One of the best parts of my job
is talking with customers, and hearing directly from them the ways they’re using technology to strengthen their business. Based on these customer conversations, I can get an appreciation for what is top of mind among IT leaders.
I often hear concerns about managing an ever-evolving and complex IT environment. For example, Group Health Cooperative recently shared with me how they’re always trying to keep applications up to date while staying in compliance. And Expedia said they’ve been looking to centralize management to increase automation while also tightening security.
I know that each of you are in the trenches, managing an innumerable set of demands, working to keep end users productive no matter where they work, to keep data safe and controlled, and planning cautiously so your IT investments today pay off tomorrow. Alongside equally important items like IT and employees’ skills, defined security and compliance policies, integrated management, rationalized IT processes, standardized imaging, and standardized devices, virtualization is in our DNA and we believe our customers will be best set up for their future business and technology needs when it becomes a part of their DNA as well. For these reasons, I want to focus on virtualization and its role in your desktop management strategy.
to virtualization is different than others in the market. First and foremost we take a desktop to datacenter approach, and guide customers to view virtualization as a holistic component to managing their IT infrastructure and applications. Second, we believe building a foundation of centralized and integrated management is a key to making virtualization a reality and having the control of physical and virtual assets. Third, we believe that each customer needs flexible technology, so they can pair the right solution with their unique business and end-user need.
Virtualization is not “one size fits all,” which is why there’s a portfolio of virtualization technologies available to you. For example, most of you are already using solutions from Microsoft and Citrix to manage your desktops and enable your employees to be productive. We have seamlessly integrated the various virtualization capabilities into System Center so that you can take advantage of virtualization using the tools and infrastructure you already have deployed. The net result is faster time to value at a much lower cost than others in the industry.
I see lots of scenarios where virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) should be used – it’s just another way to deploy Windows. While doing so, I recommend you think about VDI in conjunction with your overall desktop management strategy, and how you will want a single solution and infrastructure to manage your distributed and centralized desktops. Think about desktop virtualization beyond a point solution or VDI; it is a portfolio of technologies that help virtualize applications, data and settings, and the operating system. These are important elements to your desktop management strategy.
For those of you who are looking at VDI, or considering application virtualization or remote desktop computing solutions, there may not be a need to rip and replace what you have, but rather build on top and improve upon it. We can help there. Our heritage across Windows and with System Center makes us uniquely suited to enable centralized management across Windows and non-Windows environments, physical or virtualized.
In terms of virtualization on the desktop, Microsoft has the most comprehensive set of capabilities that are strengthened even more with the deep partnership we have with Citrix. One piece of news that I’m most excited about that helps with this is the “Rescue for VMware VDI
” promotion we’re offering with Citrix. Think of it as a Cash for Clunkers
trade-in of VMware View licenses to Microsoft VDI Standard Suite and Citrix XenDesktop VDI Edition licenses at no additional cost.
This promotion is just the beginning of our expanded customer and partner engagements around VDI. As more and more of you deploy Windows 7, and seek new ways of managing desktop compliance, I know more and more of you are looking at VDI as a deployment option. I spoke with a telecom company that has deployed 20,000 VDI seats fast, using Hyper-V, System Center and Citrix XenDesktop. There’s also a large manufacturer who deployed App-V to save $200 per desktop, and the plan to move 75% of their 77,000 employees to virtualized desktops in 2012 using a combined Microsoft and Citrix solution.
Today at 9:00 a.m. PDT we’ll be hosting a webcast
that kicks off a series
of worldwide customer events that dive more deeply into desktop virtualization. Joining us to sift through the buzz and give practical next steps and guidance are several customers, Citrix and Gartner analyst Mark Margevicius. You’ll hear how Holland America is using App-V and System Center Configuration Manager for more automation and application isolation while saving money or how Expedia plans to virtualize about 90% of its applications.
We are also announcing
several updates to VDI licensing, desktop virtualization technologies and partnerships to move customers to the next step of desktop virtualization. This news builds on traction we’ve made in server and application virtualization over the years, including the recent release of Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V
, Microsoft App-V 4.6
, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager R2
Tune in today to learn more about building out your desktop management strategy using virtualization. Plan to attend one of our series
of worldwide customer events and share your feedback through #MSVirt on Twitter.