Droplet Computing containerised app – I’ll have that to go please!

Peter von Oven – Founder & Chief Executive Officer

In today’s society speed always seems to be of the essence in everything we do.  Whether it’s fast food take-aways, hot meals that cook in seconds, or even drive-thru coffee outlets that means we don’t even have to get out of our cars to re-caffeinate. All these things are designed to help us achieve one thing: to get on with things at the speed of life.

However, when it comes to information technology, particularly in business, the same thing cannot always be said. We all talk about agile IT and such like, but that generally only applies to more modern infrastructures, and those that are typically deployed as a service in the cloud. Most of which are typically backend services and not end user focused. Even so, there will be some things that can’t be delivered in this way.

The question is, why does it take so long to stand up a new end user computing solution?  After all we are just trying to deliver an app to an end user. How hard can it be?

From my experience it’s often pretty difficult and that’s purely down to the complexity of the solution, given that it’s going to affect all of your end users. Not wanting to state the obvious, but that means it has to work and, not only that, it has to give the end user a good, if not better, experience. That means performing assessments, analyzing data, standing up proof of concepts, pilots, user acceptance testing and so on.  The list is long!  However, in all of this the app is still the app and doesn’t change in any way shape or form, yet still needs to be tested with the new infrastructure. In some cases, there will be a host of infrastructure tuning and optimization tasks that will need to happen before the app becomes usable. The app is also the last thing that actually does get tested after all the infrastructure to host it is has been deployed.

So where am I going with this? Well, back to the first paragraph and speed is of the essence. With the above approach it could be weeks even months before an end user even gets to test the solution let alone be able to use it in production on a daily basis.

What if I’m not connected?

A big factor in why we deploy remote desktop and application solutions is to enable remote and home workers. But what if they have little or poor Internet connectivity, or their device isn’t able to even connect in the first place?

Once upon a time VMware had a feature called View Client with Local Mode (available up until View 5.3.x). This installed a type-2 hypervisor onto the client device and allowed the end user to “check out” their virtual desktop. This basically copied the virtual disk file to their device and allowed it to be powered on using that type-2 hypervisor. It was a great feature in theory; however, it wasn’t overly successful in practice given the amount of time it took to copy that virtual disk file. The feature became Horizon Flex (part of Mirage) before going end of life. Since then there has never really been a solution that catered for offline use, yet the use case still strongly remains. There is also the question of legacy apps. Given the infrastructure will be running the latest and greatest, these older apps are unlikely to work regardless of being online or offline.

But what if you need to deploy in a hurry? For example, given the current circumstances the world is facing right now, you need to send people home to work. That’s an easy one to answer. It’s unlikely to happen. Why? Because of all of the above points and all the components that need to be in place first.

Deployment at the speed of Droplet Computing

This is where Droplet Computing container technology is different. First, there are no infrastructure requirements; no additional servers, no additional storage, and no additional networking requirements are needed. More importantly, the app behaves in exactly the same way as it does today so there is no need to tune it or optimize it to work in a Droplet Computing container. The container has already been optimized to run your apps. But the best bit is that it can run locally on your device and isn’t dependent on your device type and host OS it’s running – unlike the original VMware solution that only ran on Windows hosts. The file size is also significantly smaller and therefore doesn’t take long to download or copy to the device.

Is it secure?

Absolutely. The container image and apps run within an isolated environment that has been penetration tested to ensure it cannot be compromised from external sources.

Let’s go back to the headline “Droplet Computing containerised app – I’ll have that to go please!” and put that into context.

Once you have the built your container image (a bit like building your golden image except without the OS), which is simply a case of installing your apps into the container, you can simply copy the image (a single file) and take it with you. It is 100% portable and you can even use the same image file, unchanged, on any other supported device. It makes the app completely portable.

To see how easy this is, contact us and let us show you how to make your apps as easy as a take-away service – Droplet Computing is ready “to go”!

2020-03-20T11:45:31+01:00