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Insider Eyes Virtual Desktops

Desktop virtualization is set to make its mark as more businesses look for cost savings, although there is still some confusion to be cleared up before it goes mainstream.

These were the findings of "Desktop Virtualization: Market Prospects," the latest Byte and Switch Insider, which examines both PC- and server-based offerings.

It has already been established that server virtualization can benefit users by consolidating hardware and saving money on space, electricity, and management costs. (See Microsoft Makes Virtualization Play, VMware Unveils New Suite, and Virtual Iron Dangles iSCSI Savings.) Although most organizations are well down the path towards consolidating physical servers in data centers, desktop virtualization is still in its relative infancy.

A number of software vendors, including VMware, XenSource, Novell, Parallels, and Red Hat, have already made moves into the desktop space. (See VMware Manages Desktops, VMware Targets Mac Users, and MS Highlights Virtualization.) Red Hat, for example, recently included the Xen Hypervisor in its latest Linux desktop OS. (See XenSource.)

Benefits of virtual desktops include improved management and flexibility, less downtime, and enhanced security, although there are still some hurdles in the path of users looking to deploy the technology.

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