Converged Architectures and End User Computing – An Interview with VMware’s Michael Burnett

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The market for desktop virtualization is growing rapidly within the enterprise, and while it might be assumed that the primary driver for rising adoption is purely economics, the actual business driver behind virtualization has far more to do with business agility and improved support for the end user than it does with cost savings. 

“While reducing total cost of ownership in IT is always a consideration, CIOs, CTOs and CEOs today have a more far-reaching and strategic view when it comes to the role of desktop virtualization, says Michael Burnett, Manager – Sales Engineering with VMware.   Burnett explains that over the last couple of years VMware has aligned its strategy with this end-user centric vision and philosophy.

“In the past, IT was oriented around a very rigid strategy.  End users were assigned a laptop, or a phone that was company issue, and technology was driven down to the user.  Today, this approach has completely changed.  CIOs are now thinking about agility, about enabling bring your own device environments (BYOD) and about choice, which in turn promotes increased productivity among employees.    The mobility and potentially virtual location of the end user is also another consideration for CIOs when building out an infrastructure and application environment.  “People are now working on planes. They are located anywhere in the world. We are no longer in an environment where people are sitting in the headquarters location hardwired to a desk,” says Burnett. 

VMware exists in this world through a strategy that is very much oriented around end user computing.  “At our recent user conference in San Francisco there was a lot of conversation around this topic.   From choice of device, to choice of connectivity, to choice of application, we need to support choice of the end user on every front.  Burnett points to VMware’s recent acquisition of intelligent desktop solutions provider Wanova (technology that blurs the boundaries between virtual and physical boundaries offering central management of applications across all systems within a business) as further evidence of VMware’s strategy at work. 

Converged infrastructures such as FlexPod® which offer integrated NetApp , Cisco and VMware technologies opens up the possibilities and makes choice simpler for the IT customer, says Burnett.  FlexPod®’s reference architectures are freely available and provide an end-to-end solution that combines hardware, software and networking.  No longer are we relying on the customer to be the expert in IT infrastructure.  We’re taking all the guesswork out of their decision. All they need to know is how many users will they be supporting and what kind of users they need to support.

Burnett also points out that FlexPod® is modular and can be easily expanded as business demands grow.  That means CIOs and IT Directors aren’t rethinking their infrastructure decisions every few years.  “You can easily move from 200 users to 600 users.  Like lego blocks – you just build on as needed.” 

Finally Michael Burnett highlights the importance of partners such as FoxNet in helping CIOs implement a converged infrastructure and achieve their business goals, whether that’s a move to the Cloud, realization of a BYOD strategy, or support for the mobile workforce.  “It’s important for CIOs and for we as vendors to know there’s a partner out there who has invested in expertise around the complete FlexPod solution, and who can serve as the CIO’s strategic advisor through this process.”