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Where our team of guest writers discuss what they think about the current trends and issues.

Andrew McGrath
Commercial Dir., Virgin Media Business

How will consumer IT impact your business?

Back in 2005, the analyst house Gartner predicted that consumer technology would have a huge impact on enterprise IT over the next 10 years.
12 May 2010

How smart desktop virtualization enables success

By Michel Roth

Quest Software | http://www.quest.com

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I n today’s economic climate, enterprises are faced with the difficult task of delivering a rich IT offering while at the same time minimising IT spend. Enterprises demand a richer IT experience with a lower TCO, a faster ROI and a more secure environment. Desktop virtualisation promises to enable enterprises to achieve these lofty objectives, which is why Gartner predicted that desktop virtualisation revenue will grow to $65.7 billion (€49.9 billion) in 2013 .

“Turning desktop virtualisation's promise into reality is all about applying for the right technology to the right usage.”
-Michel Roth

To ensure your success with desktop virtualisation, it is imperative that you fully understand the technology. You first need to know that desktop virtualisation is not the same as VDI. Rather, desktop virtualisation is a collection of technologies that includes Terminal Server (or 'Remote Desktop Session Host') as well as VDI. It is the combination of these technologies that gives desktop virtualisation the power to enrich the user experience and simultaneously reduce IT costs and better secure the desktop environment.

Turning desktop virtualisation's promise into reality is all about applying the right technology to the right usage or roles. Employees with the same role often perform the same set of tasks. One example of such a role might be an inside sales representative who typically performs the same tasks using the same basic set of applications every single day. This role is ideally suited for Terminal Server, which typically provides the lowest cost-per-workspace. Another role: a marketing developer might require more than the basic set of applications and also need to make more changes to his virtual desktop, such as installing applications or connecting new peripheral devices. For this type of role, VDI is the best choice. While VDI has a higher cost-per-workspace when compared to Terminal Server, VDI does allow for personalisation and a high degree of device and application compatibility.

When using VDI, you will need to choose which virtualisation platform (hypervisor) to use to host the virtual desktops. This choice is very important because it will impact the desktop virtualisation deployment throughout its lifespan. Making the wrong choice will severely impact the TCO and ROI. Unfortunately, there is not one right choice. Hypervisor A could have feature set that would perfectly suffice for enterprise A at a cost of A while enterprise B might need hypervisor functionality that is only available in hypervisor B at a cost of B. Unfortunately, the hypervisor market is very complex and dynamic; today's market leader could be tomorrow's loser. The good news is that third-party tools exist to help you broker and manage your virtualised environment, regardless of which hypervisor you choose. These tools can also blend multiple hypervisor platforms under one management umbrella.

The key to the success of a desktop virtualisation project is to use a product that efficiently maximises the capabilities and features of your environment. Quest vWorkspace is the only comprehensive management framework that is built to harness the full power of all types of desktop virtualisation.  vWorkspace is hypervisor-agnostic, resulting in the lowest average cost per workspace for enterprises of any size. This innovative technology enables you to easily manage and provision your environment from a single pane of glass and a single license. Quest vWorkspace is the smartest path to simplified desktop virtualisation management, and can ensure a successful virtualised environment to both large and small enterprises.


Michel Roth has over 10 years of experience working with application and desktop delivery technologies. He currently fulfills the role of Principal Product Architect in the Desktop Virtualization Group of Quest Software. Michel's specialization is in desktop virtualization.

Michel has spoken at many industry conferences, including Microsoft TechEd, BriForum and Pubforum, and is a frequent author for sites such as MSTerminalServices.org and BrianMadden.com. In his spare time he maintains the website Thincomputing.net .

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Disclaimer: All comments posted in a personal capacity