Desktop Virtualization – All That You Need To know About It

By now, many people understand the concept of software as a service and cloud computing in general. However, the concept of desktop virtualization is often more difficult to comprehend. After all, how can you virtualize an entire desktop? Virtualization doesn’t eliminate the need for hardware; rather it involves using virtualization software to create desktop environments including the operating system, applications, and data. The virtualized desktop can be run on a local machine or hosted and accessed via the cloud from virtually any device.

With a locally installed virtual desktop, the user accesses the desktop on a standard workstation. The workstation may have several virtual machines installed on it, allowing the user to seamlessly run different operating systems such as Windows, Linux, or Macintosh based on individual needs. With a hosted virtual desktop, the user can access the desktop from a standard Internet-connected laptop, personal computer, tablet computer, or even a smartphone, allowing for portability. In addition to running operating systems and applications in a virtualized environment, the data generated by these desktops is typically stored on some form of network storage.

Like server virtualization, desktop virtualization can reduce IT costs dramatically (Source: Server Virtualization by Tegile). Instead of investing in high performance workstations, organizations can replace existing workstations with inexpensive “thin clients.” In addition, managing a network of virtual desktops is much easier, further reducing costs. Adding new virtual desktops is a simple matter as far as provisioning goes. In fact, virtual desktops can be cloned with all of the required applications and settings based on user roles. In addition, sending out operating system and software updates and security patches as well as enforcing security policies is much easier in a virtualized desktop environment.

Despite the initial investment in virtualization software and the IT personnel to deploy and administer virtual machines, desktop virtualization can slash IT costs overall.

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