It’s funny how some things in computing seem to run in circles. When someone brings up desktop virtualization, the old gurus of the industry are likely to say, “But I thought we’d gotten rid of the client-server setup!” Yet, modern desktop virtualization is significantly more robust than the older model, and offers a number of advantages to companies looking to make use of it.
Here are five reasons to look into desktop virtualization:
- Easy Rollouts. If your operation has a large number of individual machines, virtualization can slash the amount of time it takes to do large-scale rollouts and upgrades. Rather than having to individually set up each box, you can simply have a single cloned virtual machine that already has all drivers and software set up. All the local boxes need is the virtualization software.
- Increased Security. Modern virtualization security systems, such as on IBM’s Power Systems line, can make a virtual machine more secure than a local one. Each VM can be locked down, separate from the others, with security software monitoring it for any changes which might indicate the presence of malicious system changes.
- Greater Control Over Installed Software. You wouldn’t have to worry nearly so much about users installing unauthorized local software that causes problems for the system. Also, you will have full control over system and software updates in a controlled environment where you don’t need to rely on user input or participation.
- Reduced Downtime. With a staggered series of server upgrades, it’s possible to simply move the VMs from server to server without the users being aware that it’s going on or ever being inconvenienced. Some desktop virtualization system allow this to be done live without any end-user interruption at all, aside from perhaps a small amount of slowdown at the moment of the changeover.
- Save on Desktop Upgrades. If your business needs to cut corners on its hardware budget, you can always return to the “thin client” model and use older machines. As long as they’re capable of running the virtualization software, the server can handle all the hard work. This can greatly extend the useful life of your desktops.
While desktop virtualization isn’t a perfect solution, it can be of major benefit to a company looking to reduce its IT overhead costs. As long as the performance hit is minimal, you can get a lot of bang for your budget this way.