Hosted Is Good, Eating Your Own Dog Food And Riding The Bus

May 9, 2009

I have been using Citrix products for a very long time. For years I have run my day to day applications as hosted desktops and/or published applications. As corporate types like to say “eating your own dog food”- never quite understood how that phrase came about, but that ‘s another topic for another blog….

Recently I made a (test) switch to local PC and Mac desktop execution for daily work. Of course I can’t just work on one machine, so I synced my data over to a Mac OSX laptop with XP and Windows 7 running as virtual machines. I worked with both FUSION and PARALLELS, but that too is a topic for another blog. From wherever I work, I remotely access my lab which is running it’s virtual machines on Xenserver and Parallels Virtuozzo.

I did that as I wanted to give Windows 7 a real world workout and I was travelling a lot and in the process of switching laptops- perfect time for an experiment.

To make a long story short I prefer my apps hosted. While I totally ‘get’ the desire for people to have their own customized environment, I find local execution to be sluggish and it feels a bit annoying to me to wait for the cute little local un-striped hard drive. Running hosted by nature means running on high power machines with fast I/O, fast network connections to your data and a generally more responsive experience. Customers we have recently moved to XenDesktop say the the same thing- their hosted desktop outperforms even their newest desktop machines. I realize that most people will be surprised by this and it certianly wouldn’t apply to high graphics uses such as gaming, but for what I do most of the time I prefer Server Based Computing.

You know when your Dad tells the same joke over and over again and you wince. Well one of those ends with the punchline, “Why drive in a $25,000 car when you can drive in a one million dollar bus?!?”.

In this case, I have to agree with Dad- give me the big fast honking server anytime, I want to see my apps fun as fast as possible, be resilient to failures, instantly rebuildable and know that my data is safe and secure. For day to day use, I am going back to XenAPP and probably Windows 7 hosted on XenServer/XenDesktop displayed on my iMac.

How about you, what do you prefer?

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