It seems that just about every day I hear from a newcomer to the virtualization software market that has focused its time and creativity on "desktop virtualization." I've got one or two posts to write on companies of this nature and still more are appearing. Some are focused on accessing applications and data remotely. Some are focused on encapsulating and delivering applications. Others are focused on encapsulating an entire desktop environment and making it available remotely. The key question on my mind is "why?"
It's clear that long-time members of the IT community remember the days before PCs become the standard way of accessing applications and data. People had access to block mode terminals or character cell terminals. Once these devices were installed on a person's desk, they often worked for a decade or more before needing to be replaced. They didn't create an avenue for worms, viruses or other mischievous software to get into the corporate network. They didn't require extensive staff training nor did they require frequent updates that proved incompatible with current programs, processes or procedures.
The suppliers of PCs and PC software convinced organizations that all of the graphical content, animated screens and local computing power would be a benefit, would reduce overall costs and make life simpler for the IT department.
Now, all these years later, its becoming increasingly clear that while people need access to desktop computing, they may not need a general purpose desktop computer as the mechanism to get to that computing.
If blame for this is to be laid at anyone's feet, it's clear that the suppliers of desktop operating systems, desktop productivity applications and incompatible hardware platforms all deserve equal attention.
Now that the pain is well known throughout the industry, that virtualization technology has reached a certain stage making it possible to construct workable solutions and that networking media has reach levels of price and performance that make it a reasonable choice to move desktop computing off of the desktop back into the datacenter once again, clever people are creating solutions and bringing them to market.
Who would you blame for the need to go this route?