It is interesting how a conversation with one industry executive will lead to another. When this happens some astute member of a PR team will notice an article about one of their competitors that appears on Virtually Speaking. This person calls or sends an Email asking me if I have time to chat with an executive of one of their clients. This time Bryan Doerr, CTO of Savvis a CenturyLink company, spoke with me to present his views on the topic of desktop virtualization after reading Conversation with Desktone's Dave Grant.
Why do organizations consider desktop virtualization?
Bryan discussed his view that when his clients start speaking about virtual desktops, they are doing so not out of any great love of virtual machine software, VMware, Citrix, Red Hat, Parallels or any other supplier. No, he pointed out, their real concern is taming their desktops and bringing them under efficient management control; increasing levels of security and reliability; and turning typical disasters, such as lost Windows DLL files or messed up Windows configuration settings, into simple and easy-to-correct minor irritations.
What is desktop virtualization?
This lead to a very interesting conversation about what desktop virtualization really is. We both agreed that it is the use of a number of different virtualization technologies (access virtualization, application virtualization, processing virtualization and both management and security for virtual environments) and not merely the use of virtual machine software to create a virtual client environment.
Will Desktop Virtualization really save money? Only if carefully planned and executed!
Bryan also pointed out that customers must have a very strong belief that their staff-related costs of management, operations, help desk and the like are going to be so dramatically decreased that the increased costs coming from moving the workload from inexpensive PC processing, memory, storage and networking to much-more-expensive server-based resources will be totally submerged.
Bryan also pointed out that, in his view, many organizations moving in this direction find that they've embarked on a complex computer science project rather than simply moving the processing off of the desktop system to a central facility. Without careful planning, the right data center resources and the right management processes and procedures, they often find that they've created more problems for themselves than they thought they would solve.
The Savvis sales hat appears
Right in front of my eyes, Bryan did a cleaver magic trick!
A sales hat appeared on his head and he started extolling Savvis' well-known experience in data center management, collocation and managed services.
Virtual desktop services, he asserted, are just another product that uses Savvis' expertise in facilities management, operations, configuration management, planning and security. All of these are in place today to support Savvis' large customer base.
He mentioned that only the largest of the large organizations could hope to acquire real estate, electricity, networking infrastructure, servers, memory, storage, air conditioning equipment or power management equipment at a lower cost than Savvis. Only the largest organizations would have the breadth and depth of IT, security, and operations expertise on staff.
The final word
I always enjoy the opportunity to speak with Bryan. While he lives in the cloud, his feet are firmly planted on the firm reality of a data center practitioner. He knows, through painful personal experience, the real limitations of various types of technologies and how they are put to work in the real world.
While I know that there are many others high quality service providers that offer similar products and services, a conversation with Bryan always leaves me feeling that I should sign on the dotted line and move Kusnetzky Group resources into his care. I usually am able to break out of that spell before I do anything rash.
One more thing, when I grow up, I hope to have a job like Bryan. He really, really, really seems to enjoy what he does, the team he works with and the company.
Thanks, Bryan, for spending so much time sharing your views.