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Companies are increasingly turning to virtualization as the answer to their desktop challenges. Desktop virtualization is the act of decoupling the different computing layers and storing some or all of them in a data center. Several forms of desktop virtualization can help organizations satisfy users' needs for mobility and flexibility, while relieving pressure on information technology (IT) departments to manage cost, security, and compliance. Additionally, desktop virtualization can enable more dynamic centralized management by separating the elements of the traditional desktop computing stack. Through virtualization, employees can access their applications and data very safely over a network and the risk of data loss is minimized. On the IT side, virtualization accelerates deployment of new capabilities without needing to acquire new hardware and configure components. It also reduces application testing requirements and compatibility issues and simplifies disaster recovery and compliance. Over the past few years, businesses have simplified their data center management via server virtualization technologies and reaped enormous cost benefits in the process. This paper describes the process of creating a virtualization strategy that achieves these goals through mapping existing technologies, defining user needs and matching technologies to user needs. It also introduces comprehensive desktop-virtualization solutions from Microsoft based on the aforementioned analysis. Finally, it provides high-level guidance to help companies develop a desktop-virtualization strategy.
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