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Charles Babcock
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Virtualized Desktops The Next IT Challenge

As consumerization of IT takes hold and more employees want to bring their own computers to work, Interop 2011 explores the strategies for developing a standard virtualized desktop.

Also on the panel will be Tom Flynn, HP's chief technologist for thin clients, who invented the HP MultiSeat Solution for education, which gives each student in a ring of eight a Windows screen and keyboard tied into one PC device. He is also the inventor of the Consolidated Client Infrastructure, or virtual desktops for end users based on blade servers and disks managed in the data center. In addition, he leads HP's zero client strategy. A zero client is a minimal computing device on a desktop, consuming about 6 watts of electricity but capable of processing the display of a virtual desktop being sent from a central server. The zero client approach is sometimes viewed as a way to break free from dependence on a PC on every desk.

Doug Dooley, director of product management for desktop virtualization at Cisco, is the fourth panel member. He is the former VP of marketing at RingCube Technologies, a pioneer of providing a portable virtual desktop that plugs into the USB port on any Windows PC.

A fifth panelist is Pat Lee, director of end user computing clients at VMware. Lee was the director of VMware Fusion, the product that put VMware virtual machines on the Apple Macintosh. He has 15 years experience as a product strategist and manager and he is responsible for VMware’s multi-platform client applications, such as VMware Player for running multiple operating systems on one desktop.

The panel will be moderated by Michael Dortch, the former research director at, a community of business expertise made freely available to site visitors, and now research director of Focus, a research and consulting firm.

Barb Goldworm, president and chief analyst of Focus, will address whether "Virtualization + Management + Automation = Private Cloud?" at 9 a.m. May 12. The term private cloud suggests a transformation of IT from a control center over computing to managers of an end user self-service center--with controls. But establishing such an IT distribution center can't be a hit or miss proposition.

Goldworm has been a technical and industry analyst over 30 years, including stints with IBM, StorageTek, Novell, Enterprise Management Associates, and several startups. She previously chaired Interop's Network Storage track. She chaired the 2007 Server Blade Summit on Blades and Virtualization.

Her talk will be followed at 10:15 a.m. by a panel on "Best Practices: The Road From Server Virtualization/Consolidation to Private Cloud," that she will moderate. Panelists will include Andi Mann, a former EMA analyst and VP of virtualization product marketing at CA Technologies; Jason Cowie, VP of product management at virtualization management startup Embotics; and Paul Muller, a VP of strategic marketing, software products at HP.

Mann is the author of a book recently issued by the IT Process Institute that I have read, Visible Ops Private Cloud: From virtualization to private cloud in 4 practical steps." It lays out a guide on how to assess the virtualized infrastructure of a data center and prepare it for an end user, self-service operation. It is technical, pragmatic and clear in how it delivers its advice.

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek.

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