Interview with Jim Curtin of Virtual Bridges
VSM: With the rise of tablets, many people say the desktop is dead. What is your response?
JC: While the explosion of tablets has definitely been huge, the sheer power of the cloud is what’s changing the desktop. It’s not about the device, it’s about where the data sits and where you can access it from.
With that in mind, if you define a desktop as a single device that has all of your information and applications, yes, that device is dead. However, the truth is, the desktop experience is still alive and well, and because of that, there’s still a need to manage it.
VSM: How do you see the industry evolving in response?
JC: Over the next three to five years, you'll think of virtual desktops like you think of PC’s right now. Whether it’s thin clients, laptops or mobile devices, everyone will have their own virtual desktop, a common experience across those. It will include the operating system, the application, the profile management and the data. Regardless of what the latest device is to enter our lives, VDI helps manage it, and provide a consistent experience. There’s tremendous value there. We’re also seeing a lot of focus on the Desktop Cloud.
VSM: What exactly is the Desktop Cloud?
JC: The desktop cloud is essentially the desktop as a managed service. It can be managed by the enterprise or by a 3rd party and can be designed to address job-specific functions – such as Desktops for Students; Desktops for Developers, Desktops for Lawyers, and much more. It's scalable and flexible, but also allows you to have centralized management for all your end user computing needs and not requiring additional software, hardware or new appliances to handle if the user wants to bring in a new device next week. This approach not only delivers the best performance, but also reduces costs and increases margins for the business.
The desktop is changing dramatically and the desktop cloud allows organizations to standardize and present a common experience to users whether it is laptops, desktops, mobile devices, or smartphones.
VSM: What are the most significant innovations that the VDI community is talking about?
JC: By far, it’s Cloud Branch. It allows you to put a processing element into a branch or regional data center yet still have it centrally controlled. This is changing the face of VDI because if you are a retail organization, whether it’s a bank or a store or a services company, you are able to take the central management of VDI but put the processing elements out into the branch location. It eliminates the need to have staff on site to manage those remote locations, dramatically lowering head count. It also improves consistency and performance.