Virtualization

PC virtualization gains attention

In an informal poll of readers on virtualization-centric site Virtualization Review, 193 readers (to date) cast their votes on their "primary virtualization concern in 2008."

In an informal poll of readers on virtualization-centric site Virtualization Review, 193 readers (to date) cast their votes on their "primary virtualization concern in 2008." That virtualization of servers would come out tops is a no-brainer, and forget about the 11% who are still struggling to understand virtualization.

What I found intriguing was the high proportion of votes cast under "PCs." At the moment, desktop virtualization involves packaging an entire operating system into a virtual machine container, which is normally hosted in the data center. The result is streamlined desktop management that also happens to be a trivial matter to back up for business continuity and disaster recovery purpose.

Unlike server consolidation which has a pretty clear ROI, the case for desktop virtualization remains somewhat elusive. It remains to be seen whether it will take off.

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Have you tried out PC or desktop virtualization yet?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

4 comments
b4real
b4real

Yes, I agree. I am very excited about a virtualized desktop environment. It is funny, as the server virtualization (first go) is more of a pilot of the technology than the desktop. Usually it is the other way around!

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I would like to submit a different viewpoint. I feel that VM images on workstations make even more sense than that of server images. I've been at many clients that can re-image or replace a desktop within minutes due to VM images. It just makes a great deal of sense and eliminates downtime. Unless I'm missing something.

Matt Larson
Matt Larson

It seems to me that server virtualization is an easy sell because everyone wins, and the results are experienced almost immediately. With Desktop Virtualization(DTV) the elusiveness of "right now" dollar savings measurement will cause some to ask "why do we need to do this". Truthfully, DTV will be another money saving component ov the virtualization infrastructure, but more in the long term. It's tough to measure how much time IT spends doing any given task, but DTV will certainly save the IT time in managing the Desktops. Sure there's a learning curve and an initial investment, but it seems clear to me that in the long run DTV will save both time and money.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I'm definately in the evangalist group of VM users and am looking at moving a few low end servers to VM wrappers for all the same reasons being looked at now for the desktop; I can work on the same VM image that my client is using and I can always transfer or restore a VM with the local admin only needing to build a minimal VMware platform. My question is how much of this is a solution looking for a problem on the desktop? If the standard setup now is a locally installed OS with user data files on the network shared drive and the minimum need is a local read-only OS with network storage, is packaging a user specific desktop VM not adding comlpexity just to provide a crutch for users who won't use the network storage properly? Now, at the same time, I can think of a few cases where this solution would be ideal. In cases where moving one shortcut on the user's desktop makes the machine a completely foreign object they won't touch. A restore from image in that case would be catastrophic by providing a completely clean desktop and forget about trying to explain why network drives should be used. Even being an admitted VM nutt, I still like this quote: ?I don't doubt at all that virtualization is useful in some areas. What I doubt rather strongly is that it will ever have the kind of impact that the people involved in virtualization want it to have.? - Linus Torvalds But I'm still spending my hobby time dreaming up solutions for problems I haven't caused yet. ;)