VMware View “Embedded” Mode

12 07 2009

Earlier this week I was in an advanced partner training session for View hosted by VMware when a question came up regarding a way to configure the View client in some type of kiosk mode.  In the typical VDI or SBC computing environment where a published desktop is delivered users are accessing a client device such as a workstation or thin client, then logging into a web portal or locally installed client  to finally access their hosted resources.  For end users this can be a big pain because they are ultimately required to login twice.  There can also be an administrative overhead associated with this if repurposed PC’s are in use.  If the user has access to the underlying OS that means it needs to be maintained just like a regular PC thus hampering much of the soft cost savings around adopting this model in the first place.

The answer lies within the following article which explains how to configure the View client to basically sit in front of the Windows shell so the users never have to access the underlying OS.  In this scenario the View client acts as it’s own shell enabling IT to reduce the risk around managing the local operating system while ensuring users are more productive by only having to login once.  This should also prove to cut down on user frustration with IT thus leading to a win-win situation on both sides.

http://hyperinfo.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/vmware-view-client-as-a-shell-for-xpe-and-xp-pro-clients/

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3 responses

16 07 2009
John R.

Matt,

It sounds like if re-purposed PC’s are used, there is still an underlying operating system that needs to be maintained, patched so I’m not sure the big benefit lies there. It’s true that the OS will be shielded from the user and eliminating that interaction can definitely reduce support, but the underlying Windows OS vulnerabilities and threats are still there and have to be guarded against (patches, security settings, etc). For re-purposed PC’s I think it would make more sense to install a thin-client PCI card and skip the client OS altogether, if the ultimate goal is to lower management and support costs. Just my 2 cents 🙂

23 07 2009
matthensley

Hi John, you are exactly right. When leveraging a repurposed PC as a thin client there would still technically be vulnerabilities present in the underlying OS. However, the thought process is that the user would not have access to the OS instance and therefore this vastly reduces the likelihood that it would be compromised. This is intended more as a temporary solution for organizations that cannot afford to rip and replace their existing PC hardware and also cannot afford to purchase additional hardware to convert them into thin clients. I’m not sure how expense the card you reference is but it may make sense to put that money towards the implementation of actual thin client hardware which can withstand a much longer lifecycle and the cost difference can more than likely be offset by the power savings over a traditional workstation.

Basically its more of a function of what the organization can afford in terms of upfront acquisition costs and really this approach would be useful as a stopgap until the PC reaches its lifecycle and can be replaced.

Again thanks so much for reading my blog and offering your feedback.

6 12 2009

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