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Desktop Virtualization Pros and Cons

Desktop virtualization really does have its benefits, but there are some serious downsides, too

Server virtualization has proved itself to be a wise and robust solution over the past several years. Organizations of all sizes have benefitted from virtualization, making the most of their system resources.

Desktop virtualization, however, has been much slower going. For the past several years, experts and pundits have declared that it would be the “year of desktop virtualization,” and each year they were proved wrong.

While desktop virtualization is gaining some ground, it’s certainly not as widely implemented (or even being considered as much) as server virtualization.

A mixed bag

Desktop virtualization really does have its benefits, but there are some serious downsides, too. Let’s take a look at some of the pros:

  • Reduced administrative and support costs. Because each user has the same image including OS and apps, you have lower costs.
  • Reduced PC hardware costs. Because you don’t need to upgrade many PCs to meet new application and OS requirements, you can save significantly.
  • Centralized PC strength and reliability. Because the core of the desktop now resides in the data center, it’s more easily managed than systems spread across diverse physical locations.
  • Patching and driver installation are more manageable. You don’t have to worry about missing OS or antivirus updates, for example.

As well as some cons:

  • If you have many user groups or types, storage consumption grows fast. Each user that needs access to different apps or needs to save personal settings or use personal applications will cause storage needs to grow.
  • You need to invest in more server, storage, and network infrastructure. Virtualizing yoru desktops require more resources of each of these types.
  • There is more risk of enterprise wide downtime. If a single PC has a problem, only a single user is impacted. If your virtual desktop equipment has a problem, everyone is affected.

Whereas server virtualization has a clear-cut benefit for most organizations, that’s not necessarily the case with desktop virtualization. If your organization is thinking about virtualizing its desktops, you need to give some serious consideration to these pros and cons, determine which is the biggest benefit or threat to your organization, and act accordingly.

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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.

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