Most companies now have plans to investigate and use the latest form of virtual desktop in the very near future.  There are many POC’s (proof of concepts) going on as we speak and many more are planned. Citrix, Microsoft, VMware and others are all vying for a piece of this large market potential.

Let’s consider the following situation for a company: 8,000 users, 1,200 servers. Virtualizing the 1,2000 servers in the datacenter  saves money, power, is easier to manage etc. So with a consolidation ratio of 20:1 (to make the math simple) we would then have to manage only 60 servers as opposed to 1,200.

On the other hand, if the plan were to take ALL 8,000 users and virtualize their desktops into the datacenter, even with double the consolidation ratio of 40:1, this would mean managing another 200 servers. Add to this the additional expensive datacenter storage, power, electricity, real estate, etc. “plus” still having to work with end user devices. While the hosted vdi solution does work in many cases, a complimentary solution is on the horizon.

So what’s a company to do? Stay Physical with Virtual.

We would suggest that companies begin to deploy the virtual desktop on a server hypervisor to gain experience, conduct their POC and understand the end user experience first hand. However, once the desktop hypervisor is available and tested for scalability and reliability, and with the use of provisioning technology,  a company can begin to deploy their provisioned and secure virtual desktops  throughout the organization by using existing PC’s or instituting BYOP (bring your own PC) with the proper PC configuration.

The BYOP model, with a client hypervisor (e.g. XenClient from Citrix – available Q1 2010) allows IT to provision a secure corporate desktop to an end user’s device, while at the same let the end user have complete control and freedom to conduct his personal business on the same desktop.

It‘s a great time to be in the thick of things and as always “If It’s Virtually Possible, We Do it!!

by Myron Bari – November30, 2009 (mbari@ipm.com)

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