In the past few years, one of the game-changing technologies that has helped Dell claw its way back to competitiveness against HP in the server arena is automated deployment tools. These let admins remotely install software on hundreds of clients in minutes. But consider this: If applications like Microsoft Office could be run on remote servers and streamed remotely to thinner clients, even to tablets like Apple's iPad, without installing it to those clients in the first place, why bother with automated deployment at all?
The answer to that question has typically centered around performance. Imagine an application that stutters like Max Headroom running on your state-of-the-art quad-core PC. Yesterday, Cisco blew a hole in that argument, announcing a network optimization service specifically designed for Citrix XenDesktop, the system that powers the revolutionary Citrix Receiver that makes Office run on the iPad.
I seem to recall beginning this article with a mention of something called "automated deployment," but already that sounds so 2009.