What Is End-User Computing (EUC)?
Taking virtual desktop infrastructure further.
End-user computing (EUC) is about bringing the full digital workspace to life for an organization. It's about looking holistically at the breadth of the end-user experience and considering all the systems required to accomplish the daily workload. Instead of building an individual POD for each desktop type, application, and database, consolidating these systems into a single platform can deliver a more efficient user experience.
Given the scope of EUC roles and responsibilities, any platform that is used to support an initiative should be intuitive, agile, scalable, and manageable. These features reduce the level of expertise required to keep up with the changing digital workplace. With this objective in mind, organizations are investigating how to use an HCI platform for their EUC initiatives. Key to the success of an EUC initiative is bringing the components of the platform to users and mangers without requiring systems expertise, allowing a more fluid introduction of new technologies to end users.
A well-designed end-user computing strategy maps out how users can access the digital platforms they need to be productive, both on premises and working remotely. It includes the full range of tools necessary to complete their required tasks, managing the security and compliance of the platforms, apps, and devices users rely on, and considers how to enable future growth without disruption.
How Does EUC Differ from VDI?
Over the last decade, the promise of virtual desktops to ensure consistency and to simplify management and delivery of user desktops over individual desktop systems has been fulfilled for many organizations. Building out a VDI solution includes the ability to centralize security and desktop images, to troubleshoot once and push to every desktop, and to let users log in from anywhere.
Traditionally delivering the virtual desktop infrastructure solution to the end user requires building a POD of hardware for a VDI and keeping it segmented from all other workloads in the data center. However, these PODs are usually designed to deliver a single desktop type to a single type of user. Each new group of users or department may have different requirements and use their own type of POD to support their own desktop type. In a growing VDI implementation, that would mean building out multiple PODs for each user type. Or, if a group of users’ need certain applications or databases, the solution might require another POD for each of those platforms. Supporting end users in this way adds a lot of expense and complexity, and costs can get out of control.
Looking at the breadth of how the digital workflow uses the virtual desktop, applications, and databases, organizations question how to reduce the complexity and make desktops more efficient. Many people have found that VDI is the first step to a true end-user computing environment. As applications and databases accelerate to match the efficiency of the virtual desktop, the multiplication of platforms has complicated the back-end infrastructure. In the EUC journey, it's necessary to also consider hardware requirements for mobile device management delivery, hosted application delivery, user profiles, Horizon workspaces, file presentation, RDS sessions, and VDI.
End-User Computing Use Cases
In thinking about introducing EUC to an organization, a few key use cases illustrate the value of building this solution. Additional management value can be realized by leveraging an HCI platform that is designed to support mixed workload environments without the need for specialized knowledge of compute, network, and storage platforms.
For organizations with a diverse physical footprint, it can be challenging to deliver consistent digital workplace resources. An EUC solution offers an opportunity to deliver improved consistency in the desktop and access to user applications in remote offices. It's easy to add new users, and troubleshooting tasks can be minimized.
Compliance and Licensing Control
For organizations that are concerned with regulatory compliance, or that want to improve management of their software licensing, an EUC environment can deliver a centralized platform for all user desktops and applications. With this centralized platform, security can be tightly managed and software licensing can be tightly controlled. The EUC environment can be designed to provide everything that users need to perform their jobs while closely maintaining the range of external software installations by individual users.
Remote Workers and BYOD Users
The digital workforce is becoming more distributed and uses a more diverse set of digital platforms than ever. An EUC environment can support this diversity without breaking organizational standards of operation. And an EUC solution can be designed that provides desktops and applications so that remote users can easily consume them across multiple devices and can increase productivity while adhering to the organization's platform requirements.
Why Is End-User Computing Important?
As virtual desktop solutions are delivered to an organization, systems often seem to slow down. If the user experience seems to decrease with a VDI initiative, there could be significant pushback. In some cases, the properly sized virtual desktop isn’t slowing down operations, but is exposing the limitations of the current state of the applications in daily operations. With EUC, the objective is to identify all the key applications or databases that are critical to daily operations and consolidate those into the same optimized platform as the desktops. With this approach, the scope of systems that are responsible for daily operations is identified and optimized along with the user desktops in a solution that delivers the performance users require. When using an HCI platform, the skills required to maintain the EUC environment are minimized, and the skills required to maintain operations are lower.
Common Desktop Virtualization Terms
- Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Virtualization technology that hosts a desktop operation system on a centralized server in a data center
- End-user computing (EUC). Refers to systems in which nonprogrammers can create working applications
- App Volumes. VMware application layering product for virtual machines
- Desktop as a service (DaaS)
- Bring your own device (BYOD)
- Horizon View. VMware software for virtual desktops
- Horizon Suite. VMware end-user computing software suite
- XenDesktop. Citrix software for virtual desktops