August 27, 2012, 1:26 PM — While cloud computing and virtualization, along with a focus on small and midsize businesses, are expected to be major trends at this year's VMworld show, the virtual desktop infrastructure players are looking to make some news this week as well.
Three big players - Citrix, Dell and HP - each made announcements last week regarding virtual desktop offerings, including new software from Citrix and new hardware components from Dell and HP. At least one analyst says the preparation for VMworld shows the growing importance of VDI technology in an increasingly cloud and mobile world.
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Over time, the IT workspace of employees will be dynamically assembled from a handful of places, predicts Mark Bowker, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. Some applications will be stored locally on whatever device the employee is running, other IT services will live in an enterprise data center, while others will be hosted externally, in a third-party public cloud. But users will have the opportunity to access all of their information, both personal and professional, from whatever device they they're using at the time, be it a PC, mobile phone or tablet. "What we're seeing is a shift away from the device-centric model, and toward a user-centric model," Bowker says.
The potential of such a move is appealing: All your devices synched together and access to all your information no matter where you are. One key to getting to this landscape, he says, are virtual desktops. But, "we're not there yet." Vendors are making moves though.