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Innovation

What's next after server virtualization? Desktop virtualization

There are a number of steps an organization could take after successfully executing a server consolidation strategy. One of them is to embark on the journey to client consolidation or desktop virtualization.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor on

There are a number of steps an organization could take after successfully executing a server consolidation strategy. One of them is to embark on the journey to client consolidation or desktop virtualization. The goal here is to reduce the costs of hardware, software and to reduce administrative and operational expenses. Another typical requirement is to create an environment which allows staff members, partners and customer to access needed applications and data from wherever they are, using whatever network is available to them and using their favorite access device regardless of whether it is a PC, a laptop, a Mac, a thin-client device or a smartphone.

Most organizations have held off on this journey because it can be far more complex in some ways than the journey to a consolidated server environment. After all, organizations typically have far more client systems, more locations in which these client systems are used and quite a diverse mix of client systems and operating environments.

What's so confusing for many is that there are three layers of technology involved - access virtualization, application virtualization and processing virtualization - that can be used together or independently to provide some level of desktop virtualization. It is quite likely that all of them would be needed to create a comprehensive client consolidation strategy.

At the access virtualization layer we see suppliers such as Citrix, HP, Microsoft, Ncomputing, Neocleus, Qumranet, Wyse.

At the application virtualization layer we see suppliers such as Citrix, Microsoft and VMware.

There are many suppliers offering technology at each layer of the model. At the processing virtualization level, we see some suppliers offering solutions based upon virtual machine technology, such as Citrix, Microsoft, Parallels, and VMware. Others are offering approaches based upon operating system virtualization/partioning, such as Ncomputing or Parallels. Only one or two suppliers have the capability of offering both type of technology. Parallels is the first that comes to mind.

Has your organization considered the benefits of a consolidated client environment? Some suppliers, such as Ncomputing report amazing savings in such an environment.

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