What desktop virtualization really means

Depending on whom you talk to, desktop virtualization is either the hottest trend in IT or an expensive notion with limited appeal

By Eric Knorr, InfoWorld |  Virtualization, desktop virtualization

6. VDI solutions cost more (and deliver more) than traditional thin client solutionsThink about it: With VDI, each virtual machine needs its own slice of memory, storage, and processing power to run a user's desktop environment, while in the old-fashioned Terminal Services model, users share almost everything except data files. VDI also means a separate Windows license for each user, while Terminal Services-style setups give you a break with Microsoft Client Access Licenses. Plus, VDI incurs greater network traffic, which may add a network upgrade to the purchase order for beefy server hardware.

In return for that extra cost, along with a better user experience, VDI delivers greater manageability and availability. As with server virtualization, you can migrate virtual machines among servers without bringing down those VMs, perform VM snapshots for quick recovery, run automated load balancing, and more. And if a virtual machine crashes, that doesn't affect other VMs; with Terminal Services, that single instance of Windows is going to bring down every connected user when it barfs.

7. Dynamic VDI solutions improve efficiencyIn a standard VDI installation, each user's virtual machine persists from session to session; as the number of users grows, so do storage and administration requirements. In a dynamic VDI architecture, when users log in, virtual desktops assemble themselves on the fly by combining a clone of a master image with user profiles. Users still get a personalized desktop, while administrators have fewer operating system and application instances to store, update, and patch.

8. Application virtualization eases VDI requirements even moreWhen an application is virtualized, it's "packaged" with all the little operating system files and registry entries necessary for execution, so it can run without having to be installed (that is, no changes need be made to the host operating system).

In a dynamic VDI scenario, admins can set up virtualized applications to be delivered to virtual machines at runtime, rather than adding those apps to the master image cloned by VMs. This reduces the footprint of desktop virtual machines and simplifies application management. If you add application streaming technology, virtualized applications appear to start up faster, as if they were installed in the VM all along.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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