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2012 resized 600Each year for the past three or four years, experts have predicted that the virtualization trend that’s so captured the data center will finally spread to the desktop. And, each year, desktop virtualization fails to produce. Will 2012 be any different? If we pull back and look at the big picture in terms of what’s already happened with virtualization, the answer is going to be “Probably not.”

Consider these facts:

•    Many businesses, according to VMware, have virtualized less than one third of their servers. That means there’s plenty of more server virtualization to do yet. Server virtualization is where organizations stand to gain the most, so it stands to reason that they won’t jump right into desktop virtualization in 2012.

•    According to Gartner, about 40 percent of servers are currently virtualized. They expect server virtualization to gain considerably in the next couple of years, growing all the way to 75 percent by 2015.

•    Businesses are turning more and more to cloud providers for capacity expansion. That means private infrastructure has to match up with provider requirements, something that hasn’t been done historically in a virtualized desktop environment.

Having said that, there are some reasons why we might at least see a rise in desktop virtualization in 2012:

•    Costs are going to drop. Citrix has recently claimed that it’s going to be able to get the virtualized desktop price down lower than that of a traditional desktop. When that happens, organizations are going to sit up and take notice.

•    Some environments will move on virtualized desktops before they move toward server virtualization. Desktops are replaced more frequently than servers; many organizations may wait until they obsolete equipment before they bring in a virtualized solution. If organizations take this approach with the desktop, we could see significant desktop virtualization over a three year desktop replacement cycle.

The winds of IT are a fickle thing, of course. There are so many factors beyond the technology, from budgets to staff training to political maneuvering within organizations that can affect whether or not desktops are virtualized. The best we can do is say that it’s probably coming, although no one really knows when.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.