The role of desktop computing has changed significantly since the personal computer became popular in the 1980s. Hardware has become increasingly powerful, and operating
systems more advanced, but the physical architecture remains similar. Local storage, tenuous security, and decentralized management all present weak points in an
A potential solution to many desktop problems lies in a concept that is not new: thin clients that use centralized servers for some or all of their processing and
storage. Modern technology such as VMware View and Microsoft's VDI architecture have taken this old concept and made it elegant and practical for mass usage. Gartner estimates that there
will be as many as 50 million virtual desktops by 2013[CIO].
The Basics of Desktop Virtualization
A completely virtual desktop requires minimal client hardware to run. End users interact with devices which expose basic hardware functionality for video, networking,
and local storage—essentially, very basic computers. This does not mean that existing hardware must be replaced with thin client machines; it may actually mean
that existing workstations can be kept longer. Data and user settings are all stored in a server farm, so if a workstation fails, a new one can easily be provisioned
and no data is lost. In addition, the demands upon the machine are diminished because all processing is done centrally.
Virtual machines are stored in a central location and served up to the user on demand. Administration is completely centralized, allowing rapid modifications and
quick deployment. This architecture also opens up the possibility of serving the user their settings and applications anytime, anywhere. They are no longer tied
to a single machine.
Demands upon client hardware are diminished; the demand for a powerful, well-designed server infrastructure increases.
The server farm that hosts the virtual machines must be able to meet or exceed performance needs and must be highly redundant. In nearly every case, server infrastructure
should also be virtualized to accomplish these goals. Ample, performant,
redundant storage must be available.
- Rapid provisioning
- Increased security
- Centralized management
- Longer hardware refresh cycles
- Less expensive client hardware
Net Fusion can help you determine where, when, and how to implement virtualized desktops and the server infrastructure that they rely on.