In the past few weeks, we've seen a flurry of announcements about desktop or client-side virtualization that cross the technology segments of access virtualization, application virtualization, virtual machine technology and management of those virtualized resources. Suppliers such as Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, Wanova, AppSense and an impressive list of others have announced new capabilities, product enhancements, new partnerships and the like.
Source of confusion
When applications or application components are virtualized, they may reside on the user's system, on an intermediate workgroup server, on a business unit's servers or back in the corporate datacenter. This amazing level of flexibility, of course, means that solutions based upon widely different technological approaches are described using similar language, have similar capabilities and, of course, create a great deal of confusion.
Centralized approaches in which workloads are hosted back in an organization's datacenter or out in the clouds are being compared to approaches in which the workload is running locally on the staff member's own system. Confused IT decision makers don't move, they stop and study the situation so that they can better understand their requirements and what each of the vendor offerings can do.
So, these approaches have not had the same level of success as have server-focused virtualization techniques.
Suppliers need to carefully and clearly explain the benefits and the limitations of what they're offering. IT decision makers need to understand processes, procedures and the like must change, how difficult the change will be and be shown a simple path from where they are today to the glorias future promised by the supplier.
Organizations are interested in wringing more savings out of the environment. Suppliers know that various forms of client-side virtualiztion can help. The IT decision makers just need to better understand that they can start small and move forward after becoming more familiar with the technology.