360 Guide:

How modern application delivery affects IT infrastructure

Today's apps spark new questions around infrastructure

For decades, Windows applications installed directly on PCs were the lifeblood of end-user computing.

Native Windows applications are still a necessity for many workers, but they're not the only game in town. The amount of different types of applications -- and methods for delivering them to users -- has exploded in the past 10 years. A confluence of trends, including the mobile revolution and the rise of remote workers, has driven this growth. Workers can now access the applications they need on the devices they want in the manner that makes them most productive. But this approach to application deployment is more complex for IT and requires significantly more infrastructure resources.

For Windows alone, IT's application delivery options include on-premises and desktop virtualization, plus their cloud counterparts, applications as a service and desktop as a service. For much of its history, desktop virtualization -- in particular VDI -- had such high requirements for storage capacity, network bandwidth and compute power that it limited the technology's appeal.

Now, organizations can deploy VDI on purpose-built hardware known as converged and hyper-converged infrastructure, which aims to reduce cost and complexity. Cloud offerings also promise simplicity but may not be as feature-rich. There's a lot for IT to consider. And some organizations may choose multiple Windows application delivery options to address different use cases, further muddying the waters.

Add in new modern application types -- mobile, cloud and web -- and IT has to answer even more questions. How do we handle mobile application deployment and updating? How will the use of cloud and web apps affect bandwidth availability? Where do those apps store data, and is it secure?

This special report aims to answer those questions and help IT professionals embrace modern application delivery and deployment.