Finally! After years of development and months of speculation, Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is LIVE! The GA announcement came on Monday, and although their preview was limited to the US, GA has been released globally. I don’t think I need to tell those-in-the-know how exciting the public release is, and what a huge impact this will have on the industry.
I was intrigued with WVD from the first minute, and my excitement led me to a career first – and it’s been a long career! When I found out Microsoft’s plans for WVD, I quietly inquired about the best players and who was doing what. Then, a phone call that I started, “You don’t know me from Adam, but I need to come work for you.” You and WVD are going to have a huge impact on the industry…
How It All Began
About 20 years ago, I was a Windows architect at a large company, responsible for 20,000 desktops. We had a wide variety of use cases – some offices were close to our on-premises data center, some offices were in the middle of nowhere, some users worked remotely and some travelled around the country. One day, our VAR, Enterprise Integration, brought in representatives from Citrix to talk about server-based computing.
This was a wild concept for us back then, to use server-based computing strategically vs tactically. I thought they were certifiably insane. Move all of our desktops to an off-site data center?! Who would ever do that? What if the network goes down?! I called that Citrix engineer at all hours of the night – through it, he became one of my best friends, still is – asking every “What if?” question that came to mind. The confidence he had in server-based computing – now known as virtual desktops/apps, end user computing, and a number of other terms – changed the way I looked at architecture and delivering desktops and applications to end users.
We designed a 20K seat server-based computing environment. But my true AH HA moment came to me when a hurricane was bearing down on our HQ and data center, and we declared to our DR site in anticipation of Hurricane Floyd. I played the role of the watchman and rode out the storm (which ended up missing us) in the data center. While watching the storm crawl our way, I looked to do some routine maintenance, and what our servers showed me that day surprised me: even though we sent our employees home, many were still logged in and working! When I asked them days later why they were in the system that day, they told me, “For the first time, I could work the same way at home as I do in the office.”
That was it, I was a convert – a server-based computing fan boy. I joined Citrix a few years later, and then spent five years at Microsoft and then a few years at VMWare; every position I’ve held since joining the vendor ranks has been focused around desktop virtualization. It’s become my passion.
Over the years, I’ve seen firsthand how the cloud has changed IT and the end user computing space. Now, instead of building massive server farms with all the cost and maintenance, and planning for capacity for all the users possible just in case they all log in at the same time, the cloud gives us the flexibility and scalability we’ve so desperately needed. And the security!, which was certainly one of my main concerns in the beginning. It has improved so much that customers have confidence in putting their systems and data in the cloud and can benefit from the security protocols and audits that most enterprises dream of.
Work: Now, It’s What, Not Where.
With the modern business environment, work has become something you do, not somewhere you go. WVD reflects that trend. It allows businesses wider access to talent. They’ll be able to recruit that engineer or analyst on the other side of the country, or even the world, without having to relocate them. And in this gig economy, WVD allows employers to provide secure access to only the programs and parts of the network needed – read about the Least Privileged Methodology principle our software follows.
WVD also gives organizations flexibility and greater time-to-value. If a project manager wants to get into design, for example, a company won’t have to take a risk and buy a $15K CAD machine; they can lease that time from Microsoft. Further, WVD brings their new OS, Windows 10 Enterprise, to virtual desktops. This gives both the scalability of Windows server and the compatibility of Windows 10 – a convergence that the industry has been asking for. It’s all finally coming together. Microsoft has given desktop virtualization the endorsement it’s always deserved.
I’ve been thrilled to ride this wave from day one. After all, it was Microsoft who introduced me to CloudJumper. I watched their demos at industry events, called folks who had worked with them and realized that they were providing the functionality that customers were asking for. So, I called JD Helms, CloudJumper’s president that soon to be infamous day, and said, “I know you don’t know me from Adam, but I need to come work for you.”
I truly believe we have the platform and feature set to take WVD to the next level. We’re the easy button for WVD. We make it easy to deploy and easy to manage. WVD is taking virtual desktops – and personal computing in general – to the next level, and it’s going to become the new standard. I, for one, can’t wait.
Are you ready to be part of the future of the cloud? Contact us at CloudJumper for more information. Contact us today at Hello@cloudjumper.com or 844.645.6789 and follow us on social media: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn.