Opinion

Punting desktop virtualisation

There has been a lot of momentum around server virtualisation in the data centre at enterprise level but the same cannot be said about desktop virtualisation, despite Citrix pushing a lot of solutions in this space. Why is the adoption of desktop virtualisation technologies still slow in the Middle East?

 There are several reasons why the uptake of desktop virtualisation has been slow in the region despite Citrix making these technologies available almost at the same time as they are unveiled in more mature Western markets. One of the reasons why server virtualisation has taken off quickly in the region is that the cost of managing an ever growing data centre environment has compelled CIOs and IT managers to look at ways of not only keeping their operational costs down but to also look at ways on how they can reduced on server space, power consumption and cooling technologies. Obviously, server virtualisation has helped enterprise organisations that have taken this route to reduce the number of physical servers and start getting the cost reduction benefits almost immediately.
Having said that, there are some customer awareness issues in so far as desktop virtualisation is concerned but most importantly, companies in the region have tended to start with server virtualisation in their data centres as this is where the costs of managing physical servers is still high. After virtualising their server environment, most enterprises have moved to virtualise their business applications before rolling out desktop virtualisation technologies.
We will certainly be working with our channel ecosystem ensuring that Citrix raises awareness and benefits of desktop virtualisation beyond the early tech adopters.
 
You have just added the Citrix XenDesktop 3 to your Citrix Deliver Center product array. What is the significance of this newest release to your desktop virtualisation solutions?
 
The release of XenDesktop 3, accords virtual desktop users a richer high-definition (HD) experience with enhanced support for multimedia, audio and video. XenDesktop 3 also dramatically improves scalability, hosting twice as many virtual desktops per server as previous versions. With version 3, XenDesktop has become the first product on the market to deliver Microsoft Windows desktops from a common set of centrally managed images that can be run either in the data centre (hosted), or directly on a PC or thin client device (local). What this means in terms of capability is that it gives IT organisations far more flexibility, reducing desktop management costs by making efficient use of distributed processing power across both servers and end point devices.
As XenDesktop 3 comes with HDX technology, Citrix is now providing users a true HD experience for their desktops, addressing a critical requirement for broad user acceptance. Through these innovations, we are transforming the way desktops are delivered and managed, offering a secure, high-performance and personalised desktop for enterprise customers.
 
You earlier alluded to early adopters of desktop virtualisation technologies. Which vertical are leading in this regard in the Middle East region or albeit the rate is still slow?
 
Naturally in the Middle East region, players in the banking and financial sector are always early adopters and there are two main reasons for that: firstly to meet all regulatory, corporate governance and compliance issues, and secondly, most organisations in this sector are striving to lead the tech innovation path that has positive benefits for their customers.
Having said that, I would like to say that we are seeing movement in the education, telecoms and government space. We will looking to extend adoption virtualisation technologies from server, application and desktop to other verticals this year and beyond. To achieve this, we are aware that we have to educate and raise awareness at both channel and end-user level and that will form part of our focus this year and beyond.

Antoine Aguado, Regional Director at Citrix Systems Middle East region speaks about the strategies the vendor has in the desktop virtualisation space.

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