10 Key Differences Between Desktop and Server Virtualization Deployments

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10 Key Differences Between Desktop and Server Virtualization Deployments

by Chris Preimesberger

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Predictable vs. Unpredictable Workloads

The load on a virtualized back end is quite predictable. While it's important to be able to move a server application from one hardware platform to another while running—through vMotion, for instance-desktops can be moved when the user is signed off and the desktop is idle.

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Storage Is Handled Differently

Tier 1 storage for server applications often requires a high-speed SAN infrastructure to access data across disparate data stores. Tier 1 storage for virtual desktops can be simple DAS configured in server-based RAID, a less costly proposition.

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GUIs Have Different Needs

Getting the GUI right is critical for a virtualized desktop user. Virtualized servers often have no direct interaction with the end-user community. The use of the SysAd command line is fine in the former, but an anathema in the latter. Ideally, end users would not need to know or care where the computing resource actually is.

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Workload Differences

A virtualized server adds no appreciable networking load to the data center. A virtualized desktop operates entirely over the network. Getting the networking right is critical.

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Integration Differences

A VDI must integrate seamlessly with the existing physical desktop infrastructure. Security, networking and authentication devices have all been optimized within budgetary, regulatory and compliance constraints. By contrast, server virtualization is a consolidation effort confined to the data center.

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Organization Changes Differ

Desktop virtualization requires organizational change. The end-user support organization must function within the data center. Server virtualization requires an upgraded skill set, but the organizational structure is unchanged.

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VDI Requires Changes to More IT Resources

Virtualized server performance varies depending on factors that are largely controlled within the data center. Virtual desktop performance can be affected by the data center, network and transmission protocol. In addition, diverse user requirements can also affect performance.

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VDI Requires Changes to More IT Resources

Virtualized server performance varies depending on factors that are largely controlled within the data center. Virtual desktop performance can be affected by the data center, network and transmission protocol. In addition, diverse user requirements can also affect performance.

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VDI Requires Changes to More IT Resources

Virtualized server performance varies depending on factors that are largely controlled within the data center. Virtual desktop performance can be affected by the data center, network and transmission protocol. In addition, diverse user requirements can also affect performance.

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VDI Requires Changes to More IT Resources

Virtualized server performance varies depending on factors that are largely controlled within the data center. Virtual desktop performance can be affected by the data center, network and transmission protocol. In addition, diverse user requirements can also affect performance.

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