Desktop Virtualization: What It Is (and What It Isn’t)
Maybe you started thinking seriously about desktop virtualization only recently, when the head of sales brought in his new tablet device and demanded that it be hooked up to the network—and two dozen more salespeople quickly followed suit. Or maybe you’ve been thinking about it for several years, since your IT department also began looking at server virtualization. While it’s certainly not a new topic, there’s still a lot of confusion about what desktop virtualization is—and what it isn’t. At its core, desktop virtualization is a way of reconciling two (often competing) goals: IT’s desire to exert more control over the client platform to simplify management and rein in costs, and the user’s desire for more flexibility and greater choice in endpoints and applications.
Desktop Virtualization Is…
Technology that allows multi-client environments to be controlled and managed from a central point. A collection of techniques—including streaming, remoting, virtualizing, and layering. Desktop virtualization software solutions apply some or all of these techniques to full desktop images or to applications. The resulting entities are administered and managed by IT through centralized management consoles. A way to balance the needs of employees who want to use the devices that help them perform at their best, and the IT department’s needs to maintain security, retain management control, and contain costs. Technology that can help your IT department be better prepared for what the future brings— for example, putting you in a better position to handle new client OS migrations, the continued proliferation of new client types, and the move to cloud computing.
Desktop Virtualization Isn’t…
A one-size-fits-all proposition. There are multiple delivery models, and it’s very likely that the best solution for your company will be a combination of two or more of these models. A cure-all for common IT headaches such as reducing the number of images, maintaining security, or managing devices effectively. In fact, if these client management processes are not under control beforehand, desktop virtualization can actually add complexity and reduce IT efficiency. A guaranteed way to reduce hardware and support costs. Desktop virtualization is a complex undertaking, and organizations must carefully analyze total cost of ownership (TCO). Synonymous with virtual hosted desktops, VDI, or thin clients. Desktop virtualization encompasses both server-side and client-side virtualization options, as well as both thin client and intelligent client options.
Intel IT Center Planning Guide | Desktop Virtualization