In This Chapter
Checking out the virtualized desktop
Moving desktops to the cloud
Managing desktops in the cloud
In some ways, what goes around comes around. Over the past few years, the notion of a virtual desktop has been getting a lot of attention. With a virtual desktop, the PC doesn't run its own applications — they run on a server in a data center. Sound sort of familiar? And, as virtualized servers move into the cloud, the idea of using a virtual desktop is gaining steam. In this chapter, we examine what a virtual desktop is all about, what it means to move it into the cloud, and how to manage this environment.
In a virtualized desktop, the applications, data, files, and anything graphic are separated from the actual desktop and stored on a server in a data center (not on the individual machine).
Why is it attractive? Think about a PC's total cost of ownership (TCO): acquisition, maintenance, support, help desk, hardware, software, and power. In a typical enterprise situation, the annual support cost per PC is anywhere between three and five times the cost of the PC itself. Because PCs are outdated after about four years, the TCO can be anywhere from 9 to 20 times the cost of the PC itself.
Virtualizing the desktop can bring down the TCO because it helps manage and centralize support. Standardizing infrastructure that needs to be managed via virtualization makes it easier to optimize ...