Virtualization Enables BYOD & Delivers IT
Services On-Demand to Any Device
With BYOD finding its way into the enterprise, the demand to deliver IT services to a plethora of devices while ensuring information security and keeping a centralized security policy are some of the real challenges which organization can no more ignore. Virtualization is an enabler which provides a viable solution to these and more challenges – simplifying IT infrastructure, cutting significant costs and allowing modern enterprise worker to use IT services on any device. The age of dedicated work stations with frequent software updates and its associated complexities are coming to an end.
Desktop virtualization adopts user centric approach in delivering IT services. It is a layer which sits between the device and native/virtualized applications running in any OS. The device becomes irrelevant; hence providing much greater coverage and support to the user. Previously, IT services needed to be individually installed on every workstation. The associated cost and complexity increased manifold when we brought maintenance and troubleshooting into account. Virtualization has been phenomenal in removing the need for dedicated hardware altogether. Now the user simply needs to have a thin-client on the device and start using applications right away as though they reside within the device.
At first, virtualization may seem like decentralization of IT infrastructure and services which may require a radical way to address security concerns. This is not entirely true because virtualization isolates the end-user device and treats it as an end-point to deliver services. IT services along with company data remain locked within the sandbox or thin-client running on the devices. This means a centralized IT policy now reaches enterprise user’s personal or company provided devices which may include laptop/PCs, smartphones or tablets.
So how does virtualization addresses some of the primary BYOD security concerns, for example, ensuring security and compliance of sensitive enterprise data residing on a personal device of a user? With a virtualized desktop for instance, the data does not reside on the device. The thin-client is actually a sandbox which streams the virtualized desktop over the network to any device which connects to it, hence making sure that any data which goes into the sandbox resides within the company’s own virtualized IT infrastructure and not the device. Now in case a device is lost, the sandbox which provides access to virtualized desktop can simply be disabled.
In addition to tremendously simplifying IT, virtualization also boosts productivity by diversifying device usage while addressing information security concerns, hence enabling true BYOD.
By Ben Harrison