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Microservices Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, AppDynamics Blog, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez

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There Are Three S's in Success(ful VDI Deployments)

They stand for simple, speedy and secure

BYOD may be the word of the day on the street but underlying the "come as you are" approach to computing is a variety of technology that enables organizations to confidently take up the gauntlet thrown down by users to support their demand to use the computing platform of their choice.

Organizations aren't as averse to BYOD when its coupled with a sound desktop virtualization strategy. Such strategies enable organizations to support "work from anywhere" initiatives while simultaneously increasing manageability, lowering costs, and increasing overall network and data security.

But barriers still exist to successfully deploying VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) architectures. Initial investments, resulting poor performance and greater operational complexity can prevent a successful rollout.

barriers-to-succesful-vdi-deployments

VMware Horizon View—part of VMware’s Horizon Suite of products—alleviates two major management headaches: location and standardization. To solve the location problem, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments virtualize user desktops by delivering them to individual clients over the network from a central location. Those desktops are stored and run in the data center, rather than having individual desktop and laptop machines in the field running localized operating systems. This seamless virtualization goes undetected by users.

To solve the standardization problem, VMware enables business groups that have specific desktop needs to be clustered together in the data center and managed as a unit. For example, when all the Windows machines need a new service pack, it can be installed to the master image in the data center, which is delivered to users the next morning when they log in. Because IT staff no longer have to visit each local system or push software installs down through remote tools, users aren’t forced to reboot during the business day.

But along with benefits comes challenges, which organizations consistently cite as barriers to success. F5 helps organizations overcome those barriers by focusing on the three S's in success: simple, speedy, and secure with its latest offerings supporting VMware EUC.

Simple
New technology is rarely deployed in a green field. Existing infrastructure is extended, integrated and incorporated into new technology deployments. This process is natural, but it breeds complexity that can threaten the operational stability of the entire data center.

Simplifying infrastructure architecture and underlying network topologies can greatly reduce operational costs as well as the risk associated with more complex systems. The broad set of services available from F5 Synthesis Software Defined Application Services (SDAS) means organizations can consolidate services on a consistent, scalable platform. Doing so simplifies architectures and network topologies and enables a stable, successful deployment.

F5 application services supporting VMware EUC solutions include security, availability,and identity and access control. Along with native PCoIP support, F5 services can take on the responsibility for load balancing View Connection Servers as well as replace View Security Servers.

VDI-simplify

To make deployments even simpler, F5 is announcing the availability of a new VMware Horizon View Reference Architecture. This reference architecture contains the diagrams, documents, and deployment guides necessary to successfully implement a fast, reliable and secure architecture for delivering virtual desktops in a VMware EUC environment.

Additionally, F5 is making available four new virtual edition packages specifically designed to support the needs of VMware Horizon View. These virtual editions include F5 Synthesis Access and Identity Services and are sized to support a varying number of end-users, enabling organizations to align access control and optimization with their environment.

Secure

F5 platforms are available in a number of form factors (appliance, virtual edition, cloud and chassis hardware). Regardless of form factor, F5 platforms share full feature parity and are security hardened. For some organizations, particularly where regulation govern certifications and compliance requirements, FIPS and ICSA certification is a must. F5 can fulfill these requirements across a variety of form factor and service combinations, offering a FIPS compliant alternative  to the View Security Server along with ICSA certified capabilities.

Before

before and after together

Speedy
Deploying services to support a successful View deployment requires thoughtful consideration to the different configuration options. For someone who is not familiar with View or BIG-IP, the process can take longer than necessary. How do you provide the breadth and depth of functionality of a BIG-IP to power users, but reduce configuration complexity that would otherwise slow down deployment?

F5's answer to this is iApps. iApps are pre-configured packages of configurations designed for specific applications that enable very rapid deployment of F5 application services in optimal settings.

f5-vmware-euc-iapp

F5 has invested significant time, effort and joint testing with VMware to design an iApp for VMware View that saves significant time when deploying F5’s application services for View. Additionally, by leveraging the iApp wizard-like environment, errors often introduced by manual configuration are avoided – saving both, time and money.

Today, F5 is announcing the availability of a new iApp for VMware Horizon View that further improves the speed of provisioning by incorporating VMware and F5 expertise in deploying and optimally delivering Horizon View deployments. F5 iApp for VMware Horizon View can reduce the amount of time it takes to deploy application delivery services from days to less than 1 hour.

With F5 and VMware together, VDI deployments can be successful, allowing organizations to reap the benefits.

Additional Resources:

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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