5 Things You Should Know About. WorkSpace Aggregators

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1 5 Things You Should Know About WorkSpace Aggregators

2 Introduction Mobility. Cloud. Virtualization. End-user expectation. The demands on IT are increasing exponentially. Users want to work how they want, where they want, using the device they want. And they expect the user experience to be the same, wherever they are and whatever they are doing. It was acceptable in years gone by for IT to say this is how it is. Not anymore. Alongside dramatically increased user expectations is an ever-increasing list of technology choices for delivering applications and content to us all. Which applications can, and should, be installed locally on our desktop devices? Which applications should we deliver through application virtualization or streaming? Should we have physical or virtual desktops? How can we make the best use of cloud technologies? Life in IT used to be simple. Or simpler, at least. Configure a PC / laptop image, clone it, use as a base image for all identical hardware and then just change the PC name. Managing at a device level. Simple. Or simpler at least. However, the device is no longer the centre of our IT world. It s all about applications and content, and users all want their key applications and content available on a multitude of different devices corporate PCs, home PCs and tablets. Given the different application delivery technologies available today, how is that possible without a cluttered, hard-to-use interface? How can we bring together applications installed locally, delivered through virtualization technologies and delivered through cloud applications, regardless of the device they are accessed from? And importantly, how can that happen in a way that delivers a great user experience, with seamless access to everything users need? And one that also allows IT to maintain visibility and control of what is being used and where corporate data is being stored? The answer is WorkSpace aggregation. A self-service portal that allows end-users to access their applications and content, securely, from whichever device we choose. Gartner describes WorkSpace aggregation as: Workspace aggregators represent an additional step in building client computing environments that are independent from the end hardware device and increasingly OS-neutral. They provide a way of delivering a consistent level of manageability, security and access across a diverse mobile client computing environment. Source: An Overview of Workspace Aggregators, Gartner Inc, August 2012 The role of the WorkSpace Aggregator WorkSpace aggregators need to be able to aggregate the applications and content from all of the delivery sources commonly in use within enterprise application delivery environments, to give users easy single sign-on access to those resources and to allow effective management of the delivery of resources to the right users on the right devices.

3 Essential elements of a WorkSpace aggregator include: Independence of technology and an extensibility to integrate with existing technology Detailed analytics to make informed decisions Simple, easy-to-use self service interface Continuous metering and monitoring with usage analytics Policy controlled technology delivery Figure 1: The Next Generation WorkSpace brings together multiple technologies Figure 1 highlights the requirement for a WorkSpace aggregator to deliver applications and content to users through a variety of application delivery technologies, including locally installed, virtual and streamed applications and cloud-based services. Corporate IT invariably has a blend of these delivery technologies and a WorkSpace aggregator must be able to provide users with a single self-service interface to the resources they need, regardless of the device they are accessing from.

4 Figure 2: WorkSpace Aggregation self-service interface to our applications and content Figure 2 emphasizes the primary role of the WorkSpace Aggregator providing a self-service interface to applications and content from multiple devices. This interface has to be easy to use and accessible from multiple devices. So what are the 5 key attributes of a WorkSpace Aggregator? 1 Technology Independence Given the amount of technology choices for how to deliver applications, it is essential for WorkSpace Aggregators to be technology-independent. In some instances, for some users, delivering hosted virtual desktops will be ideal. For other users, some applications should often be installed locally if they are used extensively. Other applications might be best delivered through application virtualization or cloud-based technologies. It s also important to note that, as our consumption of technology continues to change rapidly, the right technology today might not be the right technology tomorrow. Therefore, an open platform that allows IT to use whatever technology they choose is essential. It is also vital that WorkSpace aggregators are extensible and can be integrated seamlessly with existing technology. Service providers may want to utilize usage information to charge customers on a pay-as-you-go model. IT may have an existing Service Catalog. WorkSpace aggregators need to be able to integrate with existing data and applications to ensure that IT continues to make the most efficient use of resources and technology.

5 Figure 3: The importance of a technology-independent architecture 2 The need for detailed analytics There are many different ways to deliver applications and content to users. How do you know which is the right delivery technology for the right application for the right sets of users? It is vital for IT to understand which applications are currently being used, how they re being used, when they re being used and on which devices they re being used. This provides IT with vital information on user behaviour that can be used to determine the right technology for the right applications. Figure 4: The Application Tail The need for detailed analytics is emphasized by The Application Tail in figure 4. The gradient of the curve varies very slightly from company to company but figure 4 is a common representation of

6 application usage in both small and large enterprise organizations. There are very few applications within an enterprise s portfolio that are regularly used by the majority of users. These can be identified as the core applications in the base build, whether it is physical or virtual. Beyond that base build, a variety of technologies can be deployed and it is critical to understand information such as which applications are used offline in a disconnected state, which applications are only used on infrequent intervals and which applications could be easily delivered as cloud-based services? Only with detailed analytics can IT make the right, informed decision about how best to deliver applications to users in the way they want to consume them. 3 Simple, easy user experience User expectations are increasing exponentially. They expect to be able to work from where they want, how they want, when they want and from their device of choice. Users have also become very familiar with easy-to-use applications and services as home consumers, and this ease-of-use expectation is now being brought into the corporate world. Today s end-users are the most technology-savvy group of users that IT has ever had to deal with. Therefore, simplicity and consistency is key, that is what users expect. A single user interface, accessible from multiple different devices with easy access to both applications and content is critical. And it also needs to give users easy access to request new services and applications, again in a very simple manner. Figure 5: The importance of a service catalog A fully integrated Service Catalog gives users the ability to request new services. If you include a credit-based or direct currency charging model, you can encourage the right behaviour among users far more than has ever been practically possible in the past. Users can return unused applications back to the resource pool, as well as a credit-based system encouraging them to think about exactly which applications they really need.

7 4 Continuous metering and monitoring The right technology today may not be the right technology tomorrow. An application delivered through application virtualization technology may be better delivered as a cloud-based solution in the future. With the increasing number of ways to deliver applications and content to users, one thing is certain the only constant is change. To understand which technology changes are most beneficial for any organization, IT needs to consistently monitor what applications are used, how they are used, who uses them and how they connect to them. This enables IT to make continuously informed decisions about how to deliver applications and content in the most efficient, lowest-cost manner that will deliver the right level of user experience. In addition, on-going desktop total-cost-of-ownership can be reduced with the continuous application rationalization of unused software, ultimately enabling the re-negotiation of enterprise software agreements, which can save millions of dollars in many instances. The world of IT, and application and content delivery in particular, is changing, of that there is very little debate. That it will continue to change is also pretty much irrefutable. To keep pace, and make the most of, this change, it is vital to have continuous metering and monitoring of application usage that enables IT to make the right technology decisions. 5 Policy controlled technology delivery There are multiple ways to deliver an application to an end-user: Software installed locally on their device Applications delivered through application virtualization or streaming technology Cloud-based services and applications Applications available through virtual desktops There is no one-size-fits-all approach and enterprises will almost certainly utilize a combination of these technologies depending on the user, how they use applications and where they access applications from. IT may want to define that, when a user is in an office location, they use software delivered through application virtualization technology whereas, when accessing the corporate network from home, their first choice could be applications installed locally. It is important that IT can define which application delivery technology should be used in which scenario depending on a variety of criteria, such as location, content type, type of user and platform. This can help ensure both optimum cost management and performance for end-users. This level of flexibility for IT is extremely important.

8 Summary WorkSpace aggregators unify the delivery of desktops (local, full HVDs or published desktops), applications (SaaS, Windows and native mobile applications), cloud services and content through a single user interface. WorkSpace aggregators pull multiple elements from multiple locations and vendors, regardless of the physical location and security scope of the resources, to PCs and mobile devices. In essence, any application, any content, on any device from anywhere. WorkSpace aggregators should be location, network and device-aware, and should adapt the level of access to resources depending on the circumstances. They will increasingly include mobile application management, self-service subscription to applications, usage metering, chargeback and user analytics functions. WorkSpace aggregators are becoming an increasingly strategic part of the infrastructure for application delivery as the pace of adoption of virtual and cloud technologies accelerates. As organizations consider WorkSpace aggregators as an integral part of their IT strategy, it is vital to consider right from the beginning: Independence of technology and an extensibility to integrate with existing technology Detailed analytics to make informed decisions Simple, easy-to-use self service interface Continuous metering and monitoring with usage analytics Policy controlled technology delivery Only by considering these attributes now can organizations ensure that they are not continually ripping-and-replacing multiple technologies, with all the associated IT debt and continuing inefficiency and high cost that that IT has dealt with for decades.

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