Intel offers answer for consumer/enterprise IT conflict

Whileend users used to go to their office for the fastest Internet connections andbest e-mail systems, they are now telling us they get cheaper services onlineand better connectivity from home, Intel’s enterprise architect told a Canadianaudience on Thursday.

Speakingat the chipmaker’s Premier IT Professionals event, John Dunlop tackled thetopic of emerging client technologies.

“Consumermarket innovation beats the enterprise,” said Dunlop.

Partof the problem, according to Dunlop, is that providers are targeting theconsumer market. “We are starting to see new capabilities emerge … you want totake advantage of it, but it has no hooks to be able to scale it to theenterprise level,” he said.

“It’sdefinitely a big challenge for IT as we are being perceived as being behind thecurve. Certainly, we can all whine about security, regulatory compliance,privacy concerns – obviously very important topics – but the challenge seems toget worse every year,” said Dunlop.

Thedefinition of mobility is also changing, according to Dunlop. “It used to beyou give someone a notebook and they can go anywhere and they can use VPN toget back to their apps and data. Nowadays, it seems the definition of mobilityis the ability to roam between devices,” he said.

A coldwar continues to exist between IT and end users, Dunlop pointed out. “We areall in it together, we are all trying to make the business successful, but atthe end of the day … IT pros and end users have completely differentperspectives,” he said.

IT’straditional one-size-fits-all solution drives down costs, protects theenvironment and increases data security. But standardization doesn’taccommodate new devices such as personal laptops and iPhones, he pointed out.

“Weare struggling to figure out how to reconcile new challenges with our existingmodel. The answer is, we need a new model,” he said.

Virtualizationis the driver for that new computing model in the desktop environment,according to Dunlop, and client virtualization, which brings benefits of centralizedmanageability and agility, is the key.

“I’mtalking about the abstraction of our services, getting those layers abstractedfrom one another so you can abstract the OS from the hardware, you can abstractthe applications from the OS, you can abstract the data from the platform,”said Dunlop.

Butwhile virtualization ROI is “a slam dunk” in the server space, clientvirtualization has always been a tough sell, he pointed out.

Intel’sown IT group implemented a program called the Dynamic Virtual Client, a termborrowed from one of the company’s product strategies. Virtual containers inparticular are the “ultimate direction” Intel is heading towards, he said.

Alocally installed OS with application virtualization is one way to abstract onelayer and might serve as a good example for mobile computing, said Dunlop.Streamed OS and applications is a delivery mechanism for desktop usages, whichIntel is applying to shared PCs and training rooms, he pointed out.

Butthe virtual container solution is where things are heading, he said. “That isthe notion of having a client native hypervisor sitting right on the hardwarethat allows you to have one or more containers,” said Dunlop.

Thearchitecture moving forward is a hardware layer with Vpro technology, and top ofthat, a client native hypervisor. “This isn’t science fiction anymore,” saidDunlop.

Intelhas strategic partnerships with Citrix and VMware and plans to introduce clientnative hypervisors in the first half of 2010, Dunlop announced. “We’ve beenwaiting a long time to transition to this sort of model where we can providethose virtual machines or containers directly on top of the hypervisors layerwithout a host OS,” he said.

DynamicVirtual Client (DVC) and vPro have historically been different, butcomplimentary, ways of managing clients, Dunlop explained. “You can look at itlike vPro is managing the hardware and DVC is managing the software,” he said.

Today,we are seeing more DVC capabilities taking advantage of vPro technology, butgoing forward, vPro is going to evolve and provide more DVC capabilities “or atleast that framework where those hypervisors can run in a consistent way,” hesaid.

Thefocus is on moving from clients to containers. “We’ve been working to try toprovide a more containerized solution, even though it is based on the hardwaremodel in those areas, so we can start focusing on the manageability and gettingIT to learn new tricks,” he said.

Resultsinclude a reduction in the footprint IT has to manage by separating a user’spersonal persona from their corporate persona, as well as a reduction infootprint by managing fewer images, he explained.

Today,IT delivers a PC to the end user, but in the future, this will becomevirtualized or abstracted and the PC or client becomes a service we willdeliver on demand from a central management capability, he said.

Establishedin 2005, the Intel Premier IT Professional program brings Intel’s own IT groupout from behind the server rooms and data centres to engage in discussions withother IT professionals, said Elaine Mah, Canadian business marketing manager atIntel.

Thehalf-day event, a partnership between Intel’s IT group and marketingorganization, presents lectures on enterprise IT management and best practicesas well as insight into the latest Intel technologies. Presentation content isavailable in the event archives section of

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