As much of the discussion so far has focused on server virtualisation, this conference has logically moved on to discuss the potential benefits of virtualisation on the desktop. The argument is that by extending the VMware platform to the desktop, IT administrators can deploy virtual machines on every PC in a company and handle the whole manage, update and deploy process faster and more securely.
If you want a radical sound bite to get thinking about this, check out this quote from Gartner’s Brian Gammage & George Shiffler III (Aug 8 2007).
“By the end of 2010 all new PC deployments will be virtualised.”
VMware CEO Diane Greene told an audience of journalists that she recognises this claim is “aggressive”. But the company is behind the idea and its Link Clone technology allows one PC to be updated before ‘clones’ are pushed out through the system – even though every individual’s desktop is in fact ‘unique’.
“VMware virtual desktops enable a one-to-many deployment model, making it easy to update to a new version of an application, rollout entirely new applications, or deploy the most current operating system. VMware is also making it possible for workers to take their virtual desktops with them as they travel or work from home,” said Jeff Jennings, vice president of desktop products and solutions at VMware.
Analyst firm IDC predicts the total market for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure products and services will exceed US$1 billion by 2011.
In the product announcement area to back up these arguments there’s VMware Virtual Image technology – this is designed to deploy, update and publish desktop images to thousands of virtual machines. VMware claims this technology reduces storage requirements by up to 90 per cent for virtual desktop infrastructure environments.
There’s also VMware’s Offline Virtual Desktop Infrastructure – this enables end users to “check out” personalised virtual desktops running on VMware virtual desktop infrastructure to a notebook computer for use offline and then “check back in” to the same desktop running in their virtual desktop infrastructure environment.
Want a cheesy quote to end on from VMware chief scientist Dr Mendel Rosenblum? “We want to make virtual a whole lot better than real.” Jeeeez…