The cost and administrative challenges in managing a modern desktop infrastructure are daunting. Envisioning the desktop infrastructure as a strategic asset rather than a cost center can benefit both users and the organization as a whole. Microsoft, in collaboration with IDC and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has created a strategic roadmap for desktop infrastructure optimization that characterizes an organization’s desktop management practices along a curve that moves from simple and reactive to mature and optimized:
Basic Desktop Infrastructure
Characterized by manual, localized processes with minimal central control, the basic desktop infrastructure is fundamentally reactive—both in terms of process and security—and a highly dependent cost center.
Standardized Desktop Infrastructure
Standardization of desktop technology— hardware and software— results in an increasing degree of coordination between management and end users, making administration of the standardized desktop infrastructure more efficient.
Rationalized Desktop Infrastructure
Consolidation and coordination of desktop and server assets, combined with a significant degree of automation, make the rationalized infrastructure highly effective and a business enabler.
Dynamic Desktop Infrastructure
Dynamic resource usage combined with fully automated functions and processes, which allow for business-linked service-level agreements, make the dynamic desktop infrastructure a strategic business asset.
An optimized desktop infrastructure can lead to greater business continuity, enhanced compliance, and better, more secure access to network resources. Organizations can increase agility and achieve notable improvements in the ability to provide faster, more responsive it service.
Higher levels of optimization can result in savings of up to 80 percent in it labor costs, according to a 2009 idc study. Standardization alone pays dividends. According to idc, companies that maintained a standardized desktop strategy for three years or longer decreased
Pc labor costs by an additional 34 percent over the initial short-term gains.
The Windows optimized desktop is intended to support an organization’s effort to optimize its overall desktop infrastructure. it does this first by facilitating standardization and consolidation through the use of a single, stable, familiar and well-integrated client-server architecture. But it also offers technology managers capabilities and tools that facilitate coordination, automation and dynamic resource allocation, including:
Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) this reduces the application deployment effort because technology managers no longer need to test how different groups of applications work together every time one is upgraded. it removes an application from the desktop footprint, which allows it to deploy a smaller master Pc image across a variety of business groups.
Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) this resolves application-compatibility problems by letting legacy applications run in a virtual environment.
Windows 7 Advanced Image Management and Deployment Tools these enable it to ease os deployments and reduce the cost and complexity of managing PCs and virtual machines.
The DirectAccess network access technology so effective in supporting mobile workers works both ways: it not only allows users to access corporate resources directly, it enables administrators to configure and manage Pcs remotely across the internet, especially when used in conjunction with these tools:
- Group Policy Management Console, which allows it administrators to centrally manage Pc and application settings.
- Windows PowerShell 2.0, which enables technology managers to automate repetitive tasks.
- Internet Explorer Administration Kit, which can be used to configure an initial internet explorer setup or manage user settings after internet explorer has been deployed
Return on investment can be measured two ways: Lower costs and more effective use of resources. the Windows optimized desktop helps lower the cost of desktop administration and increase dynamic resource usage by providing tools that help both users and administrators resolve problems faster—and therefore return to productive work quicker:
Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset this tool helps technology managers and administrators identify and repair Pcs that have become unusable by offering tools that analyze and solve the problem.
System Center Desktop Error Monitoring through agentless crash-monitoring technology, this tool identifies the impact, probable cause, and resolution of application and operating system failures, which helps to make desktop Pcs more stable and reliable.
Windows Troubleshooting Platform the Windows troubleshooting Platform can reduce calls to the help desk by diagnosing and resolving common Pc issues, and by providing built-in troubleshooting help, including audio, video, and networking, for several different types of problems.
Virtualization may be intimidating to it managers unfamiliar with the technology. the Windows optimized desktop provides tools to manage both physical and virtual assets.
System Center Configuration Manager
System center configuration manager 2007 assesses, deploys and updates software on servers, clients and mobile devices across physical, virtual and distributed environments. Organizations leveraging Microsoft system center configuration manager will benefit from internal end-to-end hardware and software inventory and metering capabilities. The solution’s asset intelligence component translates the inventory data into information, providing rich reports that it administrators can use to optimize hardware and software usage.
System Center Virtual Machine Manager
System center Virtual machine manager enables dynamic and responsive management of a virtual infrastructure, rapid provisioning of new virtual machines, and unified management of physical and virtual machines. These days, lowering cost is imperative, and most organizations are looking for short-term return on any investments they make, including technology. The
Windows optimized desktop provides a cost-effective way for it administrators to begin the upgrade and optimization of desktop infrastructure by serving both short-term goals—for instance, by providing a platform to test the efficacy of desktop virtualization technology—
and long-term needs, by being able to implement new desktop technology quickly and recycle used equipment efficiently.