Guide to the virtual desktop

'DeMystifying' lays out options, walks reader through analysis

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"DeMystifying the Virtual Desktop" can't make questions simpler, but does make understanding and answering them easier by laying out not only the technologies and options available, but by describing the process of identifying types of users and the kinds of delivery method most appropriate for each.

Laying out the territory and options is useful. Laying out the process of assessing what you already have and how to lay out a virtual-desktop architecture that will support your user base without collapsing your existing infrastructure are the most valuable contributions.

Detailed analysis steps and thumbnail capacity measures help walk you through detailed assessments of user requirements and existing capabilities.

Design analysis that includes not only steps in the process, but documents you'll need, models you should build, and analyses that will help you define the architecture and defend the spending for it are the closest I've seen to a direct, usable how-to guide for virtual-desktop projects.

There are plenty of guides to desktop virtualization out there. Most are written by and for particular vendors.

DeMystifying author Michael Fox is an experienced consultant who currently works as a senior architect for the professional services group at EMC, parent company of virtual-desktop player VMware.

Nevertheless, his guide takes a neutral approach to the technology and decisions surrounding it. He offers relatively objective guidance on a process that is notoriously idiosyncratic, complex and risky, because every step has a direct effect on the satisfaction and performance of end users.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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