Desktop virtualisation: Myths jar with realities

The technology is maturing rapidly but people just don't get it…

Partly because of the fog put up by vendors, common views about desktop virtualisation are at odds with the realities of adoption, says Tony Lock.

Vendors have been pushing desktop virtualisation hard over the course of the past year. So to give IT professionals a better picture of what's really going on in this field, Freeform Dynamics recently published a report looking at the overall state of desktop virtualisation adoption and how far expectations measure up to the experiences of those who have already undertaken projects.

Over recent months, each of the major approaches to desktop virtualisation has continued to mature, especially in terms of reliability and usability. The same cannot be said for the overall level of understanding among organisations of the options available and their suitability for deployment to support various user requirements.

Desktop virtualisation is not a point solution or indeed a single architectural approach. That fact has not been well communicated by vendors and their channel partners to the IT community. It is fair to say that organisations have a poor grasp of the possible approaches and their suitability.

>The value of desktop virtualisation tends to be underestimated by those who lack experience of the technology

The value of desktop virtualisation tends to be underestimated by those who lack experience of the technology
Photo: Shutterstock

But while the overall levels of understanding remain low, it is interesting that the views of IT managers with practical experience of the technology are strikingly different in some important areas from those who have yet to deploy any virtualised desktops to end users.

Overestimating associated challenges

The research highlights that in the absence of practical experience, IT professionals tend to underestimate the relevance and value of desktop virtualisation while often overestimating the associated challenges.

In particular, those who have never deployed systems are more likely to discount it as an option for demanding users, even though experienced adopters have often...

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