VDI security at RSA Conference
RSA Conference, San Francisco--I sat in in the "Securing the virtual desktop: best practices in enterprise VDI deployments." The bottom line from the panelists was to look out for antivirus when it coes to performance.
It's important to point out the the panelists were from ETC, RSA and VMWare, all entities that are owned by ETC and all with a vested interest in making VDI work.
Aside from pointing out the performance impact of antivirus scans, the panelists also talked about VDI adoption strategies.
For non-mobile task workers, EMC has taken a page from sister company VMWare's IT department. Users are offered a choice if a small Dell laptop or a thin client device with a very large display. Now that's a choice worth considering.
Coming back to the question of antivirus, the ETC rep said they mitigated the performance impact by putting groups of PCs on different schedules. One consequence of this is that PC systems aren't shutdown for energy conservation so that they will execute the av scan. Of course there are a lot of ways to approach solving this problem. I found this was an interesting case of an unforeseen problem with a VDI implementation.
I was a little surprised that of the 50,000 desktop systems in use at EMC, just 3,500 were reported as converted to the virtual infrastructure. It just goes to show that even with c-level champions and a lot of internal know-how, VDI is still an undiscovered territory. It's also clear that the explorers on on the way driven by a need for more security and reduced management costs.