What is Desktop Virtualization?


Desktop virtualization is what a user experiences when they use a thin client front end with the processing of whatever tasks they perform taking place on a central server. Although it appears as though the user is working on a single system with applications and hard drive storage accessibility, they are actually working on a network terminal with access to the server, which would have been a mainframe many years ago. The user will log in and they will have a personal space that functions very much like a standalone system, but they actually share resources such as processors and network or internet connections.

What are the Benefits of Using Desktop Virtualization?

From a business perspective, it means much fewer resources are required to administer many end users because each terminal is run from a central server. This means less work when upgrading and troubleshooting, which results in lower costs. Systems administrators need only concentrate on one piece of hardware and possibly a data storage system rather than every unit on the network.

It’s also more difficult for unqualified end users to cause problems with the system because they are unable to gain full control over areas of the sever that they should not alter. This makes it safer and much more secure than networks where each individual setup has access to system files that are critical to the stable operation of the station.

What is Required for Multiple Instances of Virtual Desktops

Most manufacturers have off the shelf solutions and it’s simple to order a server with desktop virtualization solutions from Dell for example.  If your employees use applications that place great demands on processors, you will need a powerful server or servers, but for most office software like spreadsheets, word processors and even enterprise resource software are more than manageable. The major difficulties come when you run memory hungry applications or graphics software, in which case, a basic thin client terminal may not be enough.

What’s a Thin Client Terminal?

A ‘thin client terminal’ is where users use and interact with the virtual desktop. To the end user, the experience is hardly different from using a machine with software installed, but the costs to the business are much lower. Virtual desktops running on thin clients have been used in businesses of all sizes for many years and the hardware and software has improved consistently along with network data transfer speeds so that users are unaffected. Desktop virtualization is a much cheaper way of deploying operating systems among many users because companies like Windows realise that the end users require a reduced number of features than a full Windows install and provide volume licenses to for thin client use.

Being part of the Dell team, I know we have a great range of desktop virtualization solutions available, which can be found on our site. Why not check them out?