Virtualisation, i.e. the great transformation of our employment and tools


In the omnipresent discussions regarding digital transformation, a constant element that occurs is the issue, whether the transformation affects our employment. However, we are not simply discussing the increasing automation of work, and the perspective of technological unemployment, but also the transformation of tools that we use every day. Among them we can list software. Recent years have shown that in this matter, sever changes are coming.

While the infrastructure based on a multi-level virtualisation and containerisation is a standard on the server level, we cannot say that it had spread on the same level in regard to workstations. Still, the majority of organisations is using operating system and software installations on physical workstations managed within a domain, as it still remains the most comfortable solution. In time, this may change however, as indicated by industry trends and the portfolios of the largest service providers.

Virtual desktops

Obviously, the first rank is taken by the largest software producer who develops the most popular desktop operating system in the world. Microsoft already provides the Windows Virtual Desktop service, which allows to use the remote access services to connect with the cloud structure, on which Windows works. This way, the role of the physical hardware located on site in the organisation is reduced to minimum – it only serves as a terminal to connect with the cloud and, obviously allows to use the input and output devices.  Everything else is operating remotely.

Obviously, there is an abundance of similar solutions. Enough to mention the rich portfolio of the Citrix company, or a direction taken by BlackBerry after the fall of its department of mobile devices – currently the Canadians are primarily focusing on the production of business software with the emphasis on security, and, among their selection, one may find such advanced solutions serving the virtualisation of everyday work environment, on the basis of remote access and central-operating software.

Remote access being the future of utility software?

Let us examine the consequences of the popularisation of such solutions, however, not only within the context of operating systems, but of software in general – it is possible, that in the future, the implementations will not be done on a physical hardware of the client, but we will share the infrastructure with him, with an already working instance of the ordered software, as a service. The aforementioned may eventually eliminate the necessity of costly implementations, as well as, reduce the amount of resources dedicated to maintenance.

Due to the unified production infrastructure, one may entirely eliminate the issue of fragmentation resulting from varied hardware configurations of workstations. If the given software works in a hardware unified cloud, there is no need to perform time consuming administration operations, e.g. in terms of driver, update, or domain configuration management. Each desktop instance is the same and – as suggested by the latest decision made by Microsoft – immutable.

New administration possibilities

The aforementioned opens new opportunities for organisations, particularly in terms of adapting the infrastructure of workstations to particular needs. Provider-end desktop instances are fully scalable, with the only concern of the administrator being to provide the sufficient number of „terminals”. However, their hardware configuration is no longer a concern, which will significantly influence the reduction of expenditures regarding hardware upgrades. Hardware will only serve as a window for the cloud, the modernisation costs of which will be handled solely by the provider.

At a desktop provided as such, the user will be handed all the necessary tools, similar to the current preconfigured work environments within a domain. As we mentioned, it is possible, that following the operating systems, user software will be provided in the same manner. In result, instead of bare metal installation, we will be dealing with a jigsaw of containers and virtual machines that will work even thousands of kilometres from the location of their actual use.

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