W H I T E P A P E R
T o s h i b a V i r t u a l D e s k t o p S e r v i c e :
F a s t , S e c u r e , a n d L o w - R i s k V D I
Sponsored by: Toshiba Brett Waldman September 2013
E X E C U T I V E S U M M A R Y
Knowledge workers have grown accustomed to remotely connecting to the Internet or a company network via a laptop. Yet in just six years, tablets, smartphones, and thousands of accompanying apps have made this landscape far more complex. Knowledge workers now demand greater choices in the devices they use and unfettered access to work-related files and computing resources. Advances in end-user mobile connectivity are just the most recent — and perhaps the most dramatic — example of this trend. Interestingly, global economic and technological trends have spurred a similar demand on the employer side of the equation. Most organizations now suffer from internal and external connections made with their on-premise IT, basically at random, according to whatever device a team member happens to be using at the time. This creates a number of problems:
Data isolation. Successfully separating business data from personal data when
workers use their own devices on work-related projects is essential.
Data security. Data must reach only authenticated users. The devices must also
conform to IT security policies — for example, implementing password protection and remote self-destruct or data wipe.
Control. Corporate IT management should have the ability to track, access, and
account for all devices capable of storing proprietary intellectual property.
OS support. New platforms, devices, and apps — Android, iOS, Windows 8 —
enter the market constantly. Each one demands more knowledge, management, and maintenance from IT. Ensuring that users get the support they need while preserving the integrity of IT resources is a difficult but essential balancing act. In their own ways, cloud computing and collaboration software have attempted to solve these problems for the better part of a decade, in the face of ever-increasing demand for flexible workspaces. Most recently, cloud-hosted virtual desktops and virtual desktop applications, which combine to make up the workspace-as-a-service (WaaS) market, have offered a more robust, secure, and reliable solution.
Toshiba's Virtual Desktop Service (VDS) represents a major player's entry into this market. Toshiba has been a technological innovator since its founding in 1875; the company shipped one of the first laptop PCs, which has since become a standard for corporate computing. Glo b a l H e a d q u a rt e rs : 5 S p e e n S tr e e t Fr a mi n g h a m , M A 0 1 7 0 1 U S A P .5 0 8 .8 7 2 .8 2 0 0 F. 5 0 8 .9 3 5 .4 0 1 5 w w w .id c .c o m
S I T U A T I O N O V E R V I E W
The model of individual desktop workspaces for each team member, all connected to an on-premise network, has been around for decades. Companies have been evolving their end-user platforms to a more widely distributed network connected to a central corporate datacenter for the following reasons:
The growing ease of telecommuting is spurring a corresponding growth in demand for offsite work privileges from company knowledge workers.
IDC's IDC Remote Worker and Home Business Update: April–June 2012 — New Online Resources and Expanding Support for Mobile Workers (IDC #236578, August 2012) found an increase in total telecommuters from 10 million in 2007 to 24.5 million in 2012, for a CAGR of 19.6%.
Rapid advances in communication and collaboration software, combined with the worst global economy since the Great Depression, have increased companies' reliance on remote outsourcing, which in turn has driven a growing demand for more reliable and secure access to company IT resources for both outsourced workers and partners.
The commercialization of IT has stimulated demand for broader access to powerful, portable computing by both remote and office-based members of the workforce. The net result is a greatly increased demand for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) access and workspace-as-a-service capabilities. This demand is so strong that businesses now report widespread employee willingness to ignore, or even circumvent, policy and security protocols in order to use their personal and/or mobile devices for work purposes. This demand is exacerbated by an influx of smaller devices at low price points that are essentially Web connection devices, with all of their storage and most of their apps stored or accessed in the cloud. This extends from simple text messaging to sharing sensitive or proprietary business documents, for example, a sales quote between workers, but without the centralized control and essential security.
E x i s t i n g S o l u t i o n s
The client virtualization space was shaken up nearly a decade ago by the introduction of the centralized virtual desktop (CVD), aka virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Up until that point, client virtualization was a market that consisted solely of virtual user session (VUS) software.
While there are many benefits to both VDI and VUS — such as central management, security, and agility — they are complex to deploy, and VDI is difficult to scale without proper knowledge and experience. Additionally, VDI can have large up-front capital costs. It will require new servers, storage, and networking to be able to scale properly and efficiently. And it will need to be implemented by people with experience and knowledge in this area.
By moving desktop management to the cloud, IT organizations can avoid large capital outlays, stalled deployments, and failed implementations.
