What exactly is desktop virtualization?
In a nutshell, it’s the process of using software to create a virtual desktop environment—a “virtual machine” (VM) that runs on top of your physical hardware and operating system. This can be done for a variety of reasons, but the most common ones are to improve performance, security, or both.
What are the benefits of desktop virtualization?
There are several potential benefits to using a virtual desktop, including:
- Improved performance: By abstracting the desktop environment from the underlying hardware, you can often improve performance since the resources of the physical machine can be better utilized. For example, you can run multiple VMs on a single physical server, each with its own set of resources (CPU, memory, etc.).
- Enhanced security: By isolating the desktop environment in a VM, it becomes much more difficult for malware or other malicious code to compromise the underlying operating system or hardware. Additionally, any changes made to the VM can be easily rolled back if necessary.
- Increased flexibility: Virtual desktops can be easily created, cloned, and destroyed as needed, which gives you a great deal of flexibility in how you deploy and manage your desktop environment.
- Reduced costs: Since multiple VMs can be run on a single physical machine, you can save money on hardware costs by using less expensive commodity hardware. Additionally, since VMs can be easily provisioned and deployed, the time and labor required to manage desktops is greatly reduced.
What are the challenges of desktop virtualization?
While there are many potential benefits to using a virtual desktop, there are also some challenges that need to be considered:
- Complexity: Desktop virtualization can add complexity to your IT infrastructure, especially if you’re not familiar with virtualization technologies.
- Licensing costs: If you’re using proprietary software, you may need to purchase additional licenses for each VM that you create.
- Resource requirements: Virtual machines require resources (CPU, memory, storage, etc.) in order to run, so you’ll need to make sure your physical hardware can handle the load.
- Training and support: Your users will need to be properly trained on how to use the virtual desktop environment, and you’ll need to have adequate support in place in case there are any issues.
- Connectivity: If your users need to access their virtual desktops from outside of the office (e.g., from home or while traveling), you’ll need to have a good connectivity solution in place.
Where can I learn more about desktop virtualization?
If you’re interested in learning more about desktop virtualization, there are a number of resources available:
- The VMware website has a wealth of information on their products and solutions, including an overview of desktop virtualization.
- Microsoft also has a number of resources available on their website, including an overview of their desktop virtualization products and solutions.
- Citrix offers a number of resources on their website as well, including an overview of their XenDesktop product.
- For a more general overview of desktop virtualization, you can check out this Wikipedia article.
- Finally, if you’re looking for a specific product or solution, you can search the web or contact a company that specializes in virtualization technologies.
Now that you know what desktop virtualization is and some of the potential benefits and challenges, you can decide if it’s right for your organization.