Jul 09 2012

The Real-World Benefits of Desktop Virtualization

Having the ability to log in and use your desktop on any device is a significant advantage for today’s workers.

Desktop virtualization is a liberating force in technology, and yet it’s been underutilized in the workplace for some time now.

Part of this is due to the graphics limitations of a virtual desktop. But with chip manufacturers working to close the gap in graphics performance between a thick client and a thin client, that becomes less and less of an issue.

Microsoft is hard at work trying to optimize the virtualized desktop solution with its Microsoft User Experience Virtualization program (UE-V). One of the key points the company hopes to make with its offering is that people’s use cases matter more than the technology they use.

To that end, Karri Alexion-Tiernan, the director of product management at Microsoft, highlighted five use cases that would benefit from a virtualized client solution on the Windows Blog.

  • Offline use of a work laptop and tablet. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling to your next business meeting, going home to work on your family computer or sailing the seven seas, you still need access to your data, applications and settings. UE-V, Folder Redirection, Offline Files and App-V make this happen by providing a consistent Windows experience.
  • Online use with devices at home, work, in the car or at the beach. Maybe you’re just checking your e-mail, browsing the Internet or making a feeble attempt at a summer vacation, using Remote App or Microsoft VDI (session based) can get access to server hosted applications on any Windows device; and with support from UE-V and App-V we make sure your experience is the same no matter where you are.
  • Online use of a device in the office or at the manufacturing plant halfway across the world. Need to access key databases and systems no matter what work facility you are at? Microsoft VDI (VM based) provides access to personalized server hosted desktops on any Windows device; and with support from App-V, UE-V, and Folder Redirection connects you with the key business data you need, regardless of your location.
  • Access to sensitive information from a personal device. Whether you are a full-time employee or contractor, making sure that business and regulatory compliance isn’t an issue is easy with Remote App or Microsoft VDI, which lock down the applications or desktop in the data center.
  • Ability to run vital legacy applications. Is your organization migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7? Do you find yourself needing to reference a report from 2006, yet the line of business application you’re trying to access doesn’t play nicely with your current operating system? By using MED-V, you can still run the incompatible XP applications on Windows 7 for a fast, seamless experience.

As the pendulum swings from local storage to cloud-based storage, we can expect to see more companies and users adopt virtualized client solutions like the one Microsoft is working on.