T O S H I B A ' S V I R T U A L D E S K T O P S E R V I C E
What: The Virtual Desktop Service provides desktops as a service (DaaS), and, in
the near future, desktop applications as a service (DAaaS), allowing customers to manage both desktops and desktop applications from the cloud. This approach takes the advantages of cloud computing and removes security and outage problems by putting all of the user workspaces in the same data area.
Toshiba's VDS is a monthly service built on specialized, proprietary, top-tier equipment manufactured by Toshiba as well as industry-leading technology from partners. As a result, Toshiba's VDS allows all of the benefits of a VDI cloud computing environment while placing the up-front expense and training costs outside management's zone of responsibility. This means the risks and expenses for Toshiba's VDS are considerably lower than those associated with on-premise VDI. Toshiba's VDS addresses the three characteristics of a successful cloud computing environment:
Robust infrastructure Secure data
Built on Toshiba's global VDI, the infrastructure provides 99.99% uptime with multiple local and on-premise backup options. Security for both data and datacenter premises conforms to top-level industry standards.
Performance for virtual desktops within Toshiba's VDS stems from including hybrid storage for each virtual machine. This eliminates the problem of "boot storm" — an issue common to other VDI offerings. Booting a computer is the most resource-intensive task any given desktop makes during a workday. When a significant number of end users boot their virtual desktops at approximately the same time — for example, at the beginning of a shift or the end of a lunch break — the high demand in a confined time frame can overwhelm the network and cause degradation in service. Toshiba's hybrid storage shifts most of that boot load from the traditional HDD to a flash drive, which operates on average 10 times faster than the HDD.
Where: Toshiba's initial datacenter is located in San Jose, California, with a second
datacenter scheduled to open in Virginia. Using U.S. locations provides additional physical security, as well as stronger guarantees of uninterrupted power and service, compared with offshore datacenters, which are often located in regions with unstable infrastructures or governments.
How: Knowledge workers, including managers and executives on their own virtual desktops, access the information resources assigned to their work via any device, from anywhere permitted within the bounds of the company's remote computing policy. Standard workstations give remote access to computing power comparable to a traditional dedicated office setup:
Standard model: One virtual CPU, 2GB RAM, 5GB data storage, 20GB OS/app storage
Power model: Two virtual CPUs, 4GB RAM, 10GB data storage, 20GB OS/app storage
Additional model configurations available
Data backup, antivirus, and Internet access functions as determined by the CTO IT management can configure workstations for teams per real-time demands using the Configurator gateway with integral quote generator. Because the machines are virtual, changes can be made swiftly without replacing hardware.
When trouble happens (these are state-of-the-art servers, but still servers), solutions come from specialists on Toshiba's staff who spend the entire workday dealing with the specialized hardware and software integral to the Toshiba VDS. It does not require extra training or new personnel associated with adding new on-premise systems.
Why: Toshiba brings more than 50 years of technology innovation, and three decades of
laptop leadership, to the table to ensure its VDS is a leader in end-user computing. Its proprietary hybrid storage delivers optimized performance for knowledge workers; desktop management tools make it easy for IT to manage both the system and its users. Datacenters use internationally accredited security protocols while keeping all architecture local for maximum availability on an infrastructure owned and operated entirely by Toshiba. Its team's channel focus is entirely on the customer, with sales partners compensated not only for sales but also for continued client support.
K e y C u s t o m e r s
Toshiba's VDS serves three key customers within the client organization, each of which derives specific benefits while taking on certain responsibilities (see Table 1).
T A B L E 1
K e y C u s t o m e r s f o r T o s h i b a V D S S e r v i c e s
Customer Benefits Responsibilities
Executive management Increased compliance with company technology and security policies
Reduced overall IT costs
Manage relationship with and budget for Toshiba VDS
Departmental management/ IT management
Reduced maintenance and report workload
Reduced departmental IT costs
Increased compliance with company policies
Manage day-to-day team interaction with VDS
Train team members to use virtual desktops
End user/individual team member Reduced downtime as a result of more efficient computing
Less software management
Increased overall productivity
Interact daily with VDS for regular work assignments
K e y M a r k e t s
Toshiba VDS can be adopted by nearly any organization. However, Toshiba has identified the following three types of organizations that can benefit the most from the increased productivity and lower costs provided by VDS:
Healthcare providers can offer mobile computing to doctors, nurses, and other
resident and outsourced practitioners who move within and between facilities. This mobile access can result in faster response time to patient questions and better coordination in emergencies. IT and management professionals familiar with physicians' attitudes toward policy will especially appreciate how the VDS platform integrates all connection policies into the basic end-user interaction with the service.
