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@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

Changing App Delivery Strategy? by @LMacVittie | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

As the technology behind VDI has matured, many organizations have begun to reconsider their initial, early decisions

One of the more popular methods of dealing with not just with the explosion of devices but the growing challenge of dealing with growth of compute devices under management in general is virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). While VDI has been overshadowed of late by newer and shinier TLAs like SDN and IoT, it remains nonetheless a critical component of most organizations growth strategy.

changeoftenAs the technology behind VDI has matured, many organizations have begun to reconsider their initial, early decisions to go with one technology over another. That's natural, as it often takes time after adopting early technologies to really understand the long term costs (TCO) and ability of that technology to scale along with the business. It's also natural because at some point, all solutions end up in the "end of life" category, which means no more vendor support. That's true of both Windows Server 2003 and Citrix XenApp 5.0. Organizations that aren't already on Citrix XenApp 7.5 or XenDesktop 7.1 are facing what looks like a full rip and replace effort. An effort that is not going to be easy or cheap.

But while VDI and mobility are certainly important to an organization's growth strategy, they aren't the only concerns. A significant number of desktops remain tethered to PCs and need just as much attention, if not more. Some organizations, after taking a closer look at what they have - and projecting costs and scalability into the future - may be looking to migrate to a different solution. That's particularly true when said organizations look at the disparity between their server and desktop virtualization platforms and realize that standardization on one platform for both would ultimately realize some significant operational cost savings.

But changing your virtual desktop and application publishing strategy isn't as easy as snapping your fingers, of course. Transitioning from one technology to another can be scary. That's one of the reasons VMware has introduced a new program called Safe Passage, designed to help organizations migrate its virtual, mobile and desktop application environments safely and smoothly to VMware Horizon.

As the preferred delivery solution for VMware Horizon, F5 helps smooth the transition from one VDI solution to another. Because apps are delivered to users and F5 is always in the critical path between users and, well, just about every app they use, including virtual desktops, F5 is uniquely positioned to assist in the migration to a VMware Horizon environment.

F5 BIG-IP Access Policy Manager makes it easy to provide secure access control, traffic management, and the best possible performance for VMware Horizon with View deployments. F5's customized iApps make it possible to fully deploy in as little as two hours, and cost-effective licensing combined with VMware's Safe Passage incentives makes it easy to build a business case.

Change can be scary, but you don't have to face it alone. VMware's tools and guidance along with F5's eighteen years of expertise in delivering apps can make the transition a whole lot simpler, smoother and way less scary.

Not sure about that?

Say you want to transition users from Citrix desktops and published apps to Horizon desktops and published apps. Using F5 BIG-IP APM you can add policy checks that query Active Directory for a security group value and if the user is in a Citrix group the APM webtop presents Citrix desktop and apps. To transition the user all that’s necessary is to change the Active Directory group to which the user belongs and voila! Automagically the user will now receive Horizon apps and desktops on their webtop. It really is that easy. No disruption at all to the user, no changes to the workflow, no new training because the user still browses to vdi.company.com. The magic power of BIG-IP APM and its Visual Policy Editor make it simplicity itself thanks to F5’s ability to replace the View Security Server and proxy Horizon for View 6 published applications.

For more information on VMware's Safe Passage program, click here and read on.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

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