• 10/22/2010
    1:43 PM
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Virtualization Moving From Data Center To Desktop

Virtualization has sparked a paradigm shift in the IT industry. Because this computing technique enables companies to more effectively maximize use of their hardware, many corporations who have virtualized their servers are starting to think about applying that same principle to their desktops.

Software pricing can also add up. Desktop licensing costs range from $99 to $350 per user (see chart). In addition, the application vendors often tack on a one-time fee ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 for each application virtualized.

In addition, companies will experience a lag in the time when new technical advances occur and when they are able to take advantage of them. If a vendor develops a new operating system or application, there will be delay of at least a few months (and sometimes many) before it will be available with the new system.

Cloud based solutions have been gaining traction. In some cases, companies may view them as easier to maintain than VDI options because the vendor takes on more of the maintenance chores.

The economic downturn has had a mixed impact on the VDI market. "Many companies have tightened their budgets and put new projects on hold," noted Burton Group's Wolf. However, firms typically upgrade their desktop systems about every three years. In a number of cases, they are searching for ways to reduce that ongoing expense. In some instances, a VDI deployment is comparable to this upgrade and does not have to be completed every three years, so companies move in that direction.

After reshaping the data center, virtualization is poised to change the desktop. Because the business case to use virtualization is not as straightforward as it is in the server farm, it appears that VDI will be more of a niche technology than its older sibling, server virtualization.

Sample per user or seat starting prices
VendorProduct NamePer User Price Range
CitrixXenDesktop$95 to $350
Pano LogicPano System$319
RingCubeRingCube vDesk$250
SymantecEndpoint Virtualization$29 to $399
Source: Vendors

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