Large and midsize businesses, which have relied in the past on weaker, less
secure collaborative platforms, benefit by providing robust, secure, high-performance mobile access to their workforce. Departments with shift workers in data entry, order entry, and customer service may now provide greater flexibility to employees or make the final cost-saving move to a mostly home-based workforce. VDS allows midsize businesses access to mobile options previously available only to larger organizations able to afford a full-service, in-house, on-premise network.
Educational institutions can solve myriad challenges by opening educational
and administrative resources to students and faculty alike. Mobile device access to class notes, virtual classrooms, and etextbooks revolutionizes the student experience while simultaneously cutting costs. Faculty on a VDS experience faster, better collaboration with colleagues, both inside and outside a given institution. As with midsize business customers, the VDS gives a college or school district access to mobile capabilities it could not previously afford.
C H A L L E N G E S A N D O P P O R T U N I T I E S
F O R T H E T O S H I B A V D S
Implementing the Toshiba VDS presents work environment and implementation challenges, both for Toshiba and for the adopting organization. Although not insignificant, these challenges open the door to broader efficiencies and opportunities unavailable to similar organizations that have not leveraged VDS technology and its cloud-based system.
B u s i n e s s a n d E n v i r o n m e n t C h a l l e n g e s
The current global economy is still depressed and, in some regions, unstable. Although incremental improvement is forecast with a moderate level of certainty, the global economic picture makes implementing or creating any new technology more challenging than during more stable times.
The technology landscape remains fiercely competitive. Toshiba, like any technology leader, consistently monitors the market, listens to customers, and dedicates resources to research and development to ensure it is offering superior technology that presents itself as most valuable to its clients.
Licensing and delivering software still rely heavily on the individual desktop model. Not all products have an option that integrates with the WaaS, SaaS, or VDS market models; many that do are more costly to purchase using a virtual system. This challenge is expected to self-correct over the next few years as mobile and remote computing become increasingly powerful factors in business software design. I m p l e m e n t a t i o n C h a l l e n g e s
During interviews with CIOs, CTOs, and individual IT contributors, both IDC and Toshiba consultants found scant knowledge about the WaaS model and its fundamental technologies. This dearth of knowledge will require up-front resources to train team members to use and understand the Toshiba Virtual Desktop Service.
When it comes to mobile computing and connection with company resources, knowledge workers are accustomed to doing what they want, whenever they want. This attitude frequently includes a willingness to defy company policy. Depending on corporate culture, it may be a training and education challenge to rein in team members to work within a more restrictive connection environment.
WaaS service relies on connectivity with off-premise datacenters, which are highly secure but primarily located within the United States. Companies with remote workers or locations in developing nations may experience data bottlenecks related to lower-quality communications between where the work is being done and the U.S. datacenters. B u s i n e s s E n v i r o n m e n t O p p o r t u n i t i e s
The demand for WaaS rises in direct proportion to the demand for flexible workspace, a demand which is currently in aggressive adolescence. Toshiba is well positioned to become a leader, which will benefit all organizations adopting its solution.
Software development, licensing, and delivery for WaaS have yet to mature into a fully developed set of protocols. Organizations weighing in at this time will be in a position to help address the needs the applications must address.
I m p l e m e n t a t i o n O p p o r t u n i t i e s
If the buzz about obtaining improved productivity from flexible, remote computing workspaces continues to be supported by industry performance, organizations adopting VDI and implementing WaaS can assuredly gain competitive advantage from greater end-user productivity.
Toshiba's Virtual Desktop Service supports better remote work connectivity for adopting organizations. In the process, it offers opportunities to hire qualified knowledge workers without geographic constraints. Workforces will have greater business perspectives and, in the workflow, will broaden the knowledge base.
C O N C L U S I O N
The variety of platforms for, methods to, and preferences about what devices to use at work will only grow in the coming years — as will the problems associated with supporting an ever-growing variety of devices and applications. Toshiba's new, innovative VDS offering solves these and other remote end-user computing problems by providing a tightly integrated virtual platform for collaboration available from any device, through a reliable gateway that ensures data isolation, data security, management control, and global consistency as an integral part of the user experience. Between its position as a tech leader, its proprietary hybrid storage array, and the growing demand for precisely this kind of thought leadership, the Toshiba VDS is poised to deliver on its promise in full to ensure strategic benefits for clients. IDC will monitor the future phased rollouts of this service with keen interest.
C o p y r i g h t N o t i c e
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