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Analysis: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Desktop virtualization is riding the wave of server-consolidation efforts. But is it enterprise ready, and what makes it better than traditional thin-clients?

  Download a free PDF of this article at InformationWeek Reports  

It's Monday morning and you're staring down the barrel of 25 desktops that must be set up and shipped to a new remote office by Friday. Sure, imaging tools will help initially, but what about patching and remote management? Information about site security is sketchy, and there are no plans for local IT support to deal with machines mangled with personal files and fragmented drives.

Virtualization has eased many of these issues on servers. Could it work for desktops as well? Short answer, Yes. Vendors are building on the strength of the server virtualization push and coining their offerings Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or VDI. The idea is big, and as we illustrate in our TCO worksheet, (DOWNLOAD HERE) the value proposition is even bigger: Make your enterprise desktop infrastructure leaner, more secure and easier to standardize, deploy and maintain—all for less than what you're paying now.

And use cases go beyond just thin clients for centralizing desktop management and security. Consider one-off or ultra-expensive applications. With VDI, you can deploy oddball OSes or DLLs and strictly manage licensing. Organizations with a focus on security will find that VDI gives IT tight control; you can ensure that any given app is accessed only when and by whom it's supposed to be used.

By Any Other Name

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