Over the last months I gathered more and more experience about VMware’s secure Linux appliance that allows secure access to a virtual Desktop (and more) over an unsecure network (e.g.) the Internet: Unified Access Gateway (UAG).
Keep in mind the UAG is not just a replacement for the old Windows based Security Sever, it is also offering much more functionality (Edge Services for Airwatch / Workspace One, reverse proxy, 2nd-factor authentication integration, etc.).
There might be use cases where we want to design our horizon environment in a way that we use the UAGs not just for external unsecure access, but internally as well.
- Offering access to internal users coming from a not so trust-worthy site/location (including a second-factor authentication for those users). // Access restricted via Firewalls/ACLs
- Constraints to always use tunneled connections (because of network-simplicity or security constraints).
Everyone working within the EUC and virtualization field knows this joke. Every year some analysts and vendors are promising us that this year is going to be the year of VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).
Within the last 5 years of my professional career I gained a lot of practical experience and feedback about VDI projects within Germany. I am trying to summarize what has happened within the VDI field over the last years and which technologies and solutions within the Horizon stack changed the way how we deliver virtual desktop in 2016 compared to 2012 (2013/2014/2015 ). If you want to see how specific Vendors within the VDI world evolved I would recommend you to also read this nice article about the state of EUC market by Rob Beekmans.
In theory a EUC strategy based on VDI offers many advantages.
- Operational benefits (control over the desktop, easier rollouts & updates of OS and Applications)
- Multiple access options (multiple endpoints from every location)
- Security benefits (Data is always within a controlled domain)
- Management benefits
To have a great VDI infrastructure as an outcome of project the following conditions should all be met within the implementation. I would simply call them success factors:
- The Total costs of ownership (capital and operational expenditures) did not exceed the old solution
- The user experience was identical or better than the old solution
- The VDI design allows all of the operational benefits
- The organization around the desktop has been adopted to manage virtual desktops
How did the technologies and therefore our design constraints have been changed over the years? Let me try to summarize it.