August 03, 2010, 12:58 PM — Desktop virtualization, the ability to run one operating system "inside" another, has a lot of attractive benefits. It is great for testing out new applications before you want to commit them to an enterprise-wide rollout. You can run multiple operating systems from a single PC to avoid having to purchase new equipment, or multiple browser versions on the same computer, without them interfering with each other. You can lock down your endpoints with a single master configuration that you can deploy widely to reduce your support costs. Or you can have a protected computer-on-an-USB-stick that you can carry around when you visit unsecure locations, to avoid becoming infected from the host PCs that you use at public kiosks or hotels.
There are many virtualization tools from VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft. Each has its own rich collection of management products, server deployment infrastructure and associated applications that can be daunting to understand and master.
If you are looking to get started with desktop virtualization, there are a number of ways to lessen your learning curve and avoid some common pitfalls. Here are some tips and tricks that we have gathered from the experts to make your first steps: