether this is in the detailed writing, troubleshooting and application of logon scripts and profiles to maintain the user’s personal settings, or the requirement for the employee to ‘re-personalise’ their Win 7 desktop, there is work, cost and risk inherent,” he said.

“Although we have yet to obtained specific numbers, we estimate the removal of scripting or employee re-personalisation can increase Windows 7 migration times by up to 50 per cent as well as reduce risk and ensure optimum employee productivity.”

The company’s plans to launch a joint VDI service in the first half of next year is likely to tie in with the beginnings of an uptick in VDI adoption which Gartner is predicting will kick off in 12 months.

The research firm recently found that although hosted virtual desktops (HVD) are a high priority for large and mid-size companies in Australia, few large deployments are expected until late next year due to constrained budgets.